I don’t know about you, but when I travel by air, I am always worried about the flight being on time. I am sure you all can relate. I am sure you all have a travel horror story where you sat in the airport not knowing when or if the flight was going to take off.
One of my more memorable was when I was returning from seminary in Kentucky. It was winter. It was cold. I had been there for two weeks. I was ready to come home, sleep in my own bed and see my family. It was Friday. The flight was packed. There wasn’t an open seat on plane.
As we boarded, notifications started popping up on my phone about the weather coming. There was a thunderstorm on the way. It was headed directly for the airport. My hope, as well as the other passengers, and the pilots was that we could take off before the storm came through. We were all set to roll back from the gate when the news everyone dreaded came over the speaker: “Folks, this is your pilot speaking. We are going to have to hold tight until this storm rolls by. We hope it will only be a few minutes.” I know you have heard that message. It’s one none of us wants to hear when we just want to get home.
After a few minutes, the storm rolled through. But just as soon as that one was out of the area, another spun up. It continued like that for hours. No one, not even the pilots knew if we were going to take off that night. We all wanted to get in the air and get home. But we can only predict the weather and track it. We can’t control it.
Eventually we made it in the air and home, but it wasn’t until midnight that we took off and around 2 in the morning when I landed. That is not something I expected when I showed up for my flight that day. I didn’t know I was going to be delayed until late that night. As I was waiting to take off, I didn’t know if I was going to be able to leave. Thankfully we were, but everything was up in the air. It was a big unknown.
Do you know what else is unknown?
Jesus’ return is unknown. The Bible teaches us that Jesus is the King of the World, not only the King but our Savior. We believe He is our only hope. The One who will set everything right in the world.
We all know the world is broken. We all long, in one way or another, for something more, something better, a perfect world. For those of us who believe in Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we all long for the day when Jesus will return and set things right.
While we all long for the day when Jesus will return:
The Time of Jesus’ Return is Unknown
In Matthew 24, Jesus tells us just that:
““But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.” (Mt 24:36)
The time of Jesus’ return is unknown to us and to Jesus while He was on earth. Jesus tells us He doesn’t know the time.
That might seem a bit odd. Especially since Jesus is going to play a central role in that day. He is the One coming back. He is the One who will judge the nations. It might seem a bit odd that He doesn’t know, but that is how things have been arranged. In His humanity, Jesus does not know the day or the time of His return. Even if He wanted to, Jesus couldn’t tell His disciples when He was coming back because He didn’t know. Only the Father knew the date and time of His return.
All those who attempt to date Jesus’ return are wrong. They have no idea when Jesus is going to return. Jesus Himself didn’t know when He walked the earth. If He didn’t know, no one else knows either. Not even that televangelist who is uber convinced they have discovered the date through some secretive code or a word from God Himself. No one knows the time of Jesus’ return.
We know He is going to return, like I knew my flight would eventually take off back to DFW. But none of us know when. The Bible doesn’t tell us. Since the Bible doesn’t tell us, we shouldn’t bother speculating. Nor should we ignore the fact that Jesus will return one day, as many do.
Since there is not a set definitive point in history when Jesus will return, many people believe they have time. Time to change the path on which they are on. Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven presents this idea loud and clear with the lyrics:
Yes, there are two paths you can go by
But in the long run
There’s still time to change the road you’re on
And it makes me wonder
Zeppelin pictured humanity coming together to create something beautiful, something wonderful, to make this world great — heaven.
While they believed in a perfect world, they sought to find it in an imperfect way.
No man can make this world heaven. We, in and of ourselves, can’t change the world. Only Jesus can. He will return one day. At a day and hour we do not know, which means we have no idea whether we have time to change our mind or not, to change the path on which we walk. We have no idea because we don’t know when Jesus will return.
Where we go wrong is believing we have the time.When people say things like — I have time. That is really code for: I still have time to live how I want and do what I want. I still have time to live as the big “K” king of my life.
But that is not true. We don’t know how much time we have, which means today is the day of salvation.