“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.” (2 Peter 3:10)
I predict Jesus will return on … Makes for a catchy headline, but I have not a clue when Jesus will return.
I can no more predict the end of the world and Jesus’ return as I can what the stock market will do tomorrow or what my wife is going to make for dinner (although if I say “meatloaf” I have better than a 50 percent chance of being right).
The truth is, no one knows the appointed time of His return, not even Jesus.
In Matthew 24:36, Jesus tells us: “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come.” (For a deeper look at the signs of the end times, Matthew 24 lays the groundwork.)
Right before he ascended to Heaven, Jesus admonished the disciples when they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
Jesus said to them, “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.” (Acts 1:7)
Again, only God the Father knows when Jesus will return. So …
Other Notable Failure to Predict Jesus’ Return
Let me ask you a personal question. If Jesus came tonight, would you be ready?
It may be today, it may be tomorrow, it may be 50 years from now.
Man, weak of faith and strong on speculation, continues to predict the end times, prodded by endless global catastrophes.
Surely many thought Jesus would return to spare them from the Influenza pandemic of World War I that killed upwards of 100 million globally.
Our Jewish brethren may have felt the world was reaching apocalyptic proportions when 6 million of them were killed at the hands of the Nazis.
The world was plunged into Hitler’s reign of terror in World War II that caused roughly 85 million deaths.
But Jesus didn’t return. Perhaps the Chinese thought the world was ending when the Yangtze River spilled its banks and millions died in the subsequent floods of 1931.
More recently, how many thought the end was near when the world was hit by two catastrophic earthquakes and accompanying tsunamis?
In 2004, they struck countries around the Indian Ocean, killing 230,000.
In 2011, Japan was the victim, with more than 15,000 killed. And yet, Jesus did not return.
Still others predicted the end would come when the Mayan calendar ended in 2012.
ISIS, a modern-day killing machine, is sweeping across the Middle East like the scythe of death in the name of radical Islam.
Surely, Jesus must be coming any day now, right?
Despite the fact that speculation is pure folly, many scholars and theologians through the years have tried to predict Jesus’ return to the day.
The most notorious is radio evangelist Harold Camping, who died in 2013 at age 92. His “Judgment Day, May 21, 2011” billboards made him the darling of the news media.
Even when his prediction failed, he would “recalculate it” … until he gave up. Yes, we know Jesus is coming. No, we don’t know when, so …
Are You Ready to Be With Jesus?
The fact remains. Jesus will be back to take His church out of this world.
“That time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.” (Mark 13:26-27)
Wouldn’t it be more advantageous to just be ready so you aren’t left behind?
Having your bags packed and waiting at the door is a good escape plan.
Of course you won’t need your bags when Jesus comes, but you get the point.
Being ready means being ready to go anytime. You don’t have to predict, you don’t have to guess, you don’t have to be anxious.
When the time of His arrival comes, you’ll be ready. How?
By accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Live your life for Him and you will be ready.
“When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.” (Colossians 3:4)
When that appointed hour comes, then you’ll truly know what it means to say, I am Not of This World … literally.
“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see.”
Like the famous song says, that sweet sound is the promises of God through His Son Jesus.
If you call on the name of Jesus, you will be saved (Romans 10:13).
So, the question remains … if Jesus came today, would you get left behind?
Are You Ready to Get Ready?
Through one man, Adam, all men have sinned.
Through one man, Jesus, all can come to repentance, be washed of their sins forever and have eternal life.
Maybe you are the one God is waiting on. 2 Peter 3:9 says:
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
Ready to repent of your sins? Ready to accept Jesus as the Lord of your life? Ready to get ready?
In the quiet of the moment, pray for Jesus to come into your life.
Here’s a sinner’s prayer to help you:
Jesus, I believe you died for my sins and rose again. I repent of my sins and ask your forgiveness.
Jesus, I want you to come into my heart and into my life. Your word in Romans 10:9 promises, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
I want to be saved. I confess Jesus as Lord of my life and accept Jesus as my personal Savior. According to His Word, right now I am a new creature in Christ.
Thank you Jesus for dying in my place on the cross, and by doing so, have freed me from sin and given me eternal life with you.
If you prayed that prayer, the angels in heaven are rejoicing right now.
You are no longer of this world. You won’t get left behind. Your bags are packed. You are ready.