The Problem with Predicting Christ’s Return

Every few years a prediction arises in which someone claims to have figured out the date of Christ’s return. In 1843, a minister by the name of William Miller claimed that he cracked the biblical code and predicted that October of 1844 was when Jesus would be coming back.  This later became known as ‘The Great Disappointment.’  Several predictions occured throughout the 1980s, each obviously not coming to pass. Recently a minister by the name of Harold Camping is predicting that Christ will return May 21, 2011, and has placed billboards all over Memphis, TN with this date of return.

Now I’m all for starting discussions to get society at large talking about Jesus. But the ‘more excellent way’ is to just follow the blueprint that the Bible outlays. Draw people in with his love, not fear. In Jeremiah 31:3, God says he loves us with an everlasting love, and with lovingkindness has he drawn us. He did not draw us to Him with fear, and he definitely did not draw us in with gimmicks. I call these tactics gimmicks because they are not found in the Bible. If someone is drawn in by fear, they will not stay. If someone comes to God out of fear that the world is going to end on May 21. On May 22, they are going right back to the club once they realize he’s not coming back.

 Did not Jesus say he would come back as a thief in the night? He also said that if the owner of the house would have known how the burgler was coming, he would have been prepared for it, and not allowed the break in.  If the general population is prepared for when Jesus returns,  this passage (Matthew 24) is completely null and void. Nothing against Mr. Camping, but I have to go with Jesus on this one.

The real reason I have a problem with predicting Christ’s return is that its not in line with what He has instructed us to do. Jesus is our Lord, and He has instructed us to complete various specific assignments while we are on the earth.

Let me give an example. Suppose you are wealthy business owner who is about to go on a leave of absence abroad. While you are away, you give your staff specific assignments to carry out so that the business can run effectively while you are away. For each of your executive staff, you give detailed written instructions on how to complete each task, and even though you are away, you leave your contact number to reach you if any problems arise. Several months go by and you are still not back to your company, however you still did not receive and calls to clarify the instructions you gave. A period of a few years go by and you decide it is time to return.  Without warning you return to your office only to find your executive staff has not completed any of the assignments you gave them. Not only that, the company does not resemble anything like the way you left it and is in debt on the verge of bankruptcy.  Your staff still has not seen you return yet, so you anonymously listen to the executive meeting from outside the hallway. In the meeting, they are not discussing objectives or goals, or any of the strategies that you set forth for them to do. Instead, at the meeting they are trying to predict when you are going to return to the office. The company is falling apart because they have not worked in years and the staff is having a heated debate about whether you are going to come back in July of that year, February the following year, or even return at all. How would you respond once you opened that door at the meeting? Would you be pleased with them?

Well God has given us specific assignments to do while He is away. He has instructed us to teach and make disciples of all nations. Preach the Gospel to every creature, lay hands on the sick, deliver the captives, do the same works He did. In fact, He told us to do greater works. 2000 years after He gave these instructions, His company (the church) does not even resemble the way He left it, and most of the employees have not even worked a day after the orientation (getting born again) or even called in for their specific instructions (prayer).

Now let me ask you this question. Do you really want Jesus to come in May?

Demonstrate It!


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