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Jesus Will Return (We Just Don’t Know When)
Leading up to the failed annonucement by Harold Camping that Jesus Christ would rapture the Church on May 21, 2011, I was one of those who were very critical of Mr. Camping and date setting. I never, as some did, get to the point of almost mocking the thought that Jesus would return but in my heart I had to be careful not to think that Jesus couldn’t come whenever He so chooses to return. The Scripture offers nothing about this. Jesus could return today or tomorrow or a thousand years from now but rest assured, the Bible says that Jesus will return.
All of this led me to agree with Dr. R.C. Sproul who wrote about Camping over at his site. Sproul states that Campbell is not a false prophet. Just a poor Bible teacher. He states that a prophet would have said, “Thus saith the Lord, I am coming back on May 21, 2011.” Instead Camping said, “Based on my study of Scripture, Jesus will return on May 21.” Bad exegesis is not the same as making prophetic declarations from God. False prophets usually claim to be speaking for God but Camping claimed he deduced Jesus’ coming based on Scripture. There is a difference.
All of us, when it comes to end times events, live like the disciples did before the cross. We just don’t see it. The Apostles are often criticized for not understanding Jesus’ words about His death and resurrection such as in Matthew 16:21-23. Even after Jesus rose from the dead His disciples still did not understand what the Scriptures taught about His resurrection until Jesus opened their understanding (see Luke 24:25-27). We live this side of the cross and the empty tomb. They lived on that side. Someday we will be on the other side and we will understand end times events and how they all matched up to glorify Jesus Christ. Until then, we can only guess. And that is just what we do.
I know some Bible teachers speak with authority that they know what is going to happen in the end of the world. I don’t think they do. I think all of us search the Scriptures looking for clues about Jesus’ return. I know I want to see Him. I want to behold His return. Yet I don’t know when He will come back and it perhaps will or will not be in my lifetime. Yet I read Hebrews 9:28 and I continue to wait for Him. I read 1 Thessalonians 1:10 and I continue to wait for Him. I read 2 Peter 3:11-13 and I wait for Him. Jesus said in John 14:1-3 that He was going away to prepare a place for me so I believe that He is truthful (Titus 1:2) and that He will keep His promises as He always has.
So in the end, Harold Camping was wrong. Yet Jesus will return. I don’t know when but He will come again. I believe we should not make any guesses about when that will be. Only God knows. I trust God and I will continue to serve Him by faith (Hebrews 11:6).
© 2011, Matt. All rights reserved.
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