The Signs of the Times (18): Day and Hour

editor - 21 October 2018

‘…“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 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…’
Matthew 24:36-39 NIV

How far along the road of world history are we? Sometimes I compare it with a cross-fade. For many years I worked for Christian radio and television, in various roles. One of those roles was being a director. And when you’re behind the flips, the switches and faders of the control table, and when you see the pictures of all the cameras in front of you on the monitors, then you can let one picture fade into the next picture. If you do this slowly, and carefully fade down the picture of one camera and fade up the picture of another camera, you see this happening on the screen. The pictures blend over. The pictures overlap, and one disappears gradually whereas the other one slowly appears. Until the second picture is in full view and the first picture has completely gone. That process is called a cross-fade.

Prophetically we are somewhere in a similar cross-fade. The time of grace over the Gentile world, the time of the worldwide preaching of the ‘Gospel of the Kingdom’ to the nations still continues to the far corners of the earth. But it’s starting to come to an end, to fade. That picture is slowly but steadily disappearing. At the same time the picture of Israel is beginning to become visible, and together with that also the picture of the situation of the world of the end times in general is coming up. Both pictures during a certain period of time will overlap. Until the one picture has completely gone, and the other picture fills the screen!

Who ponders about the future and is interested in the prophecies of the Bible, will easily come across all sorts of ‘end-time schedules’, ‘prophetic roadmaps’. They often make me think of jigsaw puzzles, in which all kinds of Bible verses are strung together to create a logical picture. A schedule that shows what comes ‘first’, and what comes ‘later’ in the end times. A timetable of sorts. Then the next Bible teacher comes along and says: ‘that piece of the puzzle, that unfulfilled Bible verse you’ve put there in your schedule, but that eschatological event you must put later/sooner in your schedule, because ‘this’ comes before ‘that’. And then often a heated discussion takes place about the validity of the various ‘timetables’. It’s more a discussion about logic with the help of Bible verses, about logical schedules, than about actual revealed prophetic truth. Logic however, is limited in its applicability. It surely is valid in math and natural sciences, for example. But even there, not all processes can always be explained ‘logically’, or do stick to the laws of logic. Logical truth is not necessarily revealed truth.

To my Sunday school students I used to say: if in a conversation you hear the word ‘so’, it should raise red lamps flashing in your brain! Because what will follow is probably a logical conclusion that’s presented as real truth, and that ‘logically’ speaking even is indeed sometimes true. But that doesn’t make it absolute truth, not revealed truth. And if that logical conclusion cannot be found in the Holy Scriptures, if the Bible does not specifically confirms, it might not be true at all.

So trust the Bible, and not the reasoning of the human brain. Logically sound systems of all kinds and sorts have been developed over the centuries in Christianity. In Christian dogmatics, in eschatology, etc. They have even led to splits in churches and denominations. So let’s start a back-to-the-Bible movement and compare Scripture with Scripture, not falling into the trap Biblicism, but led by the Holy Spirit. That Spirit of truth will never go against the revealed truth in the Bible

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