With the increasing popularity (and disdain) of “Jesus is coming on x date”, I thought I would join the ranks of those with a Jesus second coming prediction. I hope you aren’t disappointed. But before I give the date, let me build up some suspense.
Previous Failed Predictions of Return of Jesus Christ
Harold Camping, long-time president of Family Radio, has made numerous end-times predictions, such as May 21, 1988, September 6, 1994, and May 21, 2011 (followed by a physical rapture on October 21, 2011). Just in case you missed the news…it didn’t happen. He seems to have recanted his failed predictions, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see another as soon as he figures out the problem with his calculations. Can someone buy a brother a better calculator?
I just read of another end-times prediction by Ronald Weinland (a self-proclaimed prophet) and leader of a church called the Worldwide Church of God (or just Church of God). Ronald Weinland’s predictions have included April 17, 2008, December 14, 2008, and September 29, 2011. Just in case you didn’t hear the news…none of these predictions has come true. And his latest return of Jesus Christ prediction is May 27, 2012. I suppose we will have to wait and see on that. But I won’t be planning to pack a bag and get my estate in order on May 26.
R. Brad White Predicts Jesus Return – Drum Roll Please
OK, so the title of this article stated that I, R. Brad White, would have my own prediction of when Jesus Christ will return. Here it is…
Matthew 24:3 (NIV) “As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”
Now, I don’t presume to be as smart as Jesus, and I don’t claim to be wiser than Jesus’s very own hand-picked disciples. But even they didn’t know when he would return.
Matthew 24:36 (NIV) “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”
Now, I don’t presume to be as smart as the angels in heaven, nor the Son, nor the Father. Here is a hint for Harold Camping, Ronald Weinland, and others of their kind: Only God the Father knows the day and hour of Jesus’ return to reign on this earth.
So, here is my prediction: He will come when He comes.
Be Ready…But Don’t Try to Predict It
Matthew 24:37-42 (NIV) “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left. “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.”
The Bible says here that when He comes it will be a surprise to everyone. He could just as well come in the middle of me typing this message as He could come 100 years, 500 years, 1500, 20,000+ years from now. Who knows? Harold Camping and Ronald Weinland don’t have a clue…that’s for sure. Are they good students of interpreting the Bible to uncover hidden clues to the return of Jesus? Did they stumble upon the verses sited above from Matthew 24? Apparently not.
Why Write This Article?
Like me, you may be wondering why I would write such an article as this.
- For those of you that think you know when Jesus will return…would you kindly keep your mouth shut? And please please please don’t write a book about your predictions. You might sell some books by feeding off interest in this hot topic. But at the same time, you make the rest of us Christians look like idiots. And you reinforce the negative Christian stereotypes we are trying to reverse here at Changing the Face of Christianity.
- For those of you that desperately want to know when Jesus will return… please don’t pay attention to the likes of Harold Camping and Ronald Weinland. Share this message with others that they will also not be deceived. Help us bring rationality in our discussions with other believers as well as non-believers. Help us Change the Face of Christianity by using the wisdom of the Bible to counter the distortions put forth by today’s many false teachers.
Wondering what my next article might be about? I may take a stab at the end of the world Mayan Calendar prediction of December 21, 2012. Have you marked your calendars yet for that? Make sure and save the date. Expect an article on or around December 22, 2012.
You are missing another idiot that has predicted the return of Christ for May 27, 2012. It is Ron Weinland and cult leader of a breakaway of Armstrongism. He has been claiming Jesus was returning since 2008. “As a matter of other dates that God revealed to me, through Jesus Christ, it was given earlier that Trumpets of 2008 was the beginning of the 1335 day count in the Book of Daniel that leads up to the return of Jesus Christ on May 27, 2012. The day of Christ’s return is on Pentecost which pictures the 144,000 who will return with him to reign on earth, and the beginning of this announcement to the Church was on Trumpets (2008) which announces the coming of the Messiah as King of kings. How awesome is that to understand?” http://www.ronaldweinland.com/ He is also under investigation for tax evasion with is trial set for May. It is convenient that Jesus returns so n after so he will not have to spend a lot of time in prison. http://ronaldweinland.info/ http://ronaldweinland.info/falseprophet/
R. Brad White says
Thanks. I did mention him in the article. But thanks for the additional info.
Did Jesus not say he would becoming in His generation? Paul also wrote about some still being alive when Jesus returned. Does this make Jesus a failed prophet? Revelation uses the word soon more than once when referring to the return.
Ian McKerracher says
With the debate about pre-trib, post-trib, mid-trib etc going on for the last couple of millenia, I have a particular story to share with you… So on Sunday morning, in the middle of worship, in your church, Jesus Himself comes walking in. Now this IS Jesus and not some dude dressed up, to be clear. Jesus walks down the iasle and speaks to the pastor. “Is it okay for me to address the congregation?” He asks. The pastor, being a spiritual man, is happy to give assent. Jesus turns to the crowd and says, “Well Folks, the pre-trib people had it right and you are going up on Wednesday so be ready to move.”. Then Jesus continues by saying, ” By the way, I need some volunteers to stay behind for a short while. I will protect you, provide for you, and give you a “Well done, Good and Faithful Servant” at the end. Is there anybody here who would help me in this?” The question is asked of you, actually, every day. I am fundamentally, a pan-tribulationist. (I believe it will “pan out” in the end”). My focus is not as much on when I get to heaven and collect my rewards. I want to take as many people with me as possible. I want to help Jesus prepare saints for works of service in building this piece of art called the Kingdom of God. I live my abundant life now and let tomorrow take care of itself. I think that that is the best way to live my life in Christ.
Why didn’t God make it clear what He meant ? Why all the different interpretations? Again I ask was Jesus a false prophet because he said in this generation and that did not happen. Paul wrote in a way that sounded like he thought it would be soon yet it was not soon. Does this make the bible inerrant?
Joe Kim says
From R. Brad White: Mary, thanks for the very thought-provoking question. It’s honest questions like yours that make us think , dig deeper, and clarify what we believe. So Thanks. From time to time, when I don’t feel adequate to answer a given question, I reach out to others who are more knowledgeable and experienced than I am. I posed your question to a wise friend of mine named Joe Kim, who has his own blog site at http://www.live2believe.org. Below is his response. (and check out his blog. It’s rich with hard hitting, thought-provoking, and inspiring articles) From Joe Kim (in response to Mary’s comments above), Did Jesus not say he would becoming in His generation? No, He did not. For instance, in Matthew 24, Jesus tells us of some of the “signs of the end of the age,” and even the “Abomination of Desolation” (which occurs at the halfway point during the Great Tribulation). Jesus is speaking mostly in sequence here, and in Matthew 24:29, Jesus progresses to “immediately after the tribulation of those days.” Finally, in verse 33, Jesus says that “when you see all those things,” THEN it will be near…when all these things are seen, we are within a generation’s breath of His second coming. You cannot simply take verse 34 in isolation or out of context. One verse you might be able to take in isolation is Matthew 24:14. It tells us that the gospel must be preached to the whole world before Jesus returns, and as of today, there are still thousands of unreached people groups in the world (though we are rapidly getting close…within our lifetimes by all estimations). Mary said that Paul also wrote about some still being alive when Jesus returned. For some reason, I actually can’t find the exact passage Mary is talking about here. Mary can you provide the verses you are referring to please? Does this make Jesus a failed prophet? No, the signs of which He spoke have not all been fulfilled yet, so we cannot start the clock on this word “generation” (which is a somewhat imprecise term anyway). Why didn’t God make it clear what He meant ? Why all the different interpretations? Prophecy in the Bible–notably, in the Old Testament–has always been this way. It is specific enough so that when prophecies are fulfilled, we can look at them and marvel at God’s work. Their purpose is to reaffirm our faith in the one speaking them…as a proof of His power (e.g., John 14:29). Another purpose is to generally stay prepared. It helps direct us and motivate us to live the right way. But prophecy is NOT intended to give us some secret, privileged information to abuse. Prophecy is usually made crystal clear only in hindsight because we are on a need-to-know basis. Can you imagine if everyone knew the exact date of Jesus’ return? Believers would stop being diligent stewards at their workplace, taking care of their bodies, fostering relationships with nonbelievers…instead, they would sell all their possessions, go into debt, live it up, or act like a bunch of celebrating crazies to the world. Sure, some would become more urgent in their evangelism, but God knows how most of us would behave. Like a parent to a child, He tells us what we need to know and no more. He knows what’s best. Furthermore, can you imagine if nonbelievers (or even some misguided believers) could simply pick up a Bible at any bookstore, read clearly defined prophecies, and then live their lives trying to thwart (or facilitate) God’s plans? God arranges things logically, and transparent prophecies make some realities unfeasible. For instance, if the Bible made it obvious who the Antichrist would be, how could we expect him to ever fool the world and rise to power? It’s incoherent. Mary said…Paul wrote in a way that sounded like he thought it would be soon yet it was not soon. As usual, the answers lie in the Bible. “Soon” is relative, and compared to God’s eternal nature, “soon” could be anything. If the earth is indeed billions of years old and many believe, then 2,000+ years after Christ’s death and resurrection could easily be considered a miniscule amount of time after…”soon” indeed. 2 Peter 3:8-9 tells us: 8 But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you,[a] not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. These verses tell us two main things: our sense of time is not the same as God’s sense of time. Also, it hints that God does not wish any potential believers to perish, which also goes along with Matthew 24:14 about reaching the world. When God sees in His sovereignty that the earth’s “harvest” has been fully plucked, then He might decide to come then. If people are being saved every day, would it make sense for some to be lost because God jumped the gun? God bless!
@ Mary – you must properly understand what Jesus said in His Olivet Discourse as recorded in Matthew, Mark & Luke. In using Matthew – since that is the longest one – we see 7 parts, 7 lessons and an epilogue. Part 1 – Jesus’ Disciples Ask What Will Be The Signs Of His Second Coming & The End Of The Age Part 2 – Jesus Explains The Signs Of The Beginning Of The End Of The Age Part 3 – Jesus Tells Of The Death Of Many Christians After The Beginning Of The End Of The Age Part 4 – Jesus Explains The ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION Will Occur After Many Christians Are Killed Part 5 – Jesus Warns Christians About The Anti-Christ’s Appearing After The ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION Part 6 – Jesus Tells Of Very Unusual Signs In The Sky After The Anti-Christ’s Appearance Part 7 – Jesus Finishes The Details Of His Second Coming & The “Rapture” Of His Followers Jesus does NOT say “Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.” until His first lesson on those 7 parts (in verse 34). He is specifically speaking of verses 32-33: “Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near so you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door.” So Jesus is teaching His first lesson on the 7 parts of His end times discourse. He is saying that once the signs of the 7 parts (Matthew 24:1 – 31) are all seen together – THAT generation will not pass away until those last few things are accomplished. Jesus is NOT a failed prophet. @ Brad Jesus’s second lesson on his seven part teaching says: “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.” Very specific about the day and hour – not about other measures of time such as the week, month or year. He goes on in his fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh lessons about his seven teachings – all to be on the alert about His second coming. So when you say: “For those of you that think you know when Jesus will return…would you kindly keep your mouth shut? And please please please don’t write a book about your predictions. You might sell some books by feeding off interest in this hot topic. But at the same time, you make the rest of us Christians look like idiots. And you reinforce the negative Christian stereotypes we are trying to reverse here at Changing the Face of Christianity.” You are defying the clear teachings of our Lord & Savior in commanding us multiple times back to back about being aware of His second coming. The rest of the Christians don’t look like idiots because of failed prophets – they look that way because of the attacks of the Devil upon all things Christian. Even when we are silent about the end times – Satan’s people attack us as idiots because we don’t know about their 2012 beliefs. Remember who the enemy is – it is NOT fellow Christians who are earnestly attempting to follow Jesus’ commands to be aware of His second coming. As a matter of fact scripture clearly says that people will scoff about the second coming right before He really does come back.
That is lds phito