Jesus told His disciples in John 16:12, “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now”. In other words, Jesus had given them a basic outline concerning His plan of salvation, but had not gone into details. He knew that they were unable to comprehend them at that point in time.
It is vital that we apply this principle to the arena of end times prophecy. The Word of God will often seemingly contradict itself unless we have a firm grasp of the context in which any verse or portion of Scripture is “couched in”.
For example, we are told in Acts 1:7 “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power”. Many mistakenly claim this verse as a prooftext to essentially claim, “it is useless to study the signs pertaining to Christ’s return, we cannot possibly know where we are on God’s prophetic timeline”. Simply put, it is a cop-out, do not allow them to derail you from believing the truth! – the Lord will illuminate those who seek this revelation (Hebrews 11:6).
You see, it becomes an impossible task for the scoffers to harmonize their claim with the truth pronounced in 1 Thess.5:1-11.. vs.1-3, “But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write to you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction shall come upon them”… vs.4 -But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day shall overtake you as a thief”. Do not overlook the sharp contrast between the discerning and non-discerning groups. Compare verse 3, “For when THEY shall say, with verse 4, “But YE”.
In Acts 1:6, the disciples asked Jesus if He was going to”restore the Kingdom of Israel”. But just as in John 16:12, Jesus essentially ignored their question realizing that they were not ready to recieve His answer at that juncture in time. Jesus simply brought them back again to what was His main agenda for them at that point in the Father’s prophetic plan (2000 yrs.plus ago) ….. being witnesses into all the world and a testimony to all nations (Acts 1:8).
Apparently, the followers of Christ at His first coming, as well as those throughout the ages possesed a very “foggy” understanding of the final events of the age before Christs return to the earth at the end of the “Time of Jacob’s Trouble” (Jer.30:7), a.k.a. – the “Great Tribulation” (Matt.24:15).
The prophet Daniel addressed this very issue in Dan.12:4,”But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. “By all accounts, this end times Divine revelation was “unsealed” and reserved for the last generation prior to Christ’s return (Matt.24:34). After all, it is only those who are alive from that group comprised of all nations, who will actually experience the epic events that comprise the Second Coming of Christ.
As end times followers of Christ, we may not be able to pinpoint the exact timing of the Rapture, but we should know the season by the Biblical signs. Instead of chasing after exact Rapture dates, it is my firm belief that we should step back and discern this season through a wider or panoramic perspective. And most importantly, we should be preparing ourselves spiritually through prayer, Bible reading, and an earnest desire and willingness to walk in God’s will for our lives. Let us all take heed to the intensely sobering words of Luke 21:36: “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.”
Note: If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, be sure to leave a comment below – thank you, Steve.