Words of Faith 11-13-18
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2018
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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 Then he said to his disciples, "The time is coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it.  Men will tell you, 'There he is!' or 'Here he is!' Do not go running off after them.  For the Son of Man in his day will be like the lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other.  But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.
This longing within us for justice will make us vulnerable to false prophets. Jesus said that there will be those who say they know the day or the time or the location of the coming of the Son of Man. We are not to flit about after such people. Jesus said that the Day of the Lord will be known to everyone all at once like lightning that flashes up the sky from one end to the other. When lightning flashes in the night sky there is no one who knows before someone else. No one can possibly claim to know or announce the moment of His coming.
How sure are we of this? Matthew records this truth with clarity and emphasis. "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father" (Matthew 24:36). Only the Father. Not even Jesus knew of the timing of His return.
Why is this important? At every point in history there are those who say they know when and where the Lord is returning. It is really rather a profitable thing. Problem Prophets have always taken advantage. Especially because of the time in which we live, we will hear more and more talk of this sort of thing. But Jesus is clear. Anyone who claims to know the time or day or hour of the return of the Lord is a liar or deceived. They have claimed to have knowledge above that of the Son. Such a claim may be a dangerous delusion or may be "anti-christ" in nature.
Even the disciples were a little slow to get this. After the death and resurrection, Jesus was preparing to ascend into heaven. But there was one last question. "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel? He said to them: "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth" (Acts 1:6-8).
Our job is not to know the times or dates. Our job is to receive power and be witnesses. That is the job description of a disciple. This is the commission of the church. So, don't go running after these guys who tell you that Jesus is coming at a particular time. Even our study of end time events is ultimately futile unless it motivates us somehow to receive power and be witnesses.
"But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation" (17:25). Don't miss verse 25. It is what makes God's program work! Before the Day of Judgment, there must be a day of atonement. The Son of Man could not come at that moment in judgment because the Son of Man had not yet prepared a way of escape for us. The Son of Man could not come yet because He was first going to pay the price and make a way of salvation. That was where Jesus was headed.
The truth is that you don't want the day of the Son of Man to come without first having a Day of Atonement. The day of the Son of Man is a day of justice and judgment. Without atonement we have no hope whatsoever. You do not want justice without justification. So Jesus made it clear that first He would make that provision.
Are you ready? Have you trusted that provision? The one preparation that is most important is to trust the atoning work of Jesus on your behalf. In doing so, we confess that "Jesus is Lord" and believe that God raised him from the dead. Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame (Romans 10:9-11).
Lord Jesus, I give thanks for the provision you made for me by Your suffering on the cross. I give thanks that You are coming back for Your bride, the church. Give me power to be Your witness until that time. In Jesus' name.