This essay was first published on The End Time in June 2009.
Matthew 24 is a major area in the bible that foretells the conditions at the time of the end. Jesus is answering His disciples' questions about when the end shall be and what the end time conditions will be like. It is called the Olivet Discourse.
1. Jesus declined to answer the first question as to when. Mt 24:36 "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone." And He repeats this in verse 42: “Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming..."
There are many other instances in the bible where it is stated explicitly the exact time is not revealed. Likely to keep us faithful as much as to throw satan off. However, despite the clarity with which the verse is stated, there are some who still choose to interpret it as something else. "We didn't know then, but we will know now" kind of interpretations. The bible interprets the bible and where it is clear (non-parable or allegory) it means what it says!
That did not stop Steve Coerper from predicting that on Pentecost, Sunday May 31 2009 we would be raptured. His take spun off many others and there was a mini-ripple of excitement among those who decided to believe twisted interpretations of the bible rather than the bible itself. Of course Mr Coerper wrote an addendum on June 1, to all of us who are still here and of course, not raptured. (Ed Note: since 2009, many others have predicted rapture, the Tribulation, down to the day and time. Of course, all have been incorrect.]
While I agree it is exciting to think the Lord may come in the next second, and I credit people for being a watchman and doing his best to alert us to imminence, it is folly in my opinion to interpret it to the time and day! We do know the seasons, and there is much scriptural support for being watchmen and commandments to understand the times of the signs, but we will NOT KNOW THE DAY.
2. We focus on the signs in Matthew but often forget this part: verse 13: "But he that shall endures unto the end, the same shall be saved. " What hope!!!!
We can endure, we have all the strength of the Eternal God under our feet to support us. Think of the surface simplicity of those words: 'he shall be saved.' SAVED! What blessings await! What glory and honor we can offer our Lord in person! What an eternity He offers us, glorified in body and soul! SAVED means saved from hell, from sin's judgment, from everlasting darkness, pain, tribulation, torment that the chains of sin hold us under.
I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.
It matters not that the we are witnessing His efficient dismantlement of earthly and carnal idols. Because we are saved, we sing in the midst of chaos! "Many will see and put their trust in the Lord". If you're saved and you know it, act like it. Your confidence will be a blessing to someone!