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See! I Told You So! - Jesus
by Alan Allegra
10/03/2017 / Prophecy
Harry. Irma. José. Maria. Harold Camping. Joseph Smith. Central Mexico. North Korea. The Middle East. Benjamin Crème and Lord Maitreya the World Teacher. Bangladesh. South Sudan. Las Vegas. David Meade and Nibiru (aka Planet X). What do they all have in common?
There was recently a flurry of punditry and prophecy about the world ending, or nearing its end, or possibly showing signs of ending, on September 23rd. Or maybe Jesus was returning then. Or maybe not. What all the above, and many, many more examples, have in common are that Jesus predicted their existence or importance 2,000 years ago.
Predictions of Jesus’s return, or the return of somebody like him, have popped up like fungi for hundreds of years. People have gone as far as selling their goods and selling their theories on billboards and social media. And don’t forget the Antichrist. Was he one of the Caesars? Maybe Antiochus Epiphanes, or Hitler, or JFK? Maybe he’s alive and living in the White House!
Any serious student of the Bible knows one thing for sure: Jesus will not return in glory when we think he will. The discussion can end right here and now with this statement from Christ: “Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Matthew 24:44). If that is not enough, in the same sermon, he also said, “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only” (v. 36). There are two strikes against those who predict his coming: They must be smarter than Jesus, and they need to explain the paradox of expecting his return at a time when we least expect it.
In Matthew 24, Jesus gave warnings about the signs of his coming. However, within the context of the previous and following discussions, it appears he did so to warn about judgments on the religious hypocrites who didn’t care about his first coming, and those who were anxious for his coming and needed to be ready at any time.
In Matthew 23, the Messiah, who has made it painfully plain who he was, rebuked the religious people who had the appearance of godliness, but denied its power (2 Timothy 3:5). In chapter 25, the Son of God warns his followers to keep busy and prepare and not just hang around waiting for his coming, again warning, “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour” (v. 13).
There is no need to twist the Scriptures, play Bible numerology bingo, or consult the stars that create images as accurate as a child’s stick figures in order to understand the future. God has it under His control. The only thing the believer needs to be concerned about is what is commonly called “the rapture,” when Christ gathers his children home before it really DOES break loose on the Earth (John 14:3; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, ff.).
What about the names and places mentioned above? Jesus did predict them in the context of providing signs that the end might be near. They were warnings that false warnings would come because people would see “signs” but the end would not yet be (see Matthew 24:44, above). They were signs that warned people that there would be a judgment despite the seeming delay (Matthew 24:45-51). They were signs to warn true believers during those perilous days that they should have hope and remain faithful: “But the one who endures to the end will be saved” (Matthew 24:13).
Sadly, too many churches either ignore prophecy and don’t prepare their people, or get hung up on false predictions and make Christians look ignorant. The call is to be ready by accepting the true Christ for who he is, thereby avoiding judgment, and serve him according to the Scriptures in daily anticipation of his coming, gaining rewards. “Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8).
Alan is a freelance devotional writer for Lifestyles Over 50 and the Allentown, PA, Morning Call. He is also the content coordinator for Thrive Media in Allentown, PA. Passionate about reviving theology and church methodology and being a senior citizen!
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