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Are you confused when it comes to Bible prophecy and the return of Jesus? Join the crowd. Go into any Christian bookstore, or YouTube, and you will find more teachers, theories, “revelations”, dreams and prognostications than you can count. Go to Amazon and search on the term “Bible Prophecy” and you’ll get over 7,000 returns – never mind using other terms like “End times,” “The Anti-Christ”, and others.
Rather than wasting your time wading though the ocean of opinions – digesting Jesus’ words in the 5 verses we’re reading today in Mark 13:32-37 will set you in much better stead.
I’m Reid Ferguson, and we’ll have more about that in a moment on today’s edition of Through the Word in 2020.
Besides our Mark passage today, we also have Galatians 2:1-10 and 1 Kings 12:16-14:18. And a curious connection between Mark and 1 Kings.
Bible prophecy is one of those topics that not only stimulates our curiosity, for some, the need to try and tease out every detail of Jesus’ return and the events which may (or may not) surround it, have spawned more books, sermons and sadly – speculations – than can fully be digested. There is no question the Bible speaks clearly and emphatically that Jesus WILL return. That doctrine is central to Christianity itself. But prying beyond what is plainly revealed and is even warned against by Jesus Himself has led to movements, outlooks, failed guesses and even harm to many throughout the centuries.
Let’s be very clear here – in Mark 13:32-35 Jesus cannot make it any more plain than He does: “But concerning that day or that hour, NO ONE KNOWS.” (vs. 32) “You DO NOT KNOW” (vs. 33). “You DO NOT KNOW” (vs. 35). And one wonders, what part of “You DO NOT KNOW” do we have have trouble understanding? And why then do we spend outrageous time and effort trying to prove Jesus wrong?
Now the problem here is much like the one of the man of God in 1 Kings. He knew full well what God had told him about not eating and drinking after his mission. But someone came along and said they had had an angelic visitation – had new revelation that modified what he knew full well God had already said. And the end of that was tragic.
So, what about end times? “You DO NOT KNOW.” Neither do I. Neither does anyone else. And no one will have any new revelation or insight that will go beyond Jesus’ words. No matter how scholarly, how logical, how intriguing, how Biblical or spiritual sounding. We will not know beyond He has said.
And what He DID say was this: “STAY AWAKE”. Watch. Pursue His Kingdom and His righteousness. Watch, expect, and order your life toward His return. And when He comes – you won’t be able to miss it. Jesus told us that “as lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of man be in His day.” You won’t be able to miss it if you never read a single book on End Times Prophecy.
I am always amused by those who’s study of end times convinces them of certain things like the rise of a one-world government. And rail against as though they can stop it. If it has been prophesied as they believe – then what it the point?
You can’t make it happen sooner, and you can’t prevent it. None of the things He has said must come to pass can be averted. And no secret code, no revelation or dream can alter it in the least. We can’t know.
But we CAN stay awake.
Muse on that today Christian. And look for Him.
God bless. And God willing, we’ll be back tomorrow.