What Saith the Scripture?
Why Should Christians Be Date Setters?
Because Friends Share Secrets
"Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of My Father I have made known unto you"
by Tom Stewart
What about Jesus' statement: "But of that day and hour
knoweth no man, no, not the angels of Heaven, but my Father only" (Matthew 24:36)? Isn't this
verse the reason why we are not supposed to set dates for the Rapture? Not really.
Actually, the context of Matthew 24 is referring to the Second Coming of the LORD
Jesus Christ, not a Rapture. Notice the references in Matthew 24 to the word "come"
in this passage: "the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and
great glory" (24:30),
"as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be"
know not what hour your LORD doth come" (24:42), "in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh"
is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing" (24:46), and "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" (Matthew 24:50).
Even if Matthew 24 is dealing with the Second Coming of the LORD Jesus Christ, and not the Rapture-- as it does-- still, what about the statement: "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of Heaven, but my Father only" (Matthew 24:36)? The word the King James Version translates as "knoweth" is used in the Greek in the present tense. The limit, of who may know the time and hour of the Second Coming of Christ, was only to the disciples that Jesus addressed at that present time, in Matthew 24.
Why wouldn't the LORD Jesus want those disciples to know the time of His Second Advent? Because He wanted their attention drawn to the Mystery of the Church, and its ensuing 2,000 year history of redemption to the rest of the Gentile world. In other words, it wasn't the right time for the Church to know and focus on that information, which was sealed up to the time of the End. "But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased" (Daniel 12:4). Conversely, the Spirit of God is progressively divulging the understanding to the prophecies, on a "need to know basis," as we approach their actual fulfillment. "And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand" (Revelation 22:10).
Immediately before Jesus ascended back into Heaven, the disciples asked, "LORD, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?" (Acts 1:6). Jesus responded: "It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in His own power" (Acts 1:7). Jesus' answer has given some, today, the impression that it was not possible for the Church to know, in advance, the actual timing of the End Time events. He was only directing those particular disciples' attention to the immediate task of evangelizing the world and launching the Church 10 days later at Pentecost. "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth" (Acts 1:8).
The case for knowing the day and hour of the LORD Jesus' Return is built upon friendship with the LORD Jesus. He knows when He will return, and He is absolutely willing to share that information with His friends. "Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of My Father I have made known unto you" (John 15:15). Only for a short time did Jesus set aside His heavenly glory, and voluntarily limit His knowledge of the future. Thus, He rightly stated that, "of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father" (Mark 13:32). That was then. But now, He is back in Heaven where He is using all of His divine power, as the Saints' Friend and Intercessor, to show them "things to come" (John 16:13).
The secret of what is about to unfold upon the world at the end of this age is given to the righteous. "His secret is with the righteous" (Proverbs 3:32). "Surely the LORD GOD will do nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets" (Amos 3:7). It is becoming increasingly more difficult to build a case for ignorance of the timing of the Second Advent of Jesus Christ. If God could lead the Wise Men to the LORD Jesus at the First Advent, why wouldn't He lead the wise to the timing of Jesus at His Second Advent? "None of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand" (Daniel 12:10).
If Christians are the friends of the LORD Jesus Christ, then they should know what He will do and when He will do it. "Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of My Father I have made known unto you" (John 15:15).