Why doesn’t God give us a date for the end of the world? First, He wants us to live by faith. There are certain things He will not tell us so we can demonstrate faith in Him. God also does not want us to get lazy with the mission to take the gospel to the ends of the earth. If we knew the exact date, we would procrastinate doing evangelism until the last moment, like a student cramming for an exam all night.
A correct view of Christ’s second coming will help you build courage, not cause you to be apathetic, fearful, or confused. John makes this point in his first letter.
“And now, dear children, remain in fellowship with Christ so that when he returns, you will be full of courage and not shrink back from him in shame.” 1 John 2:28 (NLT)
John demonstrates how a correct view of Christ’s return gives us strength, not apathy. Courage, not fear. Clarity, not confusion. But why do some people predict the date and claim to know when the end will occur?
Quite simply, power. If you claim to hold the keys to the end of the world, then you can control a lot of people. How did David Koresh control the Branch Davidians? Why did the tragedy in Waco, TX occur? In 1993, over a 51-day standoff, four federal agents and 82 Branch Davidians died, including 28 children. Awful things were happening on the Mount Carmel compound, but the driving factor was a belief Koresh was a son of God who knew how the end of the world would occur.
In Acts 1:6-8, Jesus gives final instructions to His disciples before ascending into heaven. They want to know when the end will occur. They push Jesus to provide a timeframe. Jesus refuses to tell them. Then He gives them the gospel imperative to take His message to the ends of the earth. In essence, Jesus tells them to stop worrying about the end and start working on the present. A correct view of the end times will encourage you to do God’s mission.
If you care about the end of God’s story, then you will work to complete the story.