It is human nature to want to know every parameter of an event. What is the event? Who is invited to the event? Where is the event? When is the event?
Jesus Christ has announced His return in glory, power, and judgment at the end of the world (Mt 24–25). His angels will gather the resurrected, elect people of God from the four winds. The sound of His coming will be that of a trumpet summoning an army to formation. The sign of the Son of Man will be seen by all humanity, that is, all people who were ever created by God, because all will be resurrected from the dead: some to judgment and some to glory.
The return of Jesus Christ will be a global event, which has been decreed, in the eternal counsel of God before creation. Even as time and space were being created, a date was already set for the Son of God, who is the Son of man, to come again to earth. Jesus granted many signs to inform those who love the prospect of His appearing, and who are faithfully serving Him, until He comes again.
On that day, time will be no more, because space will be melting under the fervent heat of God’s just judgment. The enemies of God will call for the rocks to fall on them, desiring to escape the wrath of the Lamb. Those who have the Lamb’s cleansing blood applied to them, will rejoice with the salvation He brings to them. They will be clothed in glorified bodies, with glorified souls, robed in white — a symbol of purity and holiness.
People want to know the hour, the date, of Christ’s second coming (2 Pet 3:8). God has not revealed this information. Jesus informed His disciples that only God the Father knows the hour of Christ’s second advent. We know some of the events of that day, but no man will know when that day will come…until that day arrives.
Jesus also included the angels in the group left with the unveiled mystery of the time. If no angel knows the date, surely no man could possibly know the hour. In His humanity, during His earthly ministry, Jesus claimed that He, too, did not know when His own return would occur.
The secret things belong to God (Dt 29:29), and the timing of Christ’s glorious appearing, at the end of the age, is a secret thing. Thus, the return of Christ serves as a test and a filter. Even as the angels wait patiently, so God’s elect must also wait. So even the glorified saints in heaven are constrained to ask, “How long?” as they wait patiently with us.
Patience is a spiritual gift, manifested in the saint, by the indwelling work of the Holy Spirit. Hence, those who do not have the Spirit of God’s Son in them are inclined to have no hope of His coming. They do not believe, and so they live recklessly, which all men would do if we knew the date! Procrastination is a known reality to all who dwell in dullness and sluggishness upon the earth. If we knew the date, we would wait until that time to serve Him.
The suspense of time stirs the Christian heart, to want to be found faithfully serving Christ, on the day of His visit. We know His visit was planned long ago. We know it was announced. Every generation is gifted with the stated, precursory signs. The saint patiently labors, in the blessed hope, of the glory to be revealed to him.
Christian discipline is greatly enhanced by the unknown date. Love for Christ is proved. Belief in Christ is proved. Talk of His coming continues and is renewed with each war, famine, pestilence, apostasy, and Gospel advance. The hypocrite unbeliever lives and speaks, as if the owner of her soul is not even real. She proves herself, in light of the test, of the promise of His coming. She scoffs at His promise, yet unfulfilled. She is impatient because she is an unbeliever.
Christian, God was patient with you while you spent your years in vanity and shame. Should you not be patient with Him, and the anticipation of His return? Redeem the time; labor as unto the Lord; serve Him with your whole heart, soul, mind, and strength, to show yourself approved. Your reward will be great when our Master returns, on the exact date, known only to God. He is coming soon, just as He said. You know this to be true…so be ready!
Spokane Valley, Washington
December 3, 2021