There is a great danger in setting dates for the second coming of Christ. And Christians need to know what the Bible has to say about this wrong practice. Jesus says, “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only” (Mathew 24:36). As a man, Jesus knew neither the day nor the hour of His coming (Matt. 24:36). He voluntarily limited His knowledge and power to the capacities of human beings in order that His own perfect life might be an example of how we should live, and that His ministry might be a pattern we could follow, aided by the same divine guidance and help that were His (Luke 2:52).
Those who are tempted to calculate precisely how many years remain before the appearance of Christ would do well to ponder the counsel Jesus gives. And, when the disciples asked Him “‘Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He answered, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority’” (Acts 1:6).
Also, because no one knows the hour of his death, it is the privilege and duty of every Christian to remain alert and be ready at all times. Jesus said, “Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not” (Luke 12:40). While Christians many not know the day nor the hour, they can certainly know the time frame of His coming through the study of the end time signs (Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21) and the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation. “So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors” (Matthew 24:33).
Several religious leaders through the years have made the mistake of setting different dates for Christ’s second coming and caused many to lose their faith when the Lord didn’t appear on those predicted dates. About those teachers, Jesus cautions in Matthew 24:11, “Many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.” It’s a straightforward warning that He repeats in verse 24, “If any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not” (v. 23).
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In His service,