How to Live this Side of Christ's Return
Nov 02, 2009 by Craig Blomberg | 0 Comments
“It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority” (v. 7; TNIV)
The blogworld is abuzz with predictions about 2012 as the year of the end of the world. A new movie turns this prediction into an apocalyptic doomsday thriller. It seems like people can’t go more than a few years without setting new dates. Even Christians get caught up in the excitement, despite hundreds of failed prophecies about the return of Christ throughout church history.
Jesus explained that no one, not even Himself in his voluntarily accepted limits of knowledge, during the incarnation, knew the “day or hour” of his return (Mark 13:32). But some interpret this to mean that we can know the week, month or year! Acts 1:7 gives the lie to this notion. “Times or dates” employs the two broadest terms in ancient Greek for periods of time—chronoi and kairoi. Even to claim that one knows one is living in the last generation, or the last century, would violate Jesus’ teaching here.
Jesus was getting His disciples ready to carry on His mission without Him being physically present on earth any longer. It was the forty-day period between His resurrection and ascension. He knew it would be easy for them to take the wrong tack and start to try to guess when He would return. Instead He wanted them to be his witnesses wherever they went through the power of the Spirit (v. 8). Dare we do any less? Maybe if we fulfill the Great Commission, we’ll have time to speculate about the timing of the end. But not before then!