Because Jesus said …but of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. Mt 24:36, doesn’t that mean that we shouldn’t spend too much time learning about the second coming of Christ?
To use this verse as an incentive to ignore second coming doctrine would he the same as using it as an excuse. In fact, we need only to go to the very next verse to see that is not what Christ was saying by any stretch of the imagination…. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. Mt 24:37. The keyword in this verse is watch, and that implies an active and thoughtful pondering, perusing and studying the whole aspect of the promise of his return. It is painfully obvious that Jesus did not expect us to stand around gazing into the sky all day looking for him on a white horse. The verb watch is active, and at the very least means to he aware of the full meaning of everything to do with his second coming.
We have all heard some preacher reminding us of how many times a subject is alluded to in scripture as a means of emphasizing the urgency or the validity of some particular Bible teaching. I have told others hundreds of times, just to note the times Jesus began a statement with, verily, verily. It clearly was a means of raising the seriousness of what he was saying. The scripture is not just redundant as it applies to second coming doctrine, but it is replete. The second coming messages of the Bible make up about one quarter of the entire scripture, including old and new testaments. If God saw fit to give that much attention to making Christ’s return known to us how can we dismiss it as an unneeded or extraneous doctrine that shouldn’t be given much attention? I would say that to espouse this kind of approach borders on disobedience not just misinformation or laziness.
Now more than ever before, as the signs are being fulfilled all around us we are under the greatest call of all time to study, contemplate and proclaim this most serious doctrine.
If as Jesus said, we cannot know the day or the hour. What can we know? Can we know within a year, a decade or some measurement of time’?
There are two measurements of time apart from the day or the hour that we can recognize and use without naming dates and bringing God’s disfavor upon ourselves. One of those measurements is referred to as a season, specifically summer. Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near even at the doors. Mt 24: 32-33. The entire twenty fourth chapter of Matthew has to do with the signs of the second coming, so those are the things he meant when he said, when ye shall see all these things. Without adding any other biblical cross references that pertain directly to the subject. Matthew’s passages alone should be sufficient to show us what that season is exactly. The words, know that it is near in verse thirty three hardly sound like something we are not supposed to pay much attention to. These words are a biblical imperative that clearly addresses the lackadaisical attitude some folks have about the second coming.
Taken seriously, these words mean that not only must we know the doctrine of Christ’s return, but we must know the season as well. This season must not be confused with a literal season of nature. It could be shorter or longer than that, but it is used only to convey the idea of a short period not a long stretch of years or decades. The sense of it implying only a short period is conveyed by the words…even at the doors. A pet or a child knows when you are shuffling around at the front door about to make your entrance. The front door is very close and so is the summer season when everything comes into full bloom.
The second knowable measurement of time the Bible uses is a generation. Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Mt 24:34 Taken in the context in which it was given, it is obvious that Jesus meant the generation that would actually see the signs he was describing throughout Matthew twenty four. He would have to he deceived, misinformed and sadly mistaken if he thought it would happen in his own generation. It is impossible that the Light of the World, John 8:12 was in any way deceived. In the plainest English, Jesus always knew what he was talking about.
Rev Bresciani is the author of two popular Christian books, one on the second coming of Christ. He has hundreds of articles published both online and in print.