The Bible clearly states that Jesus will come again (Acts 1:9-11). Many religious groups have tried to determine when He will return. Some said 1914 and then 1918. Others said 1975, then 2000. All such attempts have obviously failed, yet people continue to speculate. What does the Bible say?
Some attempt to use the signs mentioned in Matthew 24:4-14 to predict the time of Jesus' return. But verses 1-3 show that Jesus was giving signs for the destruction of the temple and of the city of Jerusalem. Verse 34 shows that all the things Jesus spoke about would come to pass during that generation. Sure enough, Jesus' prediction was fulfilled in 70 AD.
1 Thessalonians 5:1-3 says, regarding the "times and seasons" (of Jesus' coming), that the day of the Lord comes as a thief in night. The point, of course, is that a thief will come unexpectedly. There will be no signs and no warnings. The same is true of Jesus' return. No one can know when it will occur. No signs can be used to predict it.
Since the time is unknown, we should watch and be ready all the time (vv 4-6). If we knew exactly when He would return, most people would wait till just before that to start obeying. But if He can come at any moment, we are motivated to live right all the time.
2 Peter 3:10 repeats that the day of the Lord will come as a thief. When people try to predict when Jesus will return, they claim to know what the Bible expressly says no one can know. They add themselves to a long list of those who have tried and failed.
(c) Copyright David E. Pratte, 2003
To study more articles like this (syndicated for reproduction) visit our Bible study topics web site. This article is freely available to be reproduced in print or on a web site under the following conditions: (1) The article must be reproduced verbatim in total without any change in content, (2) the name of the author and web site addresses must be included (as in this trailer), (3) the use must be entirely non-commercial with no fee or financial charge of any kind to the readers. Click here for more information about our copyright guidelines.
Photo credit: O'dea distributed under creative commons license Wikimedia Commons
Free audio Bible
Scripture quotations are generally from the New King James Version (NKJV), copyright 1982, 1988 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. used by permission. All rights reserved.