Danger of Setting Dates for Christ's Return
Jesus said, "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man [Jesus Christ] will come at an hour when you do not expect him."1
It is amazing how intensely some people get caught up in the setting of dates regarding Christ's return and the end of this age. Jesus said that only God, the Father, knew the exact time his return would be. And yet whenever predictions are made with a specific date for Christ's return, there are gullible people who believe it and give up all they have in preparation for that day.
Over the centuries there have been various theories as to when and how the world might end. If you google "date setters" on the web, you will learn that over the past 2000 years there have been many who have claimed that the world would end or that Christ would return on a certain date. Obviously they were all wrong. Following are just two of the many.
German mathematician, Michael Stifel, based on his study of Revelation, calculated that God's Day of Judgment would be on October 19, 1533.2
Charles Taze Russell, founder of the Jehovah's Witnesses, calculated 1874 to be the year of Christ's return. It was then changed to 1878, 1881, 1910, 1914 with later dates.3
Unfortunately, because of these and modern-day fanatics, many people, including Christians, ignore or even shy away from the biblical teaching about Christ's coming again and the end of this age as we now know it.
However, Jesus himself promised that he would come again.4 The angels of God assured the astounded followers of Jesus on the day of his ascension into heaven following his death, burial and resurrection saying, "Men of Galilee, 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."5 According to Jesus's words (when He was on earth) only God the Father knew the date and time of His return to earth.6
The fact is that Jesus is coming again. We just don't know when. It may not be for a hundred, or a thousand years, or it may be today. The important thing is to be sure that you are ready, for when we least expect it, Jesus will come again. As Theodore Epp said, we need to "live as though Christ died yesterday, rose from the grave today, and is coming back tomorrow."
To be sure you are ready for Christ's return read, "How to Be Sure You're a real Christian Without Having to Be Religious" at: http://tinyurl.com/8glq9.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank You for the wonderful hope that Christians have in that Jesus is coming again to take all His true followers to be with Him forever in Heaven. Please help me to live as if He were coming back today so that I will always be ready for Jesus's return. Above all, please use me to tell as many people as possible about Your wonderful life-saving gospel message. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."
1. Matthew 24:42-44 (NIV).
4. John 14:1.
5. Acts 1:11 (NIV).
6. Mathew 24:35-36.
NOTE: ACTS does not necessarily endorse the websites listed in 2 and 3 above.