Apathy About the Lord’s Return
The Bible teaches that no one can know the date of the Lord’s return. But, did you know the Bible also teaches that we can know the season of the Lord’s return? And, did you know that we are living in that season? The signs of the end times do indeed point to the soon return of Jesus!
The message I am about to share with you is the basic message of Lamb & Lion Ministries and which I have covered in three episodes of our television program, Christ in Prophecy. It’s the message that God placed in my heart in the late 1970s, and it began to churn inside of me until I could contain it no longer. That’s when I decided to leave my career in higher education and step out in faith to proclaim this message to as many people as possible as quickly as possible.
My feeling in those days was exactly like what the prophet Jeremiah experienced when he wrote that the message God had given him had made his heart like a burning fire shut up in his bones and that he was so weary of holding it inside of him that he could no longer endure it.
Regarding the return of Jesus, we find these words in Titus 2:
“The grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus.”
In response to that scripture, let me ask you this. Are you living looking for the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus? That’s what this verse tells us that we’re to do. Christians are to live with an expectation, live with a yearning, live with a hope that Jesus may appear at any moment.David Reagan: Christians are to live with an expectation, live with a yearning, live with a hope that Jesus may appear any moment. Click To Tweet
I know from experience that most Christians do not have that hope in their hearts. I know that most Christians are rather apathetic about the return of Jesus.
I suppose one of the major reasons for that apathy is the fact that people have heard about it for so long that they have come to take it for granted. Oh, yes, they believe Jesus is coming back, but they think it’s an event that will occur at some point in the distant future. The Lord’s return is not an imminent reality to them. Rather, it’s sort of pie in the sky, a dream, a hope.
They think, “Well, maybe He will return a 1,000 years from now, or maybe 2,000 from now, but certainly not now.” Others are just absolutely convinced that there is not anything that we can know about the coming of the Lord, and therefore there is no reason to even think about it. No reason to worry about it. No reason even to talk about it.
My personal church experience is a good example of what I’m talking about. I grew up going to church. I went to church as far back as I can remember. Every time the door was open I was there. But, we were not a church that studied Bible prophecy and, therefore, about the only prophetic scripture that we knew was one that said, “Jesus is coming like a thief in the night.” And, so, every time somebody would go off to a Bible conference and hear some thrilling message about the return of Jesus, and they would come back all excited and start talking about how the Lord may return at any time, and how we need to get ready, they would immediately be put down with the statement, “Jesus is coming like a thief in the night.”
We used that verse like a stab of a sword to a person’s heart to put them down, to cut them off, to in effect say, “Shut up! There’s not anything we can know about the Lord’s return. He’s going to sneak up on us. So, you might as well shut up about it, and not talk about it, and just go on about your life and not even think about it, because He’s going to come when we least expect it.”
The Fallacy of Date-Setters
Let’s talk for a moment about the timing of the Lord’s return. Is there anything we can know about the return of the Lord Jesus Christ? Can we know, for example, when Jesus is going to return?
If you had asked me that question about 45 years ago, I would have said, “No, absolutely not! There is not anything that you can ever know about the Second Coming of Jesus.” But, after 45 years of intensive study of Bible prophecy, I’ve come to a different conclusion. When people ask me now, “Can you know when Jesus will return?” My answer is, “Yes and no.” No, we cannot know the date. Yes, we can definitely know the season.
Now, when I say we cannot know the date that Jesus will return, I mean that with all my heart. I believe that the Bible makes it crystal clear that we cannot know the date. In Matthew 24 Jesus Himself said, “Of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.”
I don’t know how the Scriptures could be clearer about this point. We cannot know the date. And yet, there are a lot of sincere people who are setting dates. I do not doubt their sincerity, but they are sincerely deceived. And, the closer we get to the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ the more of these people there are going to be because Satan is going to motivate people to set dates. You see, Satan loves date-setters because they bring discredit to Bible prophecy. You know how it works. Somebody sets a date. People get their hopes focused on that date rather than on their Savior. They become obsessed with the date, and they run around all over the place talking incessantly about the date. The press picks up on the story and focuses in on the date. And, then, the date comes and passes, and the press heaps ridicule on both the Bible and those who believed in the date.
The individuals who put their faith in that date are embarrassed and they become embittered. They say to themselves, “Well, I’ll tell you one thing, I’ll never do that again!” And, then, when a responsible prophecy teacher comes along and says, “I don’t know the date, but I do know Jesus is coming soon.” They say, “Oh, sure, I’ve heard that nonsense before.” And they refuse to listen. They turn off their ears to God’s prophetic Word. Satan loves it. The closer we get to the return of Jesus, the more of these date-setters Satan is going to raise up. The effect will be like the person who constantly yells, “The wolf is coming, the wolf is coming, the wolf is coming!” And he continues to yell it until guess what? Everyone decides to ignore him, and then the wolf comes.
Jesus is coming soon. We need to be aware of that. We need to keep in mind that although no one can know the date that Jesus will return, we can know the season, and it is my contention that we are currently in that season.
In the second part of this series proving the fact that we are now living in the season of the Lord’s return, I will present Scriptural proofs.