It would appear that about every three decades someone comes along with God all figured out. In the late 1980s, a fellow named Edgar Whisenant invested a fortune to announce that he had it all figured out and Jesus Christ would return in 1988. He was dead certain and backed it up by spending untold amounts on pamphlets and publicity to alert the world. His pamphlet “88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Be in 1988” was printed in the millions. Alas, when the year came and went, he said he had miscalculated and the Advent would be in 1989. Eventually, he said, “Well, soon.” He died in 2001.
The Jehovah’s Witnesses leadership used to come up with dates with a certain regularity. But when the 1976, I think it was, event did not come off as they had promised, we are told that one million members of that heretical cult bailed out. They’ve not done it since, having finally learned their lesson.
Listen. I’m all in favor of the Lord’s return. Scripture promises it and I believe Scripture. But what I do not believe are all these know-it-alls who are smarter than the Savior who said, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only” (Matthew 24:36).
A couple more thoughts…
–When you read such articles as this one in last Friday’s paper, look at it closely and you will often find their bias. The writers of the above piece are Sabbath-worshipers apparently angry that most of Christendom does not buy into their slant. Neither did the Apostle Paul. He said, “So let no one judge you in food or drink or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ” (Colossians 2:16-17). A Seventh Day Adventist tried to argue with me that Paul was talking about a certain kind of sabbath and not the weekly day of worship. But read it in context and you’ll see he says no such thing. He says “sabbaths,” plural.
Our Lord said it like this: “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27). That surely is a warning not to let the emphasis get out of proportion as the Pharisees and others had done.
–Christians do not worship on the Lord’s Day only. We worship every day. We worship on Saturdays and Sundays and Mondays and so forth.
–I’d love to see a little humility in prophecy interpreters. After all, a little historical perspective should convince them that all who have come before them have gotten it wrong. And yet, stick around and watch, because every few years another group will arise with all the answers and more knowledge than Jesus, and they will dupe the unwary and call you demonic for opposing them. When their dates come and go with nothing happening, they suddenly go silent. What you’d like to have would be a full apology from them for all the people they have slandered.
Don’t hold your breath.
–I’ve told here how a member of one of my churches kept after me to let her teach a class on Revelation. According to my friends, this lady had it all figured out and had the charts to back it up. I was warned, “She runs off those who disagree with her, so if you give her a class she’ll kill it.” Finally, I said to her, “We will let you teach Revelation on two conditions. First, we’ll give you the room but you’ll have to build your own class.” (This way, she would not be destroying a class that was already in operation.) “And second, at the end of each session, you must say to your class, ‘That’s how it seems to me; I could be wrong.’”
She was horrified at the suggestion she could be mistaken. And that’s why she never taught her class in our church.
–In the last chapter of 2 Peter, we’re told that “the untaught and unstable” twist Paul’s writings and get things from them never intended. In so doing, they “twist (these) to their own destruction.” At the time this epistle was written, as far as we know the Revelation of John had not been given or penned. But you can just imagine how much more could be said about how “the untaught and unstable twist” the Revelation to make it say what was never intended, and in so doing, they pervert the faith of the unwary and easily duped.
“Even so, come Lord Jesus.” (Revelation 22:20).
This article originally appeared here.