Until The Shout

End Time Wisdom? Blessed Are The Balanced!

20.05.2011

Blog

As is the case with many topics, the devil loves to polarize our view points.  Knowing the extremes on both ends are generally wrong, the devil will polarize our view points to fracture our unity and distract us from the Truth.  

Many are making a mockery of Mr. Harold Camping for claiming the Rapture will occur, well, tomorrow. They quickly (and rightly) site Matthew 24:36 – “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only”.   Mr. Camping has been so bold as to not only set the date but the hour (6pm EST) also!  Indeed, he is not merely terribly misguided but a false prophet. 

But in response to Mr. Camping’s claims, I hear many Christians swinging to the opposite extreme.  They will say that we are to know nothing of the time, completely dismissing very valid signs all around us that the end time prophecies are being fulfilled right before our eyes.  (In fact, Mr. Camping and his prediction is one such sign in and of itself!  Matthew 24:5 & 23-24).  While they acknowledge that Jesus will in fact return “someday”, they disavow our ability to have any specific knowledge of it.  They poke fun at men like Camping and go about life as usual.  The tragedy here is that we loose all sense of urgency and even awareness. 

Those in the “we cannot know” camp, do precious little but give lip service to His “eventual” return while continuing to live as they always have.  Is there any wonder the church (in America at least) has lost nearly all points of reference for holiness?  Just because we cannot know what we are not meant to know, do not forsake knowing what we ARE meant to know!  Recently, I even heard a dear saint proclaim, “I just want Jesus to surprise me!” The Truth is, while we may not know the “day or hour”, neither are we to be caught by surprise!  The Bible tells us in no less than a dozen places that the wise will recognize the season of His return and the righteous are NOT to be caught by surprise. 

We are meant to recognize and understand the “season”, figuratively speaking, of His return which is specifically defined in the Bible.  Can we understand everything perfectly? Of course not.  Can we preach the events preceding His return with a zero margin of error? No.  But, virtually every prophet in the OT mentions His return not simply in general terms but in specific terms.  Likewise, in the NT, virtually every writer gives specific details as to the “end times” and the “day (time) of the Lord”.  

Jesus, Himself said: “Behold, I have told you in advance.”  He scolded the Pharisees in Matthew 16:1-3 and His disciples, (and therefore us) in Matthew 24:32-33; Luke 21:28; and Mark 13:28 for not properly discerning the “season”.   Very, very specific Bible prophecies regarding His return are being fulfilled all around us and many Christians are either dismissing these events or are completely unaware of them.  Our unawareness has cost us our sense of true expectancy.

If we truly believe that our Lord Jesus is really returning (and you can trust His Word, it will be sooner than most think) then it will be demonstrated by the way we live.  We will be endeavoring to conform our lives to the image of Jesus Christ, joyfully, enthusiastically and urgently!  I have said before, an intense desire for the day of the Lord shines light in the darkest places, breaks the seductions of flesh, and renews hope in the midst of the greatest desperation.  Our faith is to see what the lost world cannot – and to live accordingly. 

Rest assured I nor Until The Shout Ministries will ever be caught proclaiming a day or an hour.  We will however, encourage believers in the imminent return of Christ by pointing to the signs of the times (as the Bible defines them), fulfilled prophecies, and proclaim the Word of God – Until The Shout!

Blessings,

Brian

6 COMMENTS

  1. Justin says:

    Very good Brian! My entire problem with people citing Matthew 24 and the nobody knows verse is that they use it out of context. They will tell you quickly that “not even Jesus knows.” Which was true when He spoke it. However the opening lines of the book of Revelation are “Revelation 1:1 (HCSB)
    1 The revelation of Jesus Christ that God gave Him to show His slaves what must quickly take place.” And on throughout the book as you well know Jesus tells us what it about to go on. It is my belief that the Father has told Jesus all of the plan. That verse in Matthew was true when Jesus was earthbound and not ascended. It doesnt mean Jesus was wrong or Jesus said anything untrue but as many verses in the Bible are not stand alone verses neither is this one. It is quoted without taking the entirety of scripture into context. We can know the season and are expected to know the season as you have accurately pointed out. We need to quit hanging our collective hats on “churchy” expressions that are as empty of accuracy and biblical relevance as anything a lost person can say and we need to STUDY the Word of God. Are we not quickly approaching the days of Noah? They had a complete disregard for God and his Word. They did what was right in their own eyes. So do we. I bet a lot of them even attended some form of worship service thinking they were doing the right thing. Then they figured out they couldnt swim.

  2. Why do Christians continue to set dates concerning the return of Jesus? As I said at the beginning of this article, interest in the second coming of Jesus Christ began in the early church. I believe the desire to see His return is a God-given desire to those who believe in Him. The apostle Paul wrote, “12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ; 14 Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” (Titus 2:12-14) Because of this desire I believe some people try to “help” the Lord fulfill His prophetic word. God had promised to give Abraham his one desire, a son. Instead of waiting on the Lord to fulfill His promise, Abraham tried to “help” the Lord out by sleeping with one of his wife’s handmaids. This resulted in the birth of Ishmael which eventually led to many problems for Abraham and his Jewish descendants. God, according to His timing, did fulfill His promise with the birth of Isaac. The problem with Christian date-setting is that it is clearly contrary to the word of God. Jesus said concerning His return, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.” (Matthew 24:36) In the article above Harold Camping stated, “I know it’s absolutely true, because the Bible is always absolutely true.” Therefore Mr. Camping and all the Christians throughout history should have known that the return of Jesus Christ will be in God’s timing and that we will never know the precise date of that timing. This truth notwithstanding, we will once again be subjected to Apocalyptic Fever next year as we approach the Mayan prophetic date of December 21, 2012.

  3. THE RETURN OF THE KING MATTHEW 24:1-51 We all want to be safe and secure. Yet many things can threaten our security—losing our job, our income, our health, our loved ones. Our ability to handle these threats will depend on the source of our security. Matthew 24 focuses on the destruction of Jerusalem and the return of Christ. The true issue of Christ’s return is not the “hows” or “whens” that fascinate us. Rather we must learn to live in the present in light of the future. We must learn the true source of our security.

  4. Walter Clark says:

    Verse 43 illustrates the unexpected nature of Christ’s coming. If the house owner had known when the robber would break in he would have been prepared. However, thieves always come when least expected. In similar fashion, Christ’s coming will be unexpected. If we knew when it would occur we could be sure to make preparations in time. As it is the only way to be secure is to be prepared at all times for his coming. Verses 45-51 contain a parable of a servant put in charge of caring for the master’s household. This included feeding the other servants. The master will be gone for a long time, though that detail is not mentioned at the beginning of the parable. The temptation for the servant in charge will be to assume that his master’s return will not be soon and so to abuse the privileges and responsibilities he has been given. Jesus’ point is that blessing will only come to the servant if he is fulfilling his master’s instructions. If he is discovered abusing his responsibility, sudden and devastating judgment will come upon him. In similar fashion, our security lies in obedient service to God. When we violate our stewardship we place ourselves at terrible risk when Christ returns.

  5. bjohnson says:

    A good word Walter. However, I would clarify the term security in this context. For the believer, his eternal security is not at stake in terms of his salvation but his eternal reward absolutely is. Christians often forget the we will stand before the Judgement Seat of Christ where our works/service (not our souls) will be judged. Many take our eternal rewards for granted but the Bible says that without them, we will certainly “suffer loss”. The loss or our reward due to, as you mention, our disobedient or complacent lifestyle will effect us deeply. This is what Paul refers to when he says that he serves diligently so that he, himself would not be disqualified (from reward). If the apostle Paul is worried about being disqualified how much more should we! Blessings to you Walter, until the shout!

  6. bjohnson says:

    “Rather we must learn to live in the present in light of the future.” Your right Robbie. Many Christians say they believe in the return of Christ but then live as though He is never coming back. Instead of sensationalizing His return, we should be mindful of our lifestyle in light of the reality of His return. A clear understanding of the reality of the future return of Christ, first and foremost, should change the way we live! Blessings to you Robbie, Until the Shout!