Date Setting Vs.

Being Ready

From the Message of
Bread Upon The Waters Ministry;

Jesus REALLY is coming soon. BE READY!!!

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Someone wrote to me in the wake of my E-Letter of 5/20/2000. He asked me what there was to be ready for, since, as he put it, "all the Christians will be gone after September 30" (his words, not mine). In other words, that person has set a date for the Rapture. He is so confident that he is right about the date that he promised to set me straight about Prophecy when we meet on the way up to Heaven.

I, on the other hand, told him in reply that I had made a note on my calendar (I did) to write to him on October 1, 2000 and that I hoped he would be open to an opposing point of view when history had proven him wrong. 

The only way I believe that I won't be writing to him on October 1 is if the Tribulation starts first, in the way shown in the  "A Mountain Burning With Fire"  page  or the Lord decides to take me home first. I am convinced that no Rapture will have occurred at that time, regardless of what else has happened. If history does in fact prove him wrong about the date he has set, he will have plenty of company. Many people have already done that and time has always proven them wrong.

Special Note: I am sure that no Rapture will have occurred by October 1 because I am sure that the Rapture, and the Resurrection of the Saints, will happen at the end of the Great Tribulation (see Revelation 20:4-6). It has been my observation that the thing that most date setters have falsely predicted was the date of the Rapture. Since Pre-Tribulation Rapture is false doctrine anyway, it is no surprise that those who hold to this doctrine often get into further error by setting or believing in dates. It is the beginning of the Tribulation we really have to be ready for. Not the Rapture.

In asking what Christians have to be ready for, he was thus tacitly denying the clear word of Scripture, which clearly tells us to be ready. The context of the relevant admonitions tells us that all Christians should always be making a conscious effort to be ready.

Update: October 8, 2000. The date the person specified has come and gone. Guess what? No Rapture has taken place, or you wouldn't be reading this. Once again, I have been proven right by history. As stated elsewhere in this site, I don't say this out of pride, but to impress the readers with the fact that what is said in this site deserves to be taken seriously.

The clear word of Scripture is not just that we can't know dates, it is that we are not supposed to know, as Jesus said (Matt 24:36),

"No one knows about that day or hour, 
not even the angels in heaven, 
nor the Son, but only the
Father." 
(NIV)

and also (Acts 1:7)

"And he said unto them, 
It is not for you to know the times or the seasons,
which the Father hath put in his own power."
(KJV)

Therefore, since the Bible says this so plainly, to try to figure out the dates is rebellion against God. To think you have done so is to be deceived. To teach or publish a date is to violate the warning of Revelation 22:18;

"For I testify unto every man that heareth
the words of the prophecy of this book,
If any man
shall add unto these things,
God shall add unto him the plagues
that are written in this book."
(KJV)

It may be possible to know the approximate year of Christ's coming, (see "When Will Jesus Come Again?"), but I would not even take a stand on that. Of course, it will certainly be true that those who are ready will know when the Second Coming is near (See "Where is the Promise?"), but as far as knowing the exact date? 

Forget It!

Setting dates has been the cause of many Christians falling away,
or at least losing interest in the Second Coming,
to the point that they will not be ready.

Furthermore, the unsaved world is not unaware of all the times that Christians have tried to set dates and have been proven wrong by history. This happens to be a very bad testimony. It gives the unsaved a valid reason to say that Christians are crazy and/or stupid.
See:
"The Proper Handling of Prophecy"

For an example of how many times "date setters" have been wrong,
see "Chronology of Confusion"

Many Christians  blindly continue to follow leaders who have made predictions, tacitly or plainly claiming divine inspiration, but who have been proven wrong again and again. When a Christian follows a leader who has been wrong repeatedly, he is rebelling against God doing it. See Deuteronomy 18:22. More than that, some date setters, when proven wrong by history, rather than repenting of their whole unscriptural approach to Prophecy, have just made new calculations, and set new dates, only to be proven wrong by history again. You would think they would wake up!

I don't think that most date setters have any idea of how much harm they have done, and are doing, to the cause of Christ. They will find out when they face the Lord in judgment, if not before. If you believe in a date,  you need to repent of that in a hurry.

It has been said in this Web site that those who believe in any of the various views that deny that Christians will go through the Tribulation are in for a terrible surprise. See "The Rapture". When a Christian puts his or her faith in a date, and the date is proven wrong by history, the Christian gets a little nasty surprise before the terrible one. 

On the other hand, we are clearly told in Matthew 24:44, Luke 12:40, and other related passages, such as Luke 21:34 & 35, to be ready:

"Be careful,
or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation,
drunkenness and the anxieties of life,
and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap.
For it will come upon all those
who live on the face of the whole earth."
(NIV)

The concern of this Ministry is that many Christians will not be ready. Those who are not ready are in for a terrible surprise. 

Jesus warned us, in Luke 12:47, of what will happen to those who aren't ready:

 "That servant who knows his master's will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows."
(NIV)

In the "Where is the Promise?" page of the Ministry Web site, the prediction was made, in February 1999, that when the Year 2000 and the Y2K Bug failed to bring about a global social and economic catastrophe, and something related to the Second Coming, i.e. the Rapture, or the beginning of the Tribulation, etc., that the then-present upsurge in interest in Prophecy would soon fade away.

Just in the past week (late May, 2000) a brother in the Lord, who once had a significant Prophecy-related Web site of his own, wrote a letter to his list that included the following statements

"It is rather clear that interest in "watching" for the signs of Christ's return has greatly waned through much of the church, and even in our group, especially since many believed Y2K let them down by not bringing in the Antichrist, or something to that effect....

...I cannot deny that I have also been waning in my interest in "watching" for Christ's return, partly because of "big events" of biblical proportions not taking shape as yet, but also because I have been experiencing my best ever career (and money) success. I can now very easily see why many people in this world do not want to even think that "the end" is near, since it would interfere with their own plans and dreams."

The latter statement is what Jesus warned us about in Luke 21:34, and in the Parable of the Faithful and Unfaithful Servants in Matthew 24:45-51. If we don't live our lives in conscious expectation of His return, and make a conscious effort to be ready, we are likely to get careless about how we live our Christian lives, and we won't be ready. This seems to have happened to that brother. He is a successful secular musician, and seems to have effectively abandoned his Christian faith.

Peter reinforces this idea in II Peter 3:11 & 12,

"Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming."
 (NIV)

And note this: when Jesus said, in Matthew 24:44, that...

"... the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him"
(NIV)

...He was talking to His privately to disciples (see Matthew 24:3), and through them, to us.

So here is the thing you must all consider The less that Christians really expect Jesus to come, the more likely it is to happen! Yet if you don't expect it, and are not living your life that way, you are not likely to be ready. Real belief and serious interest in the Second Coming is now on the decline again so, remember,

Jesus REALLY is coming soon. BE READY!!!

See also: "Where is the Promise?"

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Contact Author: William D. Brehm