Perhaps Today

I live in an area where there are a pretty large number of Mennonite families, and some of them are fond of posting little signs at the end of their farm lanes with Bible verses or religious sayings.  Recently my husband and I passed one that simply read, “perhaps today.”  This refers, of course, to the fact that Jesus is coming again (Lutherans believe we have been in the end times since Jesus ascended into heaven) — but we don’t know when.

Over the course of history, many have tried to predict when Christ would come again.  Because the number 666 is described as “the number of the beast” in the book of Revelation, many Christians in the 17th century believed the world would end in 1666.  Of course, that didn’t happen (although the great fire of London did).  In 1831 religious leader William Miller predicted that Christ would come again in 1843.  When that didn’t work out, he went for 1844.  Wrong again.  More recently, Harold Camping made predictions based on numerology — 1994 and then 2011.  Neither of those dates proved to be correct (notice, we’re still here).

There’s a good reason why all our human attempts to determine this date have failed.  The Bible tells us quite clearly, that the time of Christ’s Second Coming will remain unknown.

“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark;and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.”  Matthew 24:36-39

So don’t worry and fret and try to figure out what God doesn’t want us to know.  Live with the uncertainty.  Just be ready.  Perhaps today.

For more on the end times see these posts::

Lutherans and the End Times

Unraptured by Zack Hunt — Book Review