READ: Matthew 24:1-8
Of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. —Matthew 24:36
To many Londoners, 1666 looked like the year when Jesus would return. Prophecy enthusiasts had added 1,000 years since Christ’s birth to 666, the number of Antichrist, to arrive at the date 1666.
The world did seem to be on the verge of destruction when in 1665 a plague claimed the lives of 100,000 people in London. Then in September 1666, a London fire destroyed tens of thousands of buildings. Some wondered, Didn’t the Bible predict catastrophes at the end of the world? (see Matt. 24:1-8). Yet the year 1666 passed, and life went on seemingly as it had before.
Even in our own day, there are those who have predicted the end of the world. A date is predicted, the media covers the frenzy, and then that day passes uneventfully.
In God’s wisdom, the actual time of Christ’s return has been kept from us. Jesus said, “Of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only” (Matt. 24:36). This any-moment aspect of Jesus’ return helps keep believers motivated in Christian service and spiritual growth all the time—not just near a certain date (25:1-13; 1 John 3:2-3). Be assured, Christ’s personal return will take place. And as we await that day, our lives should be marked by “holy conduct and godliness” (2 Peter 3:11). —Dennis Fisher
Should He come in the dawn of morning,
At noon or at twilight dim,
I only pray that every day
I’ll be waiting and watching for Him. —Bearden
No doctrine is more closely linked to practical daily living than that of the Lord’s return.