Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Dial Daily Bread: The Time of the End--Does God Want to Catch Us Unaware?

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

The year-day prophecies of Daniel and Revelation are fantastic in the accuracy of their fulfillment. They coincide perfectly with the great end-time prophecy of Jesus in Matthew 24 and Luke 21. The Bible recognizes that the God of heaven has foretold events before they happened, and that He wants us to know when "the time of the end" has come and what are the "signs" of Jesus' second coming and of the "end of the age" (cf. Matt. 24:3).

Paul says it is not God's will for His people to be "in darkness, that this Day should overtake you as a thief. ... Let us watch and be sober" (1 Thess. 5:4-6). How could Jesus warn us, "It [that day] will come as a snare on all who dwell on the face of the whole earth" without His word giving us guidance as to when that day is near? (Luke 21:35). If it is true that "God is love," then it must follow that He would not want to catch us unaware. Hence we conclude that the time prophecies of Daniel and Revelation are very serious reading and deserve our close attention just now.

It is also true, if God indeed is "love," then He does not want to perpetuate pain and suffering on this planet due to the ravages of sin. Jesus wants to come a second time, not primarily to punish wrong-doing or take vengeance on His enemies, but to rescue people who suffer, and to establish His kingdom of peace and happiness for all. "The Ancient of Days came, and judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom, ... an everlasting kingdom" (Dan. 7:22, 27).

However, we can be sure that His enemy, Satan, wants to try to prove His prophecies wrong. "Son of man, what is that proverb that you people have about the land of Israel, which says, 'The days are prolonged, and every vision fails'?" (Eze. 12:22). A good answer is in Habakkuk 2:3: "At the end [the vision] will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry."

There may appear to be a "tarrying time," and those who have faith in the prophecies may think the vision "fails," and suffer disappointment, yet in immediate context comes the assurance of righteousness by faith: "The just shall live by His faith" (vs. 4).

In the Great Disappointment experience in the 1840s, what held the faithful remnant was not so much mathematical calculations of time prophecies (they were true!), but their confidence that the Holy Spirit had worked in the Midnight Cry movement. God's true love was evident.

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: January 4, 2000.
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