Since the beginning of the Enlightenment, mankind has come a long way in knowing more about God’s creation and the future of mankind. For the longest time, mankind believed that the earth we lived on was flat; the earth is actually round. There also was once a time when the common practice for treating diseases was to put leeches on the skins of patients, so that their ‘sick blood’ would be drained out. My personal favorite was when Charles H. Deull, the commissioner of the U.S. patent office, said this in 1899, “Everything that can be invented, has been invented.” He was obviously proven very wrong, and so were the others who believed in many strange theories.
Still, there are some things that I believe we take too far as a society. We sometimes like to bring fame to some harmful philosophical ideas, we allow governments to adopt terrible policies, and we like to think that man is the most supreme being in the world. That is where God comes into play. I believe that God, and faith in Him, produces a better society that intends to better people with love and joy. God’s gift of faith does not produce obsession with material and the philosophical like secularism does, but rather it produces a yearning to know the spiritual and theological.
We as Christians, of all people, should admit that there are great things that we will never know. However, strangely enough, there has been a lot of media attention about a particular date: September 23rd, 2017 (this Saturday). It is believed that this Saturday will be the rapture. There are lots of so-called ‘Christians’ that believe that Revelation 12 proves it. Many people are completely sure that Jesus is gonna come back, just as sure as Edgar Whisenant was when he published a book called 88 Reasons Why The Rapture Will Be In 1988. I’ve even heard people say that the theory has solid grounds.
I am a person who is all for guesses, hypotheses, and theories as much as the next guy. There are some things though that I don’t believe are even our business to meddle in, one of them being the coming of Jesus Christ. Why do I believe this? It is not because I don’t anticipate the Lord’s coming because believe me… I do… very much. I wrote a poem on this blog about how much I anticipate His return (click here to read), and I talk about it with my friends a lot. Despite all of that, I know for a fact that God puts limitations on how much we can know, and the most important of those limitations is knowing God’s plan. We are not to know when Christ is supposed to come back; that is up to God the Father.
Jesus made a very clear statement in Matthew 24:36 (ESV) saying, “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.” The context of this passage is referring to when Christ would come back to bring history to a final conclusion, and He states very clearly that God has set that day. Father God is sovereign over all things, especially the glorious return of His Son. People who believe that they know when Christ would come back actually claim to know more than God. Just as an FYI, that has never worked out for anybody in the Bible, and I doubt that anyone who claims to know more than God would ever be successful.
Christ goes on to say in Matthew 24:37-39 (ESV), “For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.” The coming of Jesus Christ will be unexpected and sudden. I would also add that the coming of Jesus is supposed to be unexpected. This is how the Scriptures portray it.
I am not here to analyze the poor hermeneutic of the ‘Revelation 12 Sign’ theory; much more qualified people have done those kinds of analyzations (click here to read my personal favorite). I also will not go too far into the fact that ‘Christians’ use astrology (not astronomy), to determine what the Bible is saying. Instead, I will only state the obvious: what we don’t know, and what we will never know, is when Christ is to return. I am actually shocked that anyone could believe that they have an idea of when Christ will come back.
It doesn’t matter how many people have had dreams in which they think God told them when the end would occur; they are wrong. It doesn’t matter how many bad things are going on in the world, for Christ will come back when He wants to. In fact, Christ tells us His return would be during a moment that is least expected. The truth is simple and clearly stated in Scripture. It is not debatable or negotiable. God the Father will determine when God the Son should return. Until then, God the Holy Spirit will guide us in sanctification and learning the truth about God.
Some have asked what the past month has taught me in terms of our understanding of the end times, and I have stated that the worse things get… the more people think it’s the end. No matter how temporary the bad time might be, people will be convinced it is the end. If America will think it is the center of the universe, of course it will be convinced that the end has come when the country is affected by storms, economic instability, and a moral breakdown. But what about the rest of the world? Can you imagine telling a Christian in Iran, North Korea, or Syria that there is yet to be a ‘Great Tribulation’? They would probably think, “How much worse can it get?”
My point is that Christ will come when He comes. The day has been set, and we should rest assured that God’s will is for Christ’s return to happen. He could return when the world is at its worst state, and He could even return when the world is at its most prosperous time. Christ could come back anytime the Father wills, but one thing is for sure: it is not for us to decide, and it is not for us to know. Instead of looking at the skies to try to figure out a sign, let us look to the stars to remind ourselves that we worship a great, powerful God who knows what He’s doing. His grace is wonderful, and His love is everlasting. Remember God, and remember that He will come back at the time which He sees fit.
Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus, come!
Soli Deo Gloria.