Times and Dates . . .

I’m a little confused because many sincere and devout believers are trying to set dates and times for our Lord’s return. But He clearly said, “But the exact day and hour? No one knows that, not even heaven’s angels, not even the Son. Only the Father knows” (Matthew 24:36). So we are instructed by our Lord that we “must be like people waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet so that when he comes and knocks, they can open the door for him at once” (Luke 12:36)

What preceded this was Jesus telling His disciples several parables about being ready for His return. Now each one of the parables dealt with being watchful and doing what Christ assigns us to do. Christ wants His people to be ready and waiting. It doesn’t matter where you stand on the issue of the Rapture and Tribulation, or even know what those mean, Christ is coming back, and when He does, “every eye will see Him.”

But the thing is, He knows how we love to play amateur prophet, so he puts all of us in our dating-setting place by saying, “The only thing I’ll tell you about My return is that you won’t be expecting Me.” The urgency is to be ready at all times. “Keep the lamps burning” and the powder dry. (Luke 12:35).

Quit setting a date for His return. When someone in our house is out late we leave the porch light on for them. When my kids lived at home I used to wait up for them whenever they were out late. I might have dozed off a little, but I could never fall into a deep sleep until they walk through the door.

When our oldest son returned from his first tour in Iraq, we anxiously waited at the airport for him to walk down the corridor to the luggage area. We were standing on our tip-toes just to catch a glimpse of him. That is what we are supposed to be doing in regards of the return of our Savior: Waiting expectantly. Daily expecting His return. Christ calls on us to be watching for Him when He returns — not inactively, mind you, but as servants (Luke 12:37). Luke 12:38 tells us, “It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night.”

Our Lord does not want us sleeping away the hours. He wants us to live in such close involvement with Him that all we need is to see Him face-to-face. I do not know about you, but I want to have such an acute awareness of His presence that I will not be caught off guard when He appears! That is when our faith becomes a Reality and not a shadow that we see dimly.

Those of you who insist on setting a date for His return “need to know that in the last days, mockers are going to have a heyday. Reducing everything to the level of their puny feelings, they’ll mock, ‘So what’s happened to the promise of his Coming? Our ancestors are dead and buried, and everything’s going on just as it has from the first day of creation. Nothing’s changed'” (II Peter 3:4-5) Don’t be like those who scoff or doubt His Word.

“Don’t overlook the obvious here, friends. With God, one day is as good as a thousand years, a thousand years as a day. God isn’t late with his promise as some measure lateness. He is restraining himself on account of you, holding back the End because he doesn’t want anyone lost. He’s giving everyone space and time to change” (II Peter 3:8-9).

“When the Day of God’s Judgment does come, it will be unannounced, like a thief. The sky will collapse with a thunderous bang, everything disintegrating in a huge conflagration, earth and all its works exposed to the scrutiny of Judgment” (II Peter 3:10).

Bottom line: Keep an expectant longing for His appearing, and keep your lamps burning . .

Doulos Studies

(I send out messages like this each morning in emails, and if you are interested in receiving them, send me your email address and I will add you to the list: Mail List)

I do thank you for your gifts. It is your faithful and continued support that makes these messages possible.

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