Bible passage: Matthew 24:36-37
Written: During the first century
When Jesus lived in the land of Israel about 2000 years ago, he gave a very simple and concise answer when someone asked him when he would return: He explained that no one knows the hour or the day, except for God the Father (Matthew 24:36).
Even so, many people throughout history have falsely insisted that they knew the timing of Jesus' return, only to be proven wrong. During the past few centuries, for example, there have been some very influential people who have misled many people with their false predictions, including:
• William Miller, who is credited with the beginning of the Adventist movement, which includes the Seventh-day Adventist Church. He claimed that Jesus would return "sometime between March 21, 1843 and March 21, 1844."
• After his prediction had failed, a colleague named Samuel Snow, claimed that the true date would be October 22, 1844. That prediction also proved false.
• Nelson H. Barbour, a Millerite Adventist who lived from 1824 to 1905, wrote a book entitled Evidences for the Coming of the Lord in 1873, and was involved in other date-setting attempts with Charles Taze Russell.
• Russell continued attempts at setting dates for the return of Jesus and spoke of invisible fulfillments. Russell is credited as being the founder of a religious organization called Jehovah's Witnesses.
• Herbert W. Armstrong, who lived from 1892 to 1986 and founded a religious organization called the Worldwide Church of God, wrote a book called 1975 in Prophecy! The book warned of a catastrophic drought, enslavement of Americans and Britons, nuclear war, and the return of Jesus as a dictator.
• Joseph Smith, the founder of a religion called Mormonism, claimed that Jesus would return by 1891.
- Research and commentary is based on the book 100 Prophecies. © Ray Konig and AboutBibleProphecy.com.
Here is Matthew 24:36-37:
36 No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
(New International Version translation)