By Benjamin H. Liles
"But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect" (Matthew 24:36-44, New King James).
I have always heard that when it comes to understanding what the Bible is saying that the best commentary is the Bible itself. For a long time, even in Old Testament times, ancient time, God would tell Israel He would do such and such thing at a set time. And the people would carry on as if nothing would ever change. But, and I'm using the text of Jonah on this part, when someone was used--like Jonah--to go and preach repentance to an outside people (in Jonah's case it wasn't to Israel, but to Assyria, the capital city being Nineveh), a great deal of the time God's mercy was found among the people as they feared the God of Israel.
Fast forward many centuries and a couple of millennium and we have these raves, parties and so-called weddings going on as if nothing has ever changed. That's Jesus' point when He says to His disciples, "For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be" (Matthew 24:37-38).
So many people are looking to the skies in droves, thinking and believing due to other so-called ministers of God's word that Jesus is coming back and NOW! They read all these doomsday articles and think if they can just get right in this moment, drink this concoction and go to sleep they will be safe for when Jesus comes back. And yet Jesus tells us plainly that anyone who sets a date on His return isn't to be trusted. Read that very carefully there: "Now concerning that day and hour no one knows—neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son —except the Father only" (Matthew 24:36, Holman Christian Standard).
Friend, you're reading this at this particular moment because even you are aware that date setting on when the Good Lord Jesus Christ returns is a farce. You know in your heart of hearts that any angel, any man who gives any kind of utterance against the Most High on where and when and how the Messiah Jesus Christ will return is preposterous, to say the least. At best any who give a report that's not fully based on God's word, the Bible, and claiming they know better than God Himself is nothing but a form of the antichrist.
Even Christ said many would appear: "If anyone tells you then, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘Over here!’ do not believe it! False messiahs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. Take note: I have told you in advance. So if they tell you, ‘Look, He’s in the wilderness!’ don’t go out; ‘Look, He’s in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it" (Matthew 24:23-26).
And the truth of the matter is we're not even in Revelation times. I can tell you how I know we aren't in Revelation. For starters there hasn't appeared one man to accomplish the uniting of the world for peace through diplomacy. Think about how Revelation 6:1-2 truly reads: "Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, “Come and see.” And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer" (bold for emphasis). If you re-read this part you'll notice there's nothing about this man having any arrows, which would suggest being fully armed. He just has the appearance, the guise of going out to conquer. It only suggests this man is at best a high-powered, slicked up, charming, deceitful man bent on one world domination.
Also, if you look quickly after this there are a couple of other things to note: the second seal is about widespread conflict on this planet that will erupt; the third is about widespread famine, with the fourth seal being widespread death; then after these seals is a fifth where true followers of Christ are put to death--"When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed" (Revelation 6:9-11, New King James).
I ask that you take a sincere look between what Jesus Christ says will happen and what is laid out in Revelation for yourself. Even Paul weighs in on the matter of the return of Jesus Christ. So many people hold to a pre-tribulational view of Christ's return, and if you notice how Christ talks and the apostles as well, you'll see there is no such thing being mentioned about God's people being spared. The last thing I want to leave you with is this: we have to be about doing the Lord's work, loving God and loving others. I recall reading what Charles Hadden Spurgeon, the "Prince of Preachers," said about appealing to the sinner: "If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our dead bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms wrapped about their knees, imploring them to stay. If hell must be filled, let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go unwarned and unprayed for." I ask that this blesses and encourages you to read God's word for yourself and to see exactly the truth He desires us all to see and know. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.