Only the Father knows the dates and times

November 13, 2017

Acts 1:7-8   He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
 
Are you tired of hearing all the prophecies that say how the world is about to end?  On September 23, 2017, according to David Meade, an asteroid named Nibiru was supposed to collide with Earth.  I met a guy on one of my trips this past spring who was trying to get me ready for this date.  He even added that NASA was hiding something that the world needed to hear about this asteroid. 
 
You probably don’t remember the name Harold Camping, but many years ago he prophesied that the earth was supposed to end on May 21, 2011.  When that day came and passed, he changed his mind and told the press that he got his math wrong; and that the date was actually October 21, 2011.  If you are reading this you are aware that those days also came and went.
 
When people ask me what I think about the prediction of dates, I always tell them what the Bible says, “"But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father (Matthew 24:36).”
 
I don’t see the point in trying to predict what the scripture says that God will not reveal.  However, others think very differently.  Acts 1:7 says, “It is not for us to know the times or periods.”  What does this mean?  It means simply that!  However, Matthew 24:7 says, “As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be at the coming of the Son of Man…”  As you know from that story, the flood took that generation completely unaware.  There was only one family that was saved from that storm no matter how much creative license Hollywood likes to afford itself.  Luke 17:7 says, “People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.”
 
If scripture teaches us anything, it is that we should live in a state of mind where Christ can return at any moment.  To me, this is the essence of the story of the Five Wise Virgins (Matthew 25:1-13).  They had their lamps trimmed and had plenty of oil as they waited for the bridegroom to come to them before the wedding banquet.  The five unwise were not ready and had to go to get more oil, and when they returned, they missed the bridegroom’s arrival.
 
If it is not for us to know the days or times of his coming, then what should we focus on?  We need to focus on exactly what Christ told us to focus on.  We should preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth. As we do this, we are preparing the way of the Lord.  Mark 13:10 says, “ And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations.”  The Lord told us there would be wars, earthquakes, famines and sorrows.  He told us there would be persecutions as we witnessed, but the gospel had to be preached.  As we focus on the good news of Christ, and preach him boldly everywhere, we go we are doing as Christ would have us do.
 
Stop worrying about extraneous things like dates and times.   You will have your hour with the Lord.  We will all appear before his judgement seat.  I want to be judged for my fruitfulness, not for making things up and confusing the people.  We can even make ourselves a mockery to the world by predicting things that don’t come to pass.  Let’s focus on Christ, the author and the finisher of our faith.
 
The world will end.  The Bible says it.  But it won’t be when we are aware.  It will come and we will be transformed.  In the twinkling of an eye we will be changed.  We will be with him as he is.  What a promise that is!  But until that day, keep shining for the world to see.  Keep showing them what Christ does to a life that is changed by him.
 
I pray that you will be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might.  I pray that you will valiantly preach the gospel wherever you may be found.  God be with you and make his face shine upon you.

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