In the Epistle to Titus chapter 2, verses 11-13, we find these words: “The grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus.”
The question that arises is: “Are you living looking for the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Christ Jesus?” That is what these verses tell us we are to do.
- We are to live with an expectation,
- live with a yearning,
- live with a hope that Jesus may appear any moment.
I know that most Christians do not have that hope in their hearts. They are apathetic about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
I suppose one of the major reasons for that apathy is the fact that people have heard about it for so long that they have come to take it for granted. They believe Jesus is coming back, but they think of it as an event that will occur at some point in the distant future. The Lord’s return is not an imminent reality to them. Rather, it is a sort of pie in the sky dream and hope. Maybe He will return a thousand years from now, or maybe two thousand years from now, but certainly not now. Others are just absolutely convinced that there is nothing we can know about the coming of Jesus Christ, and therefore, there is no reason to even think about it — no reason to worry about it — even no reason to talk about it.
The only prophetic Scripture such people know is the one that says “Jesus is coming like a thief in the night.” When any message about the Second Coming of Jesus and how we should prepare for His coming is preached, they would say, “Shut up, there is nothing we can know about the Lord’s return. He is going to sneak up on us. So, you might as well shut up about it and not talk about it and just go on about your life and not even think about it, because He is going to come when you least expect it.”
The question is “Can We Know the Timing?
Permit me to talk about this for a moment.
Is there anything we can know about the return of the Lord Jesus Christ?
Can we know, for example, when Jesus is going to return?
The answer to this question is Yes and No.
No, we cannot know the exact date.
Yes, we can know the season.
The fact is that we cannot know the exact date of Christ’s return. I believe that the Bible makes it crystal clear we cannot know the date. In Matthew 24:36 Jesus Himself said, “of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.” We cannot know the date.
Now, there are a lot of sincere people who are setting dates, and I do not doubt their sincerity, but they are sincerely deceived. And the closer we get to the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ the more of these people there are going to be, because Satan is going to motivate people to set dates.
You see, Satan loves date setters because they bring discredit to Bible prophecy. You know how it works. Somebody sets a date. People get their hopes focused on that date rather than on the Saviour, Jesus Christ. They become obsessed with the date, and they run around all over the place talking incessantly about the date. The press picks up on the story and focuses in on the date. Then, the date comes and passes, and the press heaps ridicule on those who believed in the date. The individuals who put their faith in that date are embarrassed, and they become embittered. They say to themselves, “I will tell you one thing, I will never do that again!” And then, when a responsible prophecy teacher comes along and says, “I don’t know the date, but I do know Jesus is coming soon,” they say, “Oh sure, I have heard that nonsense before,” and they refuse to listen. They turn off their ears to God’s words. And Satan loves it.
The closer we get to the coming of Jesus, the more of these date setters Satan is going to raise up. The effect will be like the person who constantly yells, “The wolf is coming, the wolf is coming, the wolf is coming!” — and he continues to yell it until — guess what? — everyone decides to ignore him. And then the wolf comes.
Well, my readers, Jesus is coming soon. We need to be aware of that. And we need to keep in mind that no one can know the date that Jesus will return.
Wait for part 2 for the Yes answer.
Series by Dr. Daniel Elendu Sopuru (Founder Hillcross Ministry. [email protected] )