Perhaps you have heard about David Meade’s prediction that the rapture would take place yesterday, April 23? He said the same thing last year. Then, he said he miscalculated. His failed prediction of yesterday has him now saying that the rapture will take place between May and December.
For Mr. Meade’s sake, I am glad that the law of Deuteronomy 18:20 was not invoked. Look it up—“That prophet must die.”
I do have some strong feelings about people misleading others about the subject of Jesus’ return. Jesus gave the supreme answer on the matter. “Now concerning that day and hour no one knows.” Case closed. Next subject. Stop paying attention to the date setters.
Before Jesus’ death, after the resurrection, and by the Spirit after His ascension, Jesus spoke of His return—His second coming. This is the great hope of the church. The importance of the return of Christ is evident in that these are the last words that Jesus spoke. The promise of Jesus’ return ought to make a difference in our lives.
How should we live in light of the promise of the return of Christ? I want to point your attention to three principles today.
The certainty of His coming ought to give us great comfort.
One of the strongest arguments for the certainty of the return of Christ is His track record of prophecy and fulfillment. The Old Testament prophets foretold of Jesus’ first coming. Jesus then prophesied of His own death and resurrection—even naming the day as the third day. Why now would we doubt the words of Scripture about a personal, literal, visible, and glorious return of Christ.
The uncertainty of the timing of His coming ought to encourage obedience.
Though we are certain of His second coming, the Scriptures are not clear on the timing of His return. If anything, we might even say that the Scripture is clear that the timing will be uncertain. Consider:
- Matthew 24:36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.
- Matthew 24:42 “Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.”
- Matthew 24:44 “Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
- Acts 1:7 “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.”
But that hasn’t kept us from having a fascination with trying to figure out when Jesus is going to return.
So, how are we to live in this certainty of the return of Christ, but uncertainty of the timing of His coming? It’s simple really! Be ready always!
The certainty of His coming combined with the uncertainty of the timing ought to challenge us to evangelistic activity.
The Bible compares the return of Christ to a wedding. The analogy produces three closing questions.
- Are you ready?
- Have all the guests been invited?
- Are you in love with the groom?
Jesus did not come yesterday to take His Church to Heaven, so live as though He could come today! If He tarries His coming today, go to bed tonight, and if we rise the next morning, live again the next day as though He could come that day. Do this every day until He comes!
And one more thing—don’t listen to Mr. Meade or those like him no matter what they say about the moons.