Summary: Beyond salvation, we must be serving. Christians don’t know when He will return, but we know WHAT He expects! We know what to BE, and what to DO.....
A newspaper (Houston Chronicle, 11/3/92, p.11a), printed an article some years ago about the church known as Mission for the Coming Days. That “church” disbanded on Nov 2, 1992. The pastor had been put in jail...(for a very good reason)! It seems that his central message was the return of Christ on Oct 28, 1992. The members of this group numbered in the thousands, and many of them had sold property, quit schools and jobs, left families and deserted military duties. They should’ve checked the pastor’s financial portfolio first. The Korean-born minister had swindled $4 million in donations, and had $380,000 invested in bonds that wouldn’t mature until May ’93.
The Bible very plainly teaches (from cover to cover) that every person ought to be prepared for the coming of Christ. It is just as specific in telling us that we have no business setting dates on speculation.
1Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers and sisters, you do not need to have anything written to you. 2For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3When they say, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them, as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and there will be no escape! 1 Thess 5:1-3
If we accept this as so (which I do), then why study the events of the return of Christ? If I can’t know when, what difference will it make in my life today? Answer - Lots! It has to do with being obedient with what we know to be the will of God.
A church member was always speculating about odd questions. Whenever his pastor visited him he would ask questions like, Will Japanese people have yellow skin in heaven? or Will we eat animals in heaven? This man was interested in the obscure,insignificant, irrelevant theological minutiae. But he showed no concern about such clear passages as Hebrews 10.25, which warns us against forsaking our worship responsibilities. Even a practical atheist like Mark Twain knew better. He once reportedly said, It isn’t what I don’t know about the Bible that bothers me, but what I do know. Speculation isn’t serving God.
We must be more like the young supply clerk in a factory. When he came on his shift he noticed a box left on the loading dock that had "DANGER! DO NOT TOUCH" stenciled on all sides. He called his supervisor, who advised him to leave the box alone until management could make a decision on it. He wouldn’t even breathe on the ominous-looking package until the supply foreman arrived with the morning shift. He put on safety equipment and carefully opened the box. Inside were 25 signs that read "DANGER! DO NOT TOUCH".
We can be obedient to the command of God’s Word to be personally prepared for His return. The first and foremost preparation for that return is to be saved. God has destined us not for wrath but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10who died for us (1 Thess 5:9,10a).
Beyond salvation, we must be serving. Christians don’t know when He will return, but we know WHAT He expects! We know what to BE, and what to DO.....