[This is the fifth post in a series about the Blessed Hope–the return of Jesus Christ.]
Save the Date?
When thinking about the return of Jesus Christ, many have dreamed of a peaceful Kingdom to come. Yet there is much controversy surrounding end-time events, especially the day of His coming.
Feelings of uncertainty and conflicting emotions are stirred when we think about the summing up of all things. Should God have sent us a “Save the Date” card so we will know exactly when Jesus is coming back?
The internet, media, and movies sizzle with doomsday plots, predictions, and scenarios. Catastrophic weather, mudslides, fires, and false missile alarms have us trembling. While writing this column, I learned an earthquake hit my mother’s small town in Missouri, a community close to the famous New Madrid fault.
We have reasons to be concerned. We have better reasons to search out the truth.
Some fringe groups have set dates for Jesus’s return only to concede later that “the date” has come and gone with no East to West lightning, no invasion of Jerusalem, no man in the field suddenly missing his companion. And because the date comes and goes without incident, scoffers are lit up with criticism.
Those who have studied the Bible are quick to console us that a date can’t be set. Jesus told his disciples, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only (Matthew 24:36 nkjv).”
So what is it that we can know? The day and hour, no. The season, YES.
With all the snow we’ve had lately, I look forward to the coming season–SPRING! I may not know the exact day when the temperature will climb to 70, but the first signs are welcomed like a balmy breeze.
When daffodils poke up from the thawing earth, robins hop around in the yard, and the tree limbs have little bumps, I know Spring is coming! My innermost spirit dances. I will happily shed my winter wool coat like a lumbering sheep lined up for shearing.
How can we recognize the season of Christ’s return? The first sign Jesus mentions in Matthew 24 is false teachers that come in His name. Some even claim they are the Messiah. Are such teachers around today? You bet.
True teaching has had opponents and imposters since the beginning. By Genesis chapter 3, the serpent is chiding Adam and Eve, “Did God really say . . .” (Genesis 3:1 niv). He planted doubt in their minds about God’s word and His good, loving intentions.
Since false teachers are wolves in sheep’s clothing, how can we recognize them? I’ll write more about deception and false teaching in the next post.