No One Knows the Exact Time of Jesus’ Second Coming (a/k/a “End of the World”)

or  “How  Should  We  Live  With  This  Uncertainty?”

Matthew 24:36  “But of that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.” 1

Recalling this very simple statement would eliminate anxiety for many.   A decade does not go by without new claims stating when the exact time of The End will be.  The current one is for tomorrow, depending on how the Mayan calendar is interpreted.  For the Christian, none of this should be traumatic.

Distractions of this type are just what Satan delights in.  (Of course, for those who don’t believe in the existence of that fallen angel, these comments will be of no interest.  In such cases, they often don’t believe in God, either.  Their lives are an unfortunate series of hurried activities trying to make the most of the only existence they expect to have.)

Back to the Evil One – he delights in these opportunities.  When Christians begin to worry about what is really unknowable, they lose focus on leading a good life.  Instead of trying to live as Christ commanded, they begin to approach things defensively.  In other words, instead of being outward focused they turn inward.  When they turn inward, they can’t see others or the rest of Creation for which they are stewards.  Decisions become tinged with increasing selfishness.  These actions play into the hands of Satan, who was bounced from Heaven because he thought more of himself than his Creator.


Scripture also has advice on how to live with this uncertainty.  The parable about the ten virgins who went to meet the bridegroom is an example.  Five brought sufficient oil for their lamps, five did not.  When the bridegroom was delayed and did not appear until midnight, the unprepared five were out of luck.  As it says in Matthew 25:13 “Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour.” 1


Another popular story, not from Scripture, makes this point evident from a different point of view.  The devil was training his apprentice minions by having them go to the Earth and turn people away from God.  They came back very frustrated.  They asked Satan how they could ever succeed when believers had the teachings of the Church, the example of the saints for encouragement and the promise of eternal happiness before them.  Satan calmed them by saying all they had to do was convince people that “they had time.”  By doing this, people would continue to delay critical conversions in their spiritual lives – until it was too late.


We need not live in fear of “the end of the world.”  In fact, we should look forward to it.  If we do our best to follow Jesus’ commands daily, then “the end” will signify the beginning of our eternal life of happiness!

– “The New Catholic Answer Bible,” Fireside Catholic Publishing, Wichita, KS, 2005


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