BE READY 10-8-17
October 8th, 2017
I would like to begin my message today by reading you portions of an article published in Newsweek two weeks ago:
“The conspiracy theorist who supposedly predicted the world would end on September 23 has clarified his doomsday prophecy, saying the rapture is, in fact, coming in October.
David Meade, a self-proclaimed ‘researcher’ and Catholic who hit global headlines last week, believes the end of the world as we know it, as foretold in the biblical Book of Revelation, will take place next month and the 23rd was simply a sign of the oncoming disaster.
Writing on his website, Meade clarified his belief that the 23rd is the date of a ‘historical event’ in the skies that would signal the oncoming rapture. Doomsday itself, he says, will begin on October 15. That date marks the beginning of a seven-year period of tribulation. ‘That’s when the action starts. Hold on and watch - wait until the middle of October and I don’t believe you’ll be disappointed,’ he writes.
Some things to watch out for are the loss of electrical power across the world, leading to war, famine and other perilous events. To be clear, Meade says, ‘Nothing is expected to happen in September.’
Meade points to the total eclipse on August 21 as a significant event which he believes acts as a precursor to the beginning of the rapture. He says the date marks a 40-day countdown to the beginning of October. ‘October is the month to watch.’ So, why was the 23rd of such significance? As Meade told the Wasington Post last week, he deduced that Saturday would mark an important event that would act as a sign for the oncoming rapture. His prediction was based on analysis of verses and numerical clues in the bible.”
If you go online to Wikipedia, they have a page outlining “Predictions and claims for the Second Coming of Christ”. Here you will find over 40 past such predictions, beginning way back in the year 500. Some of the more famous ones include those of William Miller in 1844, Herbert Armstrong in 1975, Harold Camping in 1994 and again in 2011, and Jack Van Impe, who also made several revised predictions, the most recent being 2012. Of course, the rapture did not occur in any of the predicted years. Wikipedia also lists several future dates predicted, including one by the alleged psychic Jeanne Dixon. And no doubt there are many others that are not listed. And while I am sure that most, if not all, of these so-called prophets did a great deal of research, and each based their claims on what they thought was solid evidence, the Bible makes it quite clear that no one on earth – not even Jesus while He was here in human form – knows the day or the hour.
So why do people persist century after century trying to pinpoint a date, or at least narrow it down to a year? Because it is human nature to want to know when. In Mark chapter 13 we read, “Later, Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives across the valley from the Temple. Peter, James, John, and Andrew came to him privately and asked him, ‘Tell us, when will all this happen? What sign will show us that these things are about to be fulfilled?’ Jesus replied, ‘Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in many parts of the world, as well as famines. But this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.” Even Christ’s disciples didn’t just want to know what was going to happen. They wanted to know when.
But what if God were to reveal an exact date? What would happen? The same thing that would happen if you knew the exact date you were going to die. If you knew that Christ was not coming back for you until 50 years from now, or that you were not going to die until 50 years from now, you would be very tempted to not be ready 10 years from now, much less today. Think about it… If you knew with absolute certainty that you had 50 years to repent of your sins, 50 years to get right with God, 50 years to live for Christ and not your own personal desires, would you? God in His infinite wisdom told us in Matthew 25:13 to “…keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.”
So while there will be signs in the stars, and signs on earth, before Christ returns for His church, they are there to reassure us that He is indeed coming. But they are not there for us to build up the hopes in people for an exact date, only to have them possibly lose their faith entirely when that day comes and goes as any other. And how do such actions look to a world that already finds enough fault within the church to dissuade them from becoming a part of it? Satan can use anything in attempts to keep people away from Jesus; and He can certainly use our date setting, however well meaning it might be, as well.
I would love nothing more than for Christ to return this month. I hope that each of you feels the same way. And I also hope that each of you is ready if He does. For if you are not ready, and Jesus should come for His church tonight, you will be left to face a terrible time of tribulation, as the Bible puts it, “…tribulation unmatched from the beginning of God's creation until now, and never to be seen again.” (Mark 13:19) So as Luke 21:36 says, “Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man." Amen.
Here is some good news that in the Bible we learn:
When Jesus went back to heaven, He promised to return!
He didn't tell us exactly when, what day or what year,
But He asked us to be ready, because the time is near.