Anytime people speculate about The End Times’ arrival, someone will say, “But the Bible says no one will know the day or the hour, so shut up, man.”
Which is fine, people shutting up is usually good.
But I think we miss the point when we quote that verse this way.
Here’s the actual verse: (always look up verses when people try to quote them.)
“But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.”
One thing to note about the context is that Jesus is giving a list of signs to watch for as the day approaches. So, you can kind of know!
Having a general idea of the day and hour doesn’t mean you know the day or the hour. The verse even says the Son of Man, Jesus, doesn’t know the day or the hour, even though He’s giving details about what signs will precede the day and hour’s arrival.
The fact that the Son of Man doesn’t know is the main point He’s making in talking about this. The disciples want to know when. Jesus says, “I don’t even know when.” The time isn’t the big deal.
The big deal is paying attention while the day approaches.
People tend to have this idea that God has a time limit established. In other words, when God created the planet He started the timer. Humanity has that finite amount of time and that’s it.
But I think Jesus’ main point is to downplay the time and up-play what’s happening.
To clarify, don’t get me wrong, God knows the day and the hour. But the day and hour are not the issue. People are going to be doing insane stuff, at a certain point God will have enough. The final straw will break the back and boom, the day and hour will arrive.
God knows the day and the hour when the final straw breaks the back, but the final straw is the point, not the time.
Therefore, when the rest of the Bible talks about The End, it doesn’t phrase it as “there is a set time and when the clock runs up, it’s done.”
The Bible puts it more on what are you doing? How should we then live? Are you paying attention? Do you have your lamp trimmed and burning? You don’t know when the bridegroom is coming, so be ready.
If we knew the day and hour, we’d be counting down the minutes. This is, in fact, what some of the believers were doing in Thessalonica. They stopped working because Christ was coming back.
Knowing the day and hour would totally mess us up.
The emphasis for us is: what are you doing? Are you following the Spirit of truth and wisdom, the Spirit of Christ? Or are you following the lies and deceptions of the spirit of antichrist?
If it were possible, even the elect would be fooled. This should keep you on your toes. I’m amazed at how many people in church are duped into believing, promoting, and supporting that which clearly sides with the antichrist. It’s stunning.
Test the spirits.
When God flooded the earth it’s because He couldn’t take it anymore. People were evil continually. It wasn’t because the clock hit Flood Time. When He toasted Sodom and Gomorrah, it was various things they were doing that brought the judgment, not because God’s clock reached Fire and Brimstone Time.
God doesn’t judge based on time running out; He judges based on how much evil people are doing. A day and hour is coming when God’s patience runs out, not because a clock struck zero, but because humanity’s level of evil pushes Him over the edge.
He knows when that will happen. We don’t. But we do know what will push Him over the edge! Don’t do that stuff.
Don’t focus on the time; focus on the manner of life we ought to live in light of His return (love being the foremost virtue, particularly loving your enemies—those people who are doing things that make you think The End is coming).
God desires all men everywhere to repent. This makes Him patient. But even for God, there’s only so much He can take. Don’t be the straw that breaks His back!