“Of that Day and that Hour Knoweth No Man”

Mark 13:32

 

In the Old Testament and in the four Gospels our God gave “signs of the times”, by which He announced the end of Judaism and the establishment of His kingdom in the world in these last days. Those signs pointed to things that were fulfilled in the incarnation and birth of Christ, His sin-atoning death as our Substitute, His exaltation as King in heaven, and the annihilation of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.

 

No Signs

 

But in the New Testament, since the resurrection and exaltation of Christ, we are never bidden to look for signs as indications that Christ’s second coming is approaching.

Think for a minute: — If there were any signs or prophecies yet to be fulfilled before the glorious second advent of Christ, how could we be urged to expect His imminent return? Yet, from the first century, God’s saints have been urged by inspired Apostles to live in daily, constant anticipation of Christ’s appearing, upon the very tiptoe of faith (Titus 2:11-13; 2 Peter 3:11-13). And those who did so were commended for it (1 Thessalonians 1:10).

 

Unprofitable Speculations

 

It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in His own power” (Acts 1:7). No one knows, or even has a hint of an idea when the Lord Jesus will come again to this world. Not only do the Scriptures tell us this emphatically, we have a glaring proof of the fact before us in Mark 13:32. If the perfect, holy man Christ Jesus, that man who knew the Book of God like no other man, did not know it, if He did not figure out the day or hour of His appearing, you are not about to do so! It is not proper for us to know these things; and it is a great evil to intrude into that which God declares He has not revealed.

 

Denial of Scripture

 

Date setters are guilty of that horrid contempt for the Word of God that shows itself by adding to and taking away from “the words of the Book” of God (Revelation 22:19). All date setters claim to have discovered a hidden mathematic scheme and/or a special calendar by which the Word of God must be interpreted. Without them, no one could ever dream up the nonsense those imaginary theologians concoct.

If you care for your soul, ignore such men and ignore everything they have to say about anything spiritual. The Bible is not written in secret code. It is not the hiding of God’s secrets, but the Revelation of God, the Revelation of His will, the Revelation of His Son, the Revelation of His salvation, “the Revelation of Jesus Christ.”

Those who set dates for Christ’s coming, for the end of the world, or for the Day  of  Judgment,  while  pretending  with  great zeal that they love the Word of God, utterly deny it. Everything they do in their prophetic inventions seeks to undermine the authority of Holy Scripture, replacing the authority of Scripture with their own wicked opinions.

We are not charged to search out the times of our Master’s coming, but to constantly serve Him, realizing that He may appear at any moment (Matthew 24:46). It would not be profitable for us to know the future, because such knowledge would distract our attention away from our present responsibilities. We would probably become indifferent and careless about our daily responsibilities if we knew when, or about when Christ shall appear in His glory. Gazers into heaven do not do much good upon the earth. That means that all speculation about unrevealed things is evil.

 

Something Better

 

It is not possible for us to know the times and the seasons of the future (Matthew 24:36; Mark 13:32); but there is something much better than knowing the times and seasons of the future. It is enough for me to know that the future is altogether in the hands of the Lord my God. I say with David, “My times are in thy hand” (Psalm 31:15). I want no more. Knowing that, I will possess my soul in patience, trusting the Lord my God. I will not pry into my Father’s secret business. I will be content to know what He has been pleased to reveal.

Let us be content and happy to look for Christ each day in blessed anticipation of His glorious second advent, expecting Him to appear at any moment, serving Him and our generation by the will of God, as in His immediate presence and as if we were certain that many generations of God’s elect are yet to be born who might benefit from our labors by the blessing of His grace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don Fortner

 

 

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