Pastor Sam Crosby
September 19, 2017
San Saba’s First Baptist Church
A Fox News headline reads, “Biblical prophecy claims the world will end on September 23, Christian numerologists claim.” Throughout my ministry, free books have arrived in the mail from various sources claiming special insight to the end of time, the coming of the Lord and the final judgment of God. I usually throw them away. This article refers to “codes from the Bible,” a “date marker” in the pyramids, and planetary collision. I have a poetic response: “Though the author succeeded in making a splash; his prophecy needs to be thrown in the trash.”
No one knows when the Lord will return to gather His Church and then pour out His wrath upon this world. We just don’t know. He certainly didn’t leave any special clues in the pyramids. Jesus taught His disciples signs to look for when the season is approaching, but clearly and simply declared, “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, NIV). He could not have made it any clearer.
There is a reason the Lord shrouds that date from our knowledge. He wants us to be ready all the time. Jesus taught, “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come…. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him” (Matthew 24:42,44, NIV). Paul explained, “Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night” (I Thessalonians 5:1-2, NIV). Every generation is supposed to live in anticipation of the coming of Jesus.
But, yes, we can know the season. Again, Jesus taught His disciples, “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. When they are already budding, you see and know for yourselves that summer is near. So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near” (Luke 21:29-31, NIV). The “things” Jesus refers to include signs in the sky, distress of nations, the sea and waves roaring, and “men’s hearts failing them from fear” (Luke 21:25-28). Truly these signs have been present in every generation but seem to increase in occurrence and intensity. When two hurricanes make landfall and two more threaten from sea, I tend to ask the question, “God, are you trying to get our attention?”
God wants His people to live for Him every day. It is the will of God that all the world turn from their sins and turn to Jesus Christ for salvation. Here is a novel idea: quit setting dates about the end of time and simply set your focus on Christ. If your focus is on the Lord, the date will not matter.