Inevitably, in every generation, talks and speculations concerning the second coming of Christ crop up. But these conversations intensify when certain worrisome circumstances collide with our every day lives. The past year’s dealings with the Coronavirus, political divides, and the increase of immorality, are no exceptions to this phenomenon. The rise of such circumstances increase Christian conversations concerning the imminent return of Jesus. From T.V. prophets to local Pastors, there are all sorts of theories about when Jesus will be returning.
I want to challenge the entire enterprise of so called “Prophetic voices” regarding Jesus’ return. And I want to encourage anyone who may find such theories intriguing to do an about-face and run away as fast as you can, grab your Bibles, and listen to the words of Jesus:
“It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.”Acts 1:7
These words from our Lord came in response to his disciples the day Jesus was to return back to his Father in Heaven. After Jesus’ resurrection the disciples were curious to know when Jesus was going to “restore the Kingdom to Israel (see Acts 1:6).” This question posed by the disciples indicates that they were wanting to know if the end of the age had come. Like many today, the disciples were observing their surroundings, trying to connect their biblical dots, and inquire about when the end was to come. But Jesus’ response directed the disciples to think differently. According to Jesus God has a fixed time when for the end of time. He’s got this entire plan, from beginning to the end, all mapped out. He knows everything. Therefore, to ask the question “when” is the wrong question altogether. We are not to concern our selves with times or seasons.
Jesus is refreshingly helpful isn’t he? In a day when eschatological speculation runs rampant, it is assuring to know that (1) God has the end “fixed by his own authority,” and (2) we don’t have to worry about it! “Don’t worry about tomorrow,” Jesus said elsewhere, and that includes when He will return!
Instead, let us not be concerned about when Jesus will return but what we are to do until he does. This question is the right one, and we are given a clear and defining answer to it. In the very next verse Jesus directs his disciples to the right concentration:
“‘But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.'”Acts 1:8
I.Howard Marshall was right when he wrote,
“Since this is God’s secret, there is no place for human speculation—a point that might well be borne in mind by those who still anxiously try to calculate the probable course of events in the last days. Instead of indulging in wishful thinking or apocalyptic speculation, the disciples must accomplish their task of being witnesses to Jesus”I. Howard, Marshall
So, Christian, in the midst of times when it seems Christ’s return is near, resist the temptation to ask when Jesus is coming? Instead, ask “what can I do to be a witness!”