“And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.”
Matthew 24: 4-6 (NKJV)
I heard on the news last night that according to one preacher Jesus is returning on May 21, 2011. The man supposedly arrived at that exact day by careful study of the Bible. But when I read about him and his prediction on the internet, I found this is not the first date he’s said Jesus was to return. I also found other people giving different dates this year for Jesus to appear and for the judgment of the earth to begin.
This is not a new phenomenon. Predictions have been going on since the first century church. There were even some preaching that Jesus had already returned. Jesus warned us about this when He said “Take heed that no one deceives you.” He then went on to tell us what to look for.
Wars and rumors of wars, nation rising against nation, famines, pestilences, and earthquakes are just the beginning. Christians being hated for being Christian, false prophets rising up and lawlessness abounding. Sounds like today’s headlines doesn’t it? The gospel of Jesus Christ is being preached around the world today in ways there were not even possible a decade ago. When you read Matthew 24, you cannot help but believe that the return of Jesus is near.
Jesus told us to look to the fig tree as a sign. “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.” Matt 24: 32-35 (NKJV)
Most Bible scholars believe the fig tree is symbolic of Israel. After Rome destroyed the temple and Jerusalem in 70 A.D., the Jews were again scattered throughout the world and there was no nation of Israel for almost 1900 years. Then on May 14, 1948 the nation of Israel was reborn in one day. The fig tree bloomed overnight. This is the reason that I believe that those of us born in this generation will see the return of Jesus.
Bible prophecy is being fulfilled almost daily. The present turmoil in the Middle East is just one more piece falling into place. Will it be May 21, 2011? I don’t know. It could be before I finish posting this blog. It could be another decade. Only God the Father know the exact date. “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.” Matt 24:36 (NKJV)
I do know this for fact: we are to be ready for His appearing at any moment and until He does appear, we are to be busy for His Kingdom, sharing the gospel with everyone. I long to see Jesus and pray for His return to come quickly, but for those who do not know Him as Lord, it will not be a glorious day. I believe the Father is waiting for as many to receive Him as will before Jesus returns.
“But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.” 2 Peter 3:8-10 (NKJV)
Peace and blessings in our Lord Jesus Christ,