Concerning the time of his second coming, Jesus said:

Matthew 24:36 (KJV) But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.


Mark 13:32 (KJV) But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.


Acts 1:7 (KJV) And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

So, how many times does he have to say it?  We could post some other verses to prove that the time of Christ’s return can not be known by man, but if he said it just once, that should be enough, shouldn’t it?  Yet in spite of the repeated prohibition in the Bible, some people are determined to predict the time of the end anyway. 

We’ve heard of some of these people.  These days, the most notable date-setter is Mr. Harold Camping of Family Radio Network.  He thinks that he’s got all the math worked out, THIS TIME (he’s already missed it once), and his math says that the end will come in the year 2011, in the month of April, and I forget which day.  Oh wait!  There’s an update – it’s going to be some time in October now!  (Don’t quote me on those months, I’m not sure and I don’t really care which month or day he thinks it is).

But while we condemn date-setters such as Mr. Camping, are we guilty of violating the principle ourselves?  No, we might not set a time, a day, a year, etc., but don’t we like to say that the end is “NEAR”? 

“Near” might not be a specific date, but doesn’t it at least fit the definition of a “season”?  If we say that we know the end is near, then we are saying that we know when the end will come.  It may be a vague “when”, but it is a “when”, nevertheless.

The fact is that we have no biblical authority to claim that we know such a thing.  If we know that it is “near”, then Jesus didn’t really mean it when he said, “it is not for you to know the time or the seasons”.  The next time you here someone say, “The end is near!”, ask them if they “know” it is near, or if they are just speculating.   If they say they know it, then ask them how they can know something that Jesus said they cannot know.  If they say that they are just speculating, then ask them why they say it with such certainty.

It is not the task of the believer to speculate as to when Christ’s return will happen, or even if it is “near”.  The task of the believer is to be READY for his appearance.  This includes the necessity of being ready to die, at which time we shall appear before Him.  We must walk in a constant knowledge of the finality and suddenness of the end, whether the “end” consists of the end of the world, or the end of our lives.  We must never, at any given instant, put off our relationship with our God and Savior.  We must draw close, not taking His love for granted, that we may meet Him with joy. 

But we cannot walk in this constant state of preparedness without the knowledge of God’s love, grace, and providence.  Whether we recognize it or not, we cannot even take in our next breath without the perpetual sustainment of God’s grace.  We are guided every step by the Invisible Hand – the providence of God Almighty.  That trial in our life is His predetermined appointment.  That blessing in our life is His predetermined grace working through us.  Every trial is for our good and His glory, and every victory is the result of His provision for us.  Every reward is reckoned of grace, and properly belongs to Jesus Christ, for He alone is worthy, having merited both the salvation and reward of the elect.  Worship no one but HIM!

Yes, the end may be near.  Are you ready for it?


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