I agree with Dr. Creed that the certainty of Christ’s return is central in the New Testament. In addition to the passages he quotes, we could note Acts 1:11: “This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven” (NIV).

In Hebrews 9:27–28, the certainty of Christ’s second coming is tightly linked to the fact of his first coming: “Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.”

The appeal of the “date setters” is to satisfy curiosity. But attempts to set the date of Christ’s return have always failed. Such dates have come and gone—sometimes with disastrous results. For example, William Miller, a New England farmer, concluded in 1818 from his Bible studies that Christ would return in 1843; later, however, it was said that the precise date would be October 22, 1844. But Christ did not return on that day—a day that became for Miller’s followers “The Great Disappointment.” Others, including Seventh-day Adventists, later reinterpreted this day as having been the beginning of the so-called investigative judgment—a doctrine for which there is no valid scriptural basis, as many Adventists are now beginning to admit.

The New Testament clearly teaches that no one can know the exact time when Christ is coming again. According to Mark 13:32, no one knows that day or that hour except the Father. The uncertainty of the time of Christ’s second coming is further underscored by passages like Matthew 25:13 (“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour”) and ...

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