Current Events and Christ’s Return

Current events are not signs that the return of Christ is imminent. Paul clearly said there are no signs for the Lord’s return: “But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 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” (1 Thess. 5:1-3). Jesus and Peter also said the Lord will return as a thief in the night (Mt. 24:43, 44; 2 Pet. 3:10), and a thief gives no signs of when he is coming! Jesus said He would come when His followers DID NOT think He was coming: “But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” (Mt. 24:43-44). “Ye know not when the time is” (Mk. 13:33).

The signs Jesus gave in the first part of Matthew 24 (“wars and rumors of wars,” etc.) were for the destruction of Jerusalem, not His literal return (24:4-34). He had just foretold the destruction of the temple (23:36-38; 24:1, 2). The context is made even clearer when comparing Luke’s account: “And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh…Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles” (Lk. 21:20, 24). This was fulfilled when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in A.D. 70.

From Matthew 24:35 to the end of chapter 25, Jesus was referring to His literal return on the Judgment Day. He was then answering the second part of the question recorded in Matthew 24:3:“…what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” Jesus said even He did not know when that would be: “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is” (Mk. 13:32, 33). The Book of Revelation is about the early Christians needing to persevere in the midst of terrible Roman persecution, and that Christ would “come” to punish their Roman tormentors (Rev. 1:1-3; 2:10; 22:6, 10, 20).

While many love to speculate about “signs of the end times,” we would all do better to love the Truth of God’s Word (2 Thess. 2:10-12). The “last days” have been here since the first century A.D., because the “church age” is the last period before the end of the world (Acts 2:16, 17; 1 Cor. 10:11; 15:22-24; Heb. 9:26). The Scriptures cannot be applied to modern secular events as “signs of the Lord’s return” without taking verses out of context and opposing what God Himself said in many passages.

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