Date Setting

Whenever people talk about when the Rapture might occur or if the End Times are near, someone else inevitably tries to shut them up by quoting Jesus’ line, “Of that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.” Matt 24:36

I haven’t read any comments or emails about my “Rapture in April 2014” posting yesterday, so if you said this to me, please be assured that I am not singling anyone out. I’ve been hearing the same criticism for months from many quarters.

I don’t pooh-pooh anything Jesus said, so obviously I looked up the actual passage and read it carefully in context. Frankly, I was astonished! It’s full of parables I’ve been hearing out of context my whole life.

And it is part of a long teaching by Jesus that is called the Olivet Discourse, which I’d never heard of, despite the fact that it is as long or longer than the very famous and familiar Sermon on the Mount.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught us how to live a holy life; in the Olivet Discourse, He taught us to be ready for His return and for Final Judgment. The Olivet Discourse appears in Mark 13 and Luke 21, but the fullest treatment is in Matthew 24-25.

In Matthew and Mark, the line about not knowing the day or hour (Matt 24:36, Mark 13:32) is preceded by the EXACT same lines:

Learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branch becomes tender and sprouts leaves, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see all these things, know that he is near, at the gates.” Matt 24:32-33; Mark 13:28-29

In Luke, the line about not knowing the day or hour does not even appear, yet the lesson of the fig tree does!

Consider the fig tree and all the other trees. When their buds burst open, you see for yourselves and know that summer is now near; in the same way, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near.” Luke 21:29-31

Olivet and date setting

What I get out of all this is that, while we cannot know the precise time when Jesus will return, we are supposed to watch carefully for the signs of His coming so we can be READY.

This reminds me of when our kids were deployed. We never knew the “day and hour” they’d return either, but we certainly knew the season. And as the great day approached, we’d get progress reports as they made the long trip home.

Then, as the actual hour approached, we would gather in the bleachers with our signs and our flags and our squirmy kids. And we would wait. And wait. And wait. WATCHING for the JOYFUL MOMENT when that door would burst open and our loved ones would march in!

Troop return montage

I strongly encourage you to read the entire Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24 and 25.

4 Comments

Filed under Bible Prophecy, Christianity

4 responses to “Date Setting

  1. Well put, Chrissy. Let those who have ears hear. But hear with your hearts, in His whole context, not as one who would twist His words to trap others, like Pharisees. If you want to see something sad, go look at what Ann Barnhardt has been writing lately about Pope Francis’ recent off the cuff statements. He has been trying to echo the Gospels and preach the good news as plainly as possible, while reaching out to everyone in a way that seems similar, to me, to the way Jesus did. But all she does is strip every word of context and plain meaning and damn him for every imaginable heresy, including being “stupid.” All because he’s not on board with the traditionalist groups that she favors. She’s being a very good Pharisee lately.

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    • I’ve been amazed at how much she despises Pope Francis. I certainly understand different people having different opinions about him, but I’ve never heard anyone (let alone a Catholic) rake him over the coals the way she does.

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      • I know what you mean. It’s painful to watch. The other day I went to the original notes and sources so I could see if what she was saying was true, but it just showed that she was completely distorting, if not outright lying, about everything the man said. I’ve always been a little leery about her exaggerations, but this is causing me to rethink just about everything she’s ever said and written.

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        • chrissythehyphenated

          Wow … I think I’ll give that a pass! One of my non-RCC-Christian bloggy buds sent me a link to her or someone like her, asking what I thought. It was a screed about how horrible it was that he and the con-celebrants at his first Papal Mass (I think it was) had not genuflected at Consecration. I looked at the video. The step the non-genuflecters were on was only wide enough for their own shoes! And they did pause for all the con-celebrants and servers on safer levels down the steps to genuflect. It looked to me like a safety issue, televised event let’s not have any catastrophes, judgment call NOT disrespect for the Eucharist like this writer was making out. Pharisee is a good word. Reminds me of planks and specks.

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