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Why Date-Predictors Keep Predicting and

Why They Keep Getting It Wrong

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • May 20, In the year of our Lord, 2018


  1. It seems that some people cannot help themselves;
    1. they feel the urge to predict the date of the return of Christ, but
    2. they never learn from history’s 100% failure rate.
  2. Why do people keep trying to predict the date of His return?
    1. Why do they keep getting it wrong?
    2. Why do they not learn from their mistakes?
  3. I want to show you today:
    1. That Jesus is returning,
    2. Why the date-setters keep getting it wrong, and
    3. What the New Testament teaches on the timing of the Second Coming.


  1. Jesus is returning
    1. Acts 1.9–11

      9 Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, 11 who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven” (Acts 1.9–11).
    2. First Thessalonians:
      1. 1.10

        10 [waiting] for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come (1 Thessalonians 1.10).
      2. 2.19

        For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? (1 Thessalonians 2.19).
      3. 3.13

        13 [He will] establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints (1 Thessalonians 3.13).
      4. 4.13–18

        13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words (1 Thessalonians 4.13–18).
      5. 5.23

        23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 5.23).
  2. Why the date-setters keep getting it wrong
    1. They believe that it will be earthly.
      1. They believe that Jesus will come down from heaven and
        1. set foot on the Mount of Olives.
        2. He will then supposedly set up a Davidic-like kingdom,
          1. sitting on a throne in Jerusalem.
      2. They also believe it will be earthly because
        1. they believe He will reinstitute the levitical sacrificial system
        2. with the temple rebuilt in Jerusalem.
      3. What is wrong with these ideas?
        1. First Thessalonians 4 said that we shall meet Him in the sky.
        2. Why would He reinstitute or allow the Jews to reinstitute the levitical sacrificial system?
          1. When Jesus died, He made it null and void.
          2. The Book of Hebrews rebuked second generation Jewish Christians for heading back to Judaism.
        3. Hebrews 8 offers a thorough refutation:

          1 Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, 2 a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man. 3 For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. Therefore it is necessary that this One also have something to offer. 4 For if He were on earth, He would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law; 5 who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, “See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” 6 But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises. 7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second (Hebrews 8.1–7).
    2. They believe that it will have a countdown.
      1. What all the date-setters have in common
        1. is the belief that the Second Coming of Christ will have a countdown.
      2. They can see that the Jewish leaders and people
        1. did not accept Jesus as the Messiah because
        2. they did not follow the prophecies of the Old Testament properly.
          1. Therefore, they do not want to repeat the mistake.
    3. They keep applying prophecies of His First Coming to His Second Coming.
      1. That would be like applying prophecies of the land promise to Israel to the church.
      2. That would be like claiming that since God virtually ended the world in Noah’s day with a flood, God shall end the world for good with a flood.
        1. Date-setters do this because they believe
        2. that the Jews rejecting Jesus kept Him from becoming a Davidic king.
  3. What the New Testament teaches on the timing of the Second Coming
    1. He will come to retrieve His kingdom, not set it up.
      1. First Corinthians 15

        23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. 24 Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power (1 Corinthians 15.23–24).
    2. He will come unexpectedly.
      1. Have you heard the New Testament refer to the Second Coming of Christ as being like a thief in the night?
      2. You will not read about that in the Old Testament prophecies, because
        1. His First Coming was not like a thief in the night.
        2. However, you will find that expression and similar teachings
          1. only in the New Testament.
          2. In the Gospels, Jesus used parables to teach of His unexpected return, that is the time of His return.
            1. Matthew 24.48–51

              48 “But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ 49 and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, 50 the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, 51 and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 24.48–51).
            2. Luke 12.39–40

              39 “But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 40 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Luke 12.39–40).
          3. In the rest of the New Testament,
            1. Paul and Peter use the expression to refute the idea that you can know the time of the Lord’s return.
            2. First Thessalonians 5.1–2

              1 But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. 2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night (1 Thessalonians 5.1–2).
            3. Second Peter 3.10

              10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up (2 Peter 3.10).


  1. Jesus will return when the final person to be saved has been saved.

    9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3.9).
  2. It has nothing to do with Israel and their land.
  3. You watch for the Second Coming
    1. by preparing for it,
    2. by how you live,
      1. not by watching for signs such as
      2. world war, or Israel, or whatever.
  4. Are you ready for Christ to return right now?