T H E F E A S T OF T E N T S
Rev 1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
Jud 1:1 Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:
Jud 1:2 Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied.
Jud 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
Jud 1:4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
Jud 1:5 I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.
Jud 1:6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
Jud 1:7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
Jud 1:8 Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.
Jud 1:9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.
Jud 1:10 But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.
Jud 1:11 Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.
Jud 1:12 These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;
Jud 1:13 Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.
Jud 1:14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,
Jud 1:15 To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.
Jud 1:16 These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage.
Jud 1:17 But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;
Jud 1:18 How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.
Jud 1:19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.
Jud 1:20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,
Jud 1:21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
Jud 1:22 And of some have compassion, making a difference:
Jud 1:23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
Jud 1:24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
Jud 1:25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
There are many other biblical signs, such as: increased violence worldwide (as in the days of Noah), increased apostasy, increased cults and false religions and false prophets, increased natural disasters such as frequency of earthquakes, and more.
For these and many other reasons, is it any wonder that millions believe the return of Christ is so near? Polls show that even non-believers think the world is at such a point. This is the most exciting time in all history to be alive!
But When is He Coming?
Just the question -- when? -- causes some Christians to cringe, protest, or even scoff! They quickly point out that Jesus said,
But of that day and hour knoweth no man (Matthew 24:36 KJV).
Some believers criticize other believers who are seeking God’s clues, either from the Scriptures. It is interesting that it was apparently by personal revelation, not Scripture, that many people knew the exact day of Elijah's rapture (2 Kings 2)! Are there types in the Old Testament? Do God’s principles repeat themselves?
Some claim we should focus only on the Great Commission and evangelism and not be concerned when the Lord will return. However, the Bible repeatedly tells us to “watch” for the signs, so not doing so would be disobedient. Also, those who are watching and expecting Jesus’ soon return are probably the most zealous group of witnesses for the gospel among all Christians.
The doubters may mention Paul's words that the day of the Lord will come like "a thief in the night" (1 Thessalonians 5:2). But many believers have so misunderstood these verses that they are oblivious to the times, not watching for the Lord as He commanded, and are often absorbed by the cares of this world and their own agendas.
As to Matthew 24:36, some scholars point out that Jesus' words here are in the present tense, addressed to His hearers at the time, and not to those alive at the end of the age when Daniel's vision would be unsealed (Daniel 12:9). This would be similar to Matthew 16:20:
Then he warned His disciples not to tell anyone that He was the Christ.
As evidence, many other Scriptures reveal to us that God will reveal at least the approximate time. (Even if the "day and hour" restriction is literally valid today, it may be because the Earth is in 24 time zones and always in two different days.)
Jesus also said, “but my Father only” knows, which pins the statement to His hearers at the time, when Jesus was still on the earth, because surely there are now no secrets in the Trinity between the Father and the glorified Son, who are truly One.
Also, in context, He seems to be speaking of heaven and earth passing away (v. 35), not other end-time events. In addition, Jesus said,
If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee (Revelation 3:3).
He is obviously saying that to the one who watches, He will not come as a thief and that person will know the hour! (Hour -- Greek hora -- Strong’s 5610; various meanings, including, “any definite time, point of time, moment.”
God’s Promises of Revelation
It is clear that Jesus will not come as a "thief in the night" for watchful believers, because in the very same passage, verse 4, Paul tells us,
But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.
If we are trusting in Christ and looking for His coming, Paul said that even the very day does not have to surprise us!
Also, Jesus exhorted, "If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief" (Revelation 3:3, KJV), obviously saying He will come as a thief only to those not watching! It is obvious that for those watching, He will NOT come as a thief. Jesus rebuked those who did not understand the signs of the times in His day:
O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky, but can ye not discern the signs of the times (Matthew 16:3).
Of the end of the age, Jesus said,
And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh (Luke 21:28).
He said we would know when it is near!
God said, "Surely the sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing it to His servants the prophets" (Amos 3:7, NIV). God said "nothing," and He did not exclude Christ's return. I take Him at His word.God not only knows the end from the beginning, He tells us that He makes it known!
I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. (Isaiah 46:10).
He has already made it known! I personally believe it has been hidden in His Word all along, to be unlocked in His timing. There is nothing wrong with seeking! No doubt, it pleases God.
I have even from the beginning declared it to thee; before it came to pass I shewed it thee (Isaiah 48:5, KJV).
Jesus said the Holy Spirit "will teach you all things" (John 14:26). He said "all things." Did Jesus make a mistake, forgetting to exclude when He will return? I don't think so.
Friends confide in one another. Abraham was called God’s “friend” (Isaiah 41:8; James 2:23).
And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do (Genesis 18:17).
Now, because of Jesus’ atonement, we are called friends of God:
I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends (Jesus, John 15:15).
1Th 5:1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
1Th 5:2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
1Th 5:3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
1Th 5:4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
1Th 5:5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
1Th 5:6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
1Th 5:7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.
1Th 5:8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
1Th 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
1Th 5:10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.
Matthew 24:30, 31: [All the nations of the earth] will see
the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And
he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his
elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.
Revelation 1:7: Look, he is coming in the clouds, and every eye shall see him