Why We Can’t Know the Day or the Hour: the Commandment to Know the Generation of the Lord’s Return
by Adam Wittenberg
We know from Scripture there’s a storm on the horizon. It’s already here in many ways, and it’s going to increase. Darkness will intensify in the generation of the Lord’s return, and the more severe the darkness gets, the closer His return gets.
We find this tension and paradox in the end times—there will be the most intense darkness, and yet the greatest measure of the Spirit’s power and glory will be released. Both dynamics will be operating on the earth at the same time.
Scripture offers us many reasons to hope, yet without a solid understanding of the biblical narrative, we are left with a secular narrative, which will lead to confusion, fear, and offense.
This applies to believers. There are many in the church today who say things like, “I love Jesus, but I’m not into the end times.” Instead of trying to search the Scriptures, they’re content to live off of someone else’s understanding.
Yet there are more than 150 chapters in the Bible that talk about the generation and events surrounding Christ’s return. God wants us to have more than a basic understanding of this.
Contrary to what some say, it is intensely practical—and relevant—to learn about the end times. Because without knowledge we are left with human logic, reasoning, and the secular narrative to interpret these events, and that will not help us amidst the intense pressures.
One of the greatest misconceptions in the church is that since Jesus said that no one knows the day or the hour of His return, except the Father (Matthew 24:36), we can’t know the season either. But Jesus commanded His people to know the generation. He said that those living in the generation of His return would know it.
In Matthew 24, after laying out the signs of His return, Jesus says, “So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors” (Matthew 24:33)! That’s not a suggestion; that’s a command—know these things, because “this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place” (vs. 34).
We are very likely living in the early days of that generation. It’s not too early to prepare ourselves, and our children, for the return of Christ.
For the first time in history, all of the signs leading up to His return are increasing on a global scale at the same time. Various signs have been present since Christ ascended, but we live in a day and hour when they are rising globally.
In these days, we need to gain more understanding of what Jesus said will happen in that generation. We need to study Scripture and to grow in knowledge of our Messiah who is coming.
Jesus warned that deception is one of the greatest threats to believers in the end times (Matthew 24). In light of this, we need to fill up on God’s truth like never before.
When you know what the Bible is referring to by all of these things, you’ll act differently. You’ll live differently. You’ll make different decisions.
Those who speak His truth will be lights in the darkness, helping turn others from death to life and keeping believers on the path.
If you’re seeking greater knowledge of the end times and how to recognize the generation of the Lord’s return, check out Mike’s newest book, God’s Answer to the Growing Crisis: A Bold Call to Action in the End Times from Charisma House. Gain a fresh biblical perspective on the agenda to secularize and de-Christianize America; what the upsurge of secular humanism looks like; the rise of ISIS and Islamic extremists; and the looming financial crisis. Readers will overcome fear and confusion in the last days and learn to pray effectively for this nation and the world.
How can you grow your understanding of the Lord’s return?
A Detroit native who was raised in Vermont and Connecticut, Adam worked as a newspaper journalist until 2012, when he moved to Kansas City to complete the Intro to IHOPKC internship. Afterwards, he earned a four-year certificate in House of Prayer Leadership from IHOPU and is now on full-time staff in the Marketing department at IHOPKC. He also serves in the NightWatch (overnight prayer hours) and is active in evangelism. He, and his wife Stephany, have a vision to reach people everywhere with the good news of Jesus Christ.