May 21 I Thursday
1 Chronicles 13-15
“[Jesus] said to them: ‘It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by His own authority.’”
For events in the history of the human race, God has His calendar in place. There are times and dates He has set that have not yet come into being, and one of the most dissected and debated of all is the return of Christ and the end of this age. These are set by God’s authority and Jesus tells us explicitly, “It is not for us to know.”
At the time of Jesus’s ascension, the disciples were looking up to heaven, and suddenly two men, dressed in white, appeared beside them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “Why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen Him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11). This is a glorious certainty. Jesus Christ is coming back, but He said, “About that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Mark 13:32).
Despite the fact that Jesus is telling us it is not our business to know when He will return, there is incredible curiosity among Christians about the time and date. For some, it has become an unhealthy obsession. They are continually analyzing sequences of events, applying mathematical formulas and some have even devoted their ministry to becoming experts in reading “the signs of the times”.
We can walk into any Christian bookstore and see how this has become a big business. If there is a blip in the Middle East, the prophecy gurus find some way of fitting it into an end-times scenario. There are countless newspaper and magazine articles; tabloid covers, movies, novels and many documentaries with sensational predictions, some with unrestrained confidence concerning the end of this age. It is utter nonsense and a waste of time.
Paul tells us, “...for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night”
(1 Thessalonians 5:2). And Jesus said, “You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him” (Luke 12:40). Our expectation of Christ’s return is vital, but any prediction, speculation or proclamation, especially that which leads others to believe when Christ is coming, is not only wrong, but forbidden. It is like climbing the Tower of Babel and foolishly trying to take from God what belongs to Him. All expectations are going to meet with a crashing blow. “No one knows,” says Jesus, and God will keep it that way. What is in our best interest is to live every day as though Christ is returning today.
Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, I long for the day that every knee will bow and every tongue confess that You are Lord. Even though I long for Your return, thank You that it will be in your timing. Praise You!