Summary: Today I want to speak to you about a touchy subject; today we will be dealing with the issue of prophecy about the Lord’s return.
Today I want to speak to you about a touchy subject; today we will be dealing with the issue of prophecy about the Lord’s return. But before proceeding I wish to make a clarification. I want it to be very clear that I’m not a prophet, and I definitely don’t know the date of Jesus’ return. I want to make it very clear that with what we are about to explore I'm not saying, or implying, that Jesus’ return or the end of the world as we know will happen soon. I want it to be very clear that the purpose of this preaching is not to scare or frighten anyone, the purpose of this preaching is to make us wake up to the events that are happening around us. Keeping these clarifications in mind I now ask: how many of you have heard the news about the sudden death of birds and fish that occurred recently? This news hasn’t been largely published, and is definitely unknown to many, but nevertheless it happened. For those who are unaware of this news, allow me to make a brief summary of what happened.
On New Year's Eve thousands of birds fell dead from the sky in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Kentucky; officials are perplexed as to what caused these birds to drop dead from the sky. But the most interesting part is that it doesn’t stop here. According to reports, millions of dead fish appeared in the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland in the U.S., on Tuesday, while the similar mass death of fish, and without explanation, also occurred around the world in Brazil and New Zealand. The news sources reported that 100 tons of dead fish have reached the shores of Brazil's fishing villages since last Thursday. The cause of death is unknown. Something that we must realize is that officials have investigated these deaths, and no one can provide an explanation as to why they happened. Some have said that it was due to changes in climate, others that they were as a result from fireworks, or similar things, but although they have conducted all sorts of tests and autopsies, no one has been able to determine the exact cause of death. Now I ask: are these things happening by chance or by nature? A question to ponder. Let’s now continue our study for today.
1 Thessalonians 5:1-6 - But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. 2For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. 3For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. 4But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. 5You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. 6Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.
A great reality is that you don’t have to be a prophet or a Bible scholar to recognize that the Lord's return is imminent with each passing day. Another great truth is that through history there have always been people who claim to know the exact date of the Lord’s return. Throughout history there have been men and women who have used the “…day of the Lord…” to intimidate and manipulate people and many have been misled and even robbed. This is something that has happened because man is fascinated by this date. All of us want to know the exact date of the “…day of the Lord…”, but the reality is that nobody knows or can ever know. This is something that the Lord lets us know quite clearly in Matthew 24:36-37 when we read: “…But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. 37But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be…” Tell the person sitting next to you: don’t be fooled.
How did people act and continued to act in "the days of Noah"? The Lord answers this question in Matthew 24:38-39 when we read: “…For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be…” As you can see, the world at the time was acting, not unlike the world today. In other words, everyone was so involved in their daily life that no one was paying attention to God. Unfortunately this is the sad reality for a large portion humanity today; everyone is so busy and preoccupied with their daily life that they don’t pay attention, or are unwilling to submit to God. Why is this happening?