“No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Matthew 24:36, NIV 1984).
“Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door. I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” (Mark 13:28–31, NIV 1984).
“First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:3–9, NIV 1984).
My Musings – Two local pastors were fishing along the side of the road. They thoughtfully made a sign saying, “The End Is Near! Turn Yourself Around Before It’s Too Late!” They displayed it so each passing car could see it. One driver didn’t appreciate the sign, shouting at them, “leave us alone you religious nuts!” Moments later they heard a big splash. Looking at each other, one of the pastors said to the other, “You think maybe we should have just said “Bridge Out?'”
“No one knows the day or the hour” – The days are troubled. It could be Thursday, but no one knows. Maybe people thought the same in 1918. Or during WWII.
“When you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door” – On the other hand many of the signs Jesus spoke of have already taken place. It may not be a soon as Thursday, but could it be “near, right at the door?” Maybe, but then again, maybe not.
“He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” – God just might be holding the end back to enable more of the lost to come in from the cold, before the “day of judgment and destruction” comes “like a thief.” So let’s not be too fast in scoffing about the delay. I think we can all learn to “suffer along and learn to cope” if it allows more to come to repentance.
My Advice – Soon or slow, it is well to be able to read the signs of the times. I have two blog series (“Last Days” and “Studies in Revelation”) that can help. But most of all, be ready.