God's Prophetic Word
Is it possible to know WHEN the Lord will return?
Our Lord Jesus made it clear that no one knows the exact day and hour of His coming. He said in Matt. 24:36, “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” And, when He comes, He will come like a “thief in the night”, i.e., unexpectedly. So , if
We can’t know the exact time of His coming, and
He will come at a time when He’s not expected,
Then why should we even talk about the timing of His coming?
Well, Paul did say in I Thess. 5:2, “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.” But he went on to say that that is only true for “others” who are “in darkness”, “But ye, brethren are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.” (I Thess. 5:4-6)
Jesus said as He was finishing His Olivet Discourse where He described many of the signs that would point to His return, “So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, KNOW that it is near, even at the doors.” (Matt. 24:33) So, according to the Lord, even though we can’t know the exact time of His coming, we can know when it is near!
Hebrews 10:25 exhorts us, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” So, it is obvious that we should be able to “see the day approaching” (the day of His coming).
And not only can we see it, He expects us to see it! He strongly rebuked some unbelieving Pharisees because they could recognize the weather signs that forecasted the next day's weather, but failed to see the signs of their day that identified Him as the Messiah. “O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?” (Matt. 16:3) Wouldn’t our Lord be just as disappointed in us if we failed to recognize the many signs that He gave us that point to His return ?
I’m convinced that the next great event of this age is the Rapture of the Church! Soon, “the Lord Himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then, we which are alive remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air:” (I Thess. 4:16-17) Shortly after that, the Antichrist will confirm a treaty with Israel, marking the beginning of “The Tribulation” (Dan. 9:27). At the end of that seven year period, our Lord Jesus will return to this earth in great glory with His saints (Matt. 24:27-30,Zech. 14:3-5, 9). He will destroy His enemies, lock up Satan, and establish His Kingdom on this planet where He will rule in peace, righteousness and justice for one thousand years (Rev. 20:4). Then, Satan will be loosed for a time to deceive the nations of the earth one last time. He will lead them in rebellion against the Lord, but God Himself will destroy them and throw Satan into the eternal lake of fire (Rev. 20:7-10). God will then judge the unredeemed of all ages at His Great White Throne (Rev. 20:11-15). He will create a new heaven and a new earth and there, the saints of all ages will enter into the eternal presence of God (Rev. 21).