But of that day and hour no one knows not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. . .Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming – in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning – lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. And what I say to you I say to all: Watch! – Mark 13:32-36
Many so called prophets of this day claim to know the approaching hour of the return of our Lord. I
have to give it to them for their diligence to seek out the “when” in all scripture, but I have learned there are things that are best left alone. Most prophetic pointers are taking people’s eyes off of the present day’s pressing needs to be at work for the Gospel’s sake.
People naturally fear what they are seeing today and equating it to prophet’s warnings. From what I’ve been through in all my years (over 70), I’ve heard the same stories over and over again. I study history to some degree. Not the depth of a true historian, but I get by. World War I and II were horrendous wars. In WW1, history experts estimate around 16.5 million and in WW2, anywhere from 50-70 million, others say 72 million. Combining both would roughly give 88.5 million people deceased from both World Wars. In 1945 at the end WWII the estimated population of the United States was 132.5 million people. Comparing those numbers we see that if it had been our country we would have lost over half of our population to the war.
I have to keep an open mind to who is saying what. Harold Camping, now deceased, made several predictions of which all have come and gone. Pat Roberson predicted the end to occur in 2007. A pastor in Indiana, Pastor Paul Begley is the host of The Coming Apocalypse, a show about biblical prophecy that is broadcast online and on some TV channels in the US predicts the coming Antichrist.
For more than thirty years Jack Van Impe came on TV to strike fear in people to be saved from the coming rapture. He is now deceased. Fear is a dominate emotion that is played on towards the lost as well as Christians. I’ve heard it said “If you have to scare them into salvation, you have to keep them scared to keep them from backsliding”. That’s an old order ministry. Hopefully this is a dying doctrine as well.
People should not have to be afraid of the future. I prefer to quote what many have said. “I read the end of the Book and we win.” Where’s the fear in that?
I don’t care one whit what the purveyors of doom sprinkled with fear have to say. I honestly don’t know when Jesus will return. I’ve studied it and yes there are signals spelled out in scripture to watch for and I do. But I haven’t the time to quibble over it. The important thing to do is what I told my once upon a time brother law, who was a preacher. He and I sat eating pizza in a popular restaurant in Wilmington NC many years ago. He asked me did I know the church I was attending didn’t preach the rapture. I said I know, but that doesn’t matter in the present. If we are not doing what God put us here for TODAY, what good is our worry over tomorrow?
There is so much I could say over this subject, so if you have questions, please pose them for me. Just let’s remember Mark 13 and what Jesus said. Let’s stay awake and be busy for this day, for the Master may return in our lifetime. If not, so be it. Just keep working. As I sometimes say, “When He gets here, He’ll be here.