by Henry Morris, Ph.D. "But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. . . . And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch." (Mark 13:32-33, 37)
Every believer, in all places and times, has been commanded by Christ Himself to watch for His return. Since we cannot know the day nor the hour, we are to be watchful always. There are at least eight references in the New Testament commanding us to watch for His coming.
Many people have tried to calculate the date of Christ's coming. But Jesus said, "In such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh" (Matthew 24:44). If anyone "thinks" he has figured out the time, we can be sure that calculation is wrong! If even the Lord Jesus Himself, within the self-limiting confines of His humanity, did not know the time of His return, it is unscriptural and presumptuous for any of us to think we can determine it.
In fact, the very reason for its uncertainty is to stimulate watchfulness on the part of the believer. When a believer starts to "say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming" (Luke 12:45), there arises a real danger that he will fall into sinful habits.
The daily attitude of "looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ" is a real incentive for one to "live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world" (Titus 2:13, 12). "When he shall appear, we shall be like him," John promises, "And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure" (1 John 3:2-3). We should continually "abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming" (1 John 2:28). HMM
This article was originally published March, 2012. "The Watchful Christian", Institute for Creation Research, http://www.icr.org/article/6649/ (accessed March 25, 2012).