Beginning with the Law:
Deuteronomy 18:21,22. You may say in your heart, ‘How will we know the word which the Lord has not spoken?’ When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.
Sounds a little bit simplistic doesn’t it? And yet you have to know the Law and the prophets. Here is why. Jesus knew every Word of God, and it is the basis for understanding every word He spoke. Satan knows every word of God, even trying to use that word in tempting Jesus.
Every Word of God that you have failed to learn and keep in your heart becomes a weapon for the enemy to use against you. For every Word of God you know and keep is a weapon of warfare for your spirit, under the Remembrance of the Holy Spirit.
Here’s something Jesus said about His return:
Matthew 24:27. For just as lightning comes from the east and flashes as far as the west, so also will be the coming of the Son of Man.
Based on Deuteronomy 18:21 above, understanding this verse is simple; you will see me when you see me. All speculation about when Jesus is going to return is harmful, and I have in fact spoken in detail about this in the previous essay.
Here is what Jesus says about the day of His return:
Luke 17:26-30. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be in the days of the Son of Man; they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage up to the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Similarly, as it was in the days of Lot: they were eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting, building; on the day when Lot left Sodom, fire and brimstone rained from the sky to destroy them all. So it will be on the day the Son of Man is revealed.
So to answer the question do we think Jesus returns at a time of imminent destruction of the earth, the answer is no, this is a Shia Muslim belief, and the reason Iran is so eager to provoke a nuclear confrontation with the U.S. and the world.
What this also tells us is that just before each of these judgments, essentially one man stood between the everyday life of everyone and imminent judgment, thus we should continue to intercede and try to delay the coming of the Lord as if we are that man.
2 Peter 3. ‘for His longsuffering is reckoned as salvation.’
All eschatology dealing with interpreting prophecy to predict when something is going to happen is the work of error. Prophecy is rightly interpreted when we see fulfillment and know this is from God. No prophecy is given for experts to use to make predictions. God’s purpose in giving us prophecy is to insure us that He is, in fact, in control. If He can tell us the end from the beginning, we can rest assured.
John 16:1. These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble.
2 Thessalonians 2:3. Let no one deceive you in any way, for that Day will not come unless the rebellion comes first and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the one destined to be destroyed.
The Day of the Lord will not come until after the man of lawlessness is revealed. We will know him when we see him, because he has been described to us. Yet so many commentators continue to speculate on who they think he is, calling him the antiChrist, until we find out that he isn’t. There should be a Hall of Fame for world leaders who were identified as the antiChrist, and a Hall of Shame for the false teachers who speculated on prophecy that is given so that we will know him when we see him.
Wait on the Lord. What I say to one I say to all: Watch and Pray.