Now Is Not the Time

Prophetic developments are speeding up. The Brexit; a rigged political system in the USA;Donald Trump’s rising popularity; new presidential elections in Austria; attempts to establish a United States of Europe and to create a European army; increasing terrorist attacks and wars all over the world; terrible weather conditions; the spread of immorality; the preaching of the gospel of the Kingdom of God in all the world as a witness…  the list of significant biblical events seems to be endless.

Jesus Christ told us that we must observe the signs of the times, which would indicate to us when His return is near (Matthew 24:32-33; Luke 21:29-31).

However, some engage in unfounded speculations. They feel that there must be first a seven-year contract between the “beast” (a military leader) and other nations (the candidates for those other nations vary; some claim it would be Arab nations; then they say it would be the State of Israel; and finally, they even think it could be a combination of Israel and Arab countries). They are also waiting for the arrival of a “king of the south,” “a Mahdi,” who is supposed to unite Arab nations under his lead. Or they wait for the appearance of a red heifer as a “necessary step” towards building a third temple.

Interestingly enough, the Bible does not predict any of this. For instance, there is no prophetic requirement for a seven-year contract. But following their misguided concept, even IF the “beast” would arrive in 2016 and such a treaty would still occur within that year, Christ could not come back prior to 2023. At the same time, we are NOT suggesting either that Christ WILL come back within less than seven years.

The truth is, we do NOT know when Christ will return (Matthew 24:42). Even He does not know; and neither do the angels (Mark 13:32). It is within the Father’s SOLE prerogative, authority and discretion to DECIDE when that time has arrived (Acts 1:7).

It is so important that we do not lose focus. As we have preached time and again, we must live in a way that we are always spiritually ready for Christ’s return (Matthew 24:44). (After all, we could die tonight, and we had better be ready when we die). At the same time, we are to live our lives as if we had many more years ahead of us. Over the centuries, many Christians made the big mistake of giving up God’s Way of Life when their expectancy of Christ’s return at a given date did not materialize; or they ceased from fulfilling their physical responsibilities for themselves and others (including their children), thinking that because Christ would come back soon, they did not have to prepare anymore for the future.

Christ gave us many admonitions, showing that we must continue with our physical duties until the very end, while of course never neglecting our spiritual obligations.

Christ said that the servant is blessed whom his master, when he comes, will find him doing his job (Matthew 24:46). He told us that two will be in the field, apparently working, while one is taken, and the other one is left behind (Matthew 24:40). He told us that two women will be grinding at the mill, when one is taken and one is left behind (Matthew 24:41).

He told us to use the talents and abilities which God gave us; rather than hiding them (Matthew 25:24-30).

Paul gives us the timeless command to work when we want to eat (2 Thessalonians 3:10). Proverbs 21:25 tells us that the “desire of the lazy man kills him, For his hands refuse to labor,” and Proverbs 31:27 adds that the “virtuous woman” “does not eat the bread of idleness.” We are given the timeless truth that a good person will leave an inheritance for his children and grandchildren (Proverbs 13:22; compare 2 Corinthians 12:14), and that he will help his needy parents (Mark 7:9-13). These are ONGOING obligations, and there is no time limit for these commands. Rather, we are told that WHATEVER our hands find to do, we must do it with all of our might (Ecclesiastes 9:10; compare also Ecclesiastes 11:1, 6).

We must never make the mistake of trying to predict the exact time of Christ’s return, or to invent man-made prerequisites which “must” be fulfilled first. We must never cease from fulfilling our physical obligations, because of our personal conviction that Christ will return very soon. We are not to worry about the future with anxious thoughts. Rather, we are to seek God’s Kingdom and God’s righteousness first (Matthew 6:25-34), but if we fail to fulfill our physical responsibilities, we have become worse than an unbeliever and have denied the faith (compare 1 Timothy 5:8). If we develop a mentality of thinking, “Now is not the time,” then this will surely contribute to our spiritual and physical downfall.

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