“But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; And shall begin to smite his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of. And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Can we know the day of Christ’s Return? Yes and no!!
We all have a major responsibility to teach others all the things Jesus told us about concerning the End Times. If we have been given that knowledge by Him and yet do not tell others, or if we tell them “…My lord delayeth his coming”, we are lying and God will hold us accountable for NOT telling them what He has said. For that He will punish us along with “…the hypocrites.” Of course, the immediate response of the naysayers is always to quote Mark 13:32-33:
“But of that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is.”
Which Return are they talking about, the Rapture or His Second Coming? I guess from their viewpoint, if Jesus has not yet returned, He may be delaying His Return. Therefore it is only presumptuous for me to say we CAN know when He will Return. Of course, here we must separate the soon Coming of Jesus in the clouds at the Rapture for His Believers and later His Second Coming at Armageddon where he touches His feet on the ground on the Mount of Olives and takes control of this world. We DON’T know when He will come at the Rapture.
However, we are told global power will be given to the anti-christ for 3 1/2 years (“And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.” – Revelation 13:5) and after that Jesus will come back at His Second Coming 42 months later (3 1/2 years). Therefore, we know if power and authority is given to the anti-christ to rule the world starting at the Abomination of Desolation (midway through the 7 year Tribulation period) and Jesus will return exactly 1,260 days later, we actually CAN KNOW the day of Christ’s Second Coming at Armageddon IF we were to witness the Abomination of Desolation and also KNOW what the Bible teaches!
How can I be so certain of our ability to tell the “time” of Jesus’s Return when the Bible CLEARLY says no man knows the hour nor the day, not the angels in Heaven and not even Jesus Himself but God only? Have you ever heard of the Greek words ginosko and oida? Please take a read of one of my very first articles The Rapture – God’s Promise Basically, the Scripture above uses both words (ginosko and oida) in the exact same sentence. Why use two different words to say the word to “know”? Because the Greek word ginosko basically means you absolutely can’t know it whereas the Greek word oida means it is not readily apparent but it can be eventually understood through vigilant study. If I were to rephrase the verse above with the absolute Greek meanings, it would read like this:
“But of that day and hour you absolutely cannot know (ginosko) with certainty because ONLY God knows. But take heed, WATCH AND PRAY; for it is not readily apparent (know-oida) when the time is.” According to this the Bible says through study and the Holy Spirit, you can know! Why is that important?
“And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.”
I will be the first to say we cannot and will not know the EXACT day of Christ’s Return at the Rapture. However, we have been told in numerous places about the “season” of His Second Coming at Armageddon (different from the Rapture) and that the generation alive to witness all the things He told us about in the Last Days, especially the return of the Jews to Israel and the refounding of their God Promised land, that “Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” – Matthew 24:34. The miraculous rebirth of the nation of Israel occurred on May 14, 1948! That generation is still alive but aging rapidly! Jesus Himself told us the generation that saw these things WILL NOT die until all He prophesied about has happened!
“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me SHALL NOT WALK IN DARKNESS (capitals mine), but shall have the light of life.”
“But ye, brethren, ARE NOT IN DARKNESS (capitals mine), that that day (His Return) should overtake you as a thief.”
1 Thessalonians 5:4
Basically, the Bible gives us many precedents of the events which will occur in the Last Days. By studying them we know what must happen BEFORE He Returns. We are not in darkness or confusion! If you don’t know or don’t believe in what the Bible says, you are in darkness! And, amazingly, those things are happening today EXACTLY as the Bible said they would. And if Jesus says we shall see all those things and then the end will come, we must be aware and vigilant!
“…and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise (Believers) shall understand.”
Of course, as one who believes in the pre-tribulation Rapture (one who believes Jesus will Return at the Rapture PRIOR to the 7 years of horror of the Tribulation) to take His Believers out of harm’s way in the same way God took Noah out of the Flood and He took Lot out of Sodom and Gomorrah before their destruction, I know I will not KNOW the date of His Return at the Rapture. Actually, as a Believer in Jesus Christ the day and time of His Return at the Rapture is irrelevant! We simply must be ready now and looking forward to it! If however, you don’t believe and are left behind and eventually do come to believe in Jesus during the Tribulation, you actually will know (if you are not in darkness, but in light) when He is going to Return. It will be 7 years after the signing of the Peace Treaty with Israel; 3 1/2 years after the Abomination of Desolation where the anti-christ (world ruler) will walk into the then rebuilt 3rd Holy Jewish Temple in Jerusalem and stop the animal sacrifice, proclaiming himself to be God and demand to be worshipped as God. The armies of the world, including a 200 million man army from the east (China) will gather at Armageddon to once and for all attempt to destroy God’s Chosen people, the Jews.
I fully understand there are some who believe we as Christians must go through the trials and horrors of the Tribulation because of our basic sinful nature even though Jesus Christ died for our sins and if we have asked for forgiveness, we are already forgiven. Jesus Promised us we WON’T have to suffer through the Tribulation.
“Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation (Tribulation), which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.”
“For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.”
1 Thessalonians 5:9
While we cannot know the day or hour of Christ’s Return at the Rapture we can be prepared! Simply recognize we have all sinned for which the penalty from God is death. BUT, if we accept Jesus died in our place for our sins and ask Him for forgiveness of our sins we can know with certainty when He does Return we will be saved and will spend eternity with Him. Now that is comforting! But, don’t forget, we have all been told to tell others of His gift to us. We can do this by telling them the truth of His Word, the Holy Bible and in doing so will do what He has asked us to do and that is to “…therefore comfort one another with these words.”
May God Bless you!