The Hope of Glory

“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. Matthew 24:36

This verse has been the champion of anti-date setters for millennia and for good cause. I believe it has tempered the tendencies of believers who are living through incredibly difficult times to not want to jump after every sign and symbol as their ticket out of here. My main issue with continuing to use this as the catch-all verse is that later, revelatory passages seem to conflict with it. Scripture as given to the Apostle Paul (the mysteries revealed) and even Jesus Himself seem to indicate that we should know the hour and the day.

But first, notice what Jesus doesn’t say; “But of the day and hour no one knows or will ever know.” The passage was written in the present-tense, and thus seems to indicate the truth of what was known at that point in time. In His human form, Jesus rightly stated that “no man knows” because, at that time (context here), He was both fully God and fully man. But in His humanity, He willingly and obediently limited Himself in His power of omniscience to trust fully in His Father’s plan. Just as we humans can’t see into the future, it stands to reason, that God becoming a man, would limit Himself in like-manner so as to be tested as we are in all things (Hebrews 4:15). Yet, He did it without sinning. Doubt is intricately tied to not knowing, which as James 1:6 and Hebrews 11:1 point out, destroys faith. Jesus demonstrated perfect faith in the Father, which would by necessity mean He limited Himself in what He knew if He were to be tested in every way as we mortals are.

But as indicated in Revelation 1:1, Jesus was given the Revelation at some point after His death, burial, resurrection, and ascension. This was what the Apostle John, imprisoned on the isle of Patmos in 95AD, was witness to. In His seven letters, Jesus tells the church at Sardis this:

Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you. Revelation 3:3

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