“Jesus Can Come Back at Any Moment”
Let’s continue our Apocalyptic Misquotes with a look at an abuse that gives birth to an erroneous end-of-the-world timing and reflects poor hermeneutics.
Misquote/False Statement: “Jesus can come back at any moment!” This is perpetuated to support faulty end-times imminent return and pre-tribulation rapture doctrines. It’s made possible by taking texts like Matthew 24:36 and 1Thessalonians 5:2 and out of context and misquoting them at the same time (the Day of the Lord refers to the judgment of God to come in every case, which will come as a surprise to the wicked, – not to the gathering of the Saints).
“ so, you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door. . . . But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. . . . Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. . . . But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.” — Matthew 24:33-44.
For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord [referred to many times in the Old Testament end-times prophecies] will come just like a thief in the night. —1Thessalonians 5:2.
You may be tempted at a glance to think that the return of our Christ will indeed be a surprise and could happen at any moment. However, look at the verses leading up to and including Matthew 24:33 and you’ll find that Jesus gave signs to watch for.
What you’ll also learn through study of Scripture is that the return of our bridegroom at a ‘day and hour known by the Father alone’ reflects His fulfillment of the traditional betrothal and marriage processes whereby the Father determines when it’s time for the marriage supper to take place. He alone, after all preparations have been made including the building of the house for the new couple (remember, this is just one of several things Jesus referred to in mirroring the betrothal and marriage processes!), will send the groomsmen into the streets with shouts and trumpet blasts to announce that the time for the marriage supper had come. Related marriage fulfillment references to check out:
- Betrothal – The Father has chosen us as a ‘bride’ for His son: Ephesians 1:3-5 and 2Corinthians 11:2
- Betrothal – The cup of contract/covenant (cup of Ketubah): Matthew 26:28
- Betrothal – The Father and Son preparing a place for us: John 14:2-3
- Marriage – The gathering at the trumpets/shouts of the groomsmen once preparation have been made: Matthew 24:31 and 1Thessalonians 4:16
- Marriage – The marriage supper/second cup of the covenant – ‘cup of blessings’: Matthew 26:28-29 and Revelation 19:6-9
And, regarding abuse of 1Thessalonians 5:2: Paul is reminding Christ’s followers that the judgment and destruction of the wicked will be a surprise to them but that we, as followers, should NOT be surprised . . .
For more information regarding the return of our Christ and our ‘marriage’ to Him, and of the end of our world as we know it, please consider studying my very comprehensive guide “Finding the End of the World”. You’ll easily find it in paper and electronic format at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and www.ronbraley.com.
Please join me next week when we’ll continue teaching about (and hopefully correcting) bad doctrine and misquotes with these common abuses: “No Weapon Formed Against me will Prosper” and “I can do all things Through Christ“.