The Clock of Time

The Clock of Time

Have you ever wondered what the world would be like if there were no clocks? How would we know what time to be at the airport to catch a flight? How would the airline know when to prepare for take off? How frustrating it would be for people to show up for appointments late only to give the excuse, “I didn’t know what time it was.”

Keeping the time

Fortunately we have a way to tell the time so that we can keep our appointments. In 1845 at the request of the Secretary of the Navy, the Observatory installed a time ball atop the 9.6 inch telescope dome. The time ball was dropped every day precisely at noon, enabling the inhabitants of Washington to set their timepieces. Ships in the Potomac River could also set their clocks before putting out to sea. From this way of telling time we went to Universal Time, the “time of day” based on the rotation of the earth.

.In 1956 a new uniform time scale known as Ephemeris time came into use. In 1984 the family of time scales known as Dynamical time replaced Ephemeris time as the time based on the motion of celestial bodies.

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The prophetic clock-timer

How do we know what time to set our clocks? By nature. The God who created the sun, the moon, and the stars by which we determine the accurate time to set our clocks has also given us a way to be able to tell what time it is in earth’s history.

One of the most solemn yet glorious truths revealed in the Bible is that of Christ’s second coming. The promise of the second coming is the very keynote of sacred Scripture. The coming of the Lord has been in all ages the hope of His true followers. As John the revelator wrote in Revelation 22:20, “Even so, come Lord Jesus.”

The U.S. Naval Observatory continues to be the leading authority in the United States for astronomical and timing data required for such purposes as navigation at sea, on land, and in space as well as for civil affairs and legal matters. “Its mission includes determining the positions and motions of the Earth, Sun, Moon, planets, stars and other celestial objects, providing astronomical data; determining precise time; measuring the Earth's rotation; and maintaining the Master Clock for the UnitedProphecy not only foretells the manner and object of Christ’s coming but presents tokens by which men are to know when it is near. “And He [Jesus] spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree and all the trees; When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand” (Luke 21:29-31).

Significant events foretold

In the Savior’s conversation with the disciples upon Mount Olivet, he mentioned certain events to precede His coming and specified the time when the first of these should be witnessed. Jesus said that in those days after “that tribulation,” the sun would be darkened and the moon would not give her light (Matthew 24:29).

A dark day

Following the persecution of the dark ages, according to the words of Christ, the sun was to be darkened. On the 19th of May, 1780, this prophecy was fulfilled.

“Almost if not altogether alone as the most mysterious, and as yet unexplained phenomena of its kind, stands the dark day of May 19, 1780. A most unaccountable

darkening of the whole visible heavens and atmosphere in New England” (R.M. Devins, Our First Century, p. 89).

The intense darkness of the day was suceeded an hour or two before evening, by a partially clear sky, and the sun appeared, though it was still obscured by the black heavy mist. “After sundown the clouds came again overhead, and it grew dark very fast.” “Nor was the darkness of the night less uncommon and terrifying than that of the day; notwithstanding there was almost a full moon, no object was discernible but by the help of some artificial light” (Isaiah Thomas, Massachusetts Spy, vol. 10, number 472).

The description of this event as given by eyewitnesses is but an echo of the words of the Lord, recorded by the prophet Joel 2,500 years previous to their fulfillment. “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come” (Joel 2:31).

Stars shall fall from heaven

Christ asked His people to watch for the signs of His advent and rejoice when they saw the signs of their coming King. Jesus also stated, “The stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven shall be shaken” (Matthew 24:29).

In 1833 the last of the signs appeared which were promised by the Savior as tokens of His second advent. Jesus said, “The stars shall fall from heaven,” and John the revelator declared, as he saw in vision the scenes that announced the day of God, “The stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind” (Revelation 6:13).

This prophecy received a striking and impressive fulfillment in the great meteoric shower of November 13, 1833. That was the most extensive display of falling stars which has ever been recorded; “the whole firmament over all the United States being then, for hours a fiery commotion. No celestial phenomenon has ever occurred in this country since its first settlement which was viewed with such an intense admiration by one class in the community, or with as much dread and alarm by another.

“From two o’clock until broad daylight,... an incessant play of dazzlingly, brilliant luminosities was kept up in the whole heavens” (R.M. Devins, American Progress; or, The Great Events of the Greatest Century, Chapter 28, paragraphs 1-5).

Remember, though, that Jesus said there would be a mighty shaking that would be another sign previous to His coming.

A Great Earthquake

“I beheld when He had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake” (Revelation 6:12).

Prophecy not only foretells the manner and object of Christ’s coming, but presents tokens by which men may know when it is near. In fulfillment of this prophecy, there occurred in the year 1755 the most terrible earthquake that has ever been recorded.

Though commonly known as the Lisbon earthquake, it extended to the greater part of Europe, Africa, and America. It was felt in Greenland and the West Indies, in the island of Madeira, in Norway and Sweden, Great Britain and Ireland. It pervaded an extent of not less than four million square miles.

In Africa the shock was almost as severe as in Europe. A great part of Algiers was destroyed, and a short distance from Morocco, a village containing 10,000 inhabitants was swallowed up. A vast wave swept over the coast of Spain and Africa, engulfing cities and causing great destruction.

The inflowing wave was said to be 60 feet high. Mountains, “some of the largest in Portugal, were impetuously shaken as it were, from their very foundations...” (Sir Charles Lyell, Principles of Geology, p. 495).

“The earthquake happened on a holy day when the churches and convents were full of people, very few of whom escaped” (Encyclopedia Americana, art. “Lisbon.” Ed. 1831).

One editor of The New Republic magazine, reflecting on the impact of the recent tsunami in south Asia, spoke of the effect of the Lisbon disaster on the thinking of its time and possible parallels to similar calamities now. 

“On the morning of November 1, 1755, an earthquake destroyed Lisbon. It lasted ten minutes, and concluded with a tsunami at the mouth of the Tagus River. Tens of thousands of people perished, and the philosophical confidence of Europe was forever shaken. When I began to grasp the magnitude of what the Asian ocean wreaked last week, it was to the Lisbon literature that I turned for assistance....

“It was completely right that the horrors of Lisbon would throw Europe into a crisis of meaning, that Voltaire’s denunciation of the faith that tout est bien would send seismic waves across an entire culture” (Leon Wieseltier, “The Wake,” The New Republic, Jan. 17, 2005, p. 34).

It is fair to say no other earthquake, or perhaps any other natural disaster since the Flood, has caused such upheaval of thought in the world.

Capricious event or sign?

We frequently hear of earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, and destruction by fire and floods, with great loss of life and property. Apparently these calamities are random outbreaks of disorganized, unregulated forces of nature, wholly beyond the control of man, but in them all, God’s purpose may be read. They are ways by which He seeks to warn people about danger.

But Jesus didn’t say, “When ye see these things, that we need to tremble and hide in the rocks.” Jesus did say, “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh” (Luke 21:28). It is later than you think.

Seeing the signs of the times

In Matthew chapter 15 is the story of how Jesus was healing the sick. He was giving sight to the blind. The deaf could hear. The lame were walking. After these miraculous things were taking place in the power of God, the Pharisees, along with the Sadducees, came and tempted Jesus, desiring that He should show them a sign from heaven. He answered and said unto them, “When it is evening, ye say, it will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather today: for the sky is red and lowering. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?” (Matthew 16:2, 3).

Jesus said that we can tell the time of earth’s history, our place in that history, and the nearness of the second coming by the events taking place around us.

Jesus was with His disciples. “And as He sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto Him privately, saying, tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of thy

coming, and the end of the world?” (Matthew 24:3).

What a profound question! What will be the sign of Your second coming, Lord? What will be the sign of the end of the world? How can we know that it is near, even at the doors?

Danger of deception

The first response of Jesus was, “Let no man deceive you” (verse 4). In verse 5, Jesus goes on to say, “For many shall come in my name, saying I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” In verse 11 He adds: “And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.” It even gets more specific. “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect” (Matthew 24:24).

The deception is going to be so persuasive that it will be almost enough to deceive those who are the closest and the strongest in the word of God.

Why are so many people deceived today? Consider the story of Jim Jones and how he led a thousand people into the jungles of South America, and how they ultimately killed themselves with poison drink. There is also the story of David Koresh at a compound near Waco. He even claimed to be the lamb of God, which is Christ himself, and scores of people were willing to die with him in that holocaust.

We find hundreds of ministers and preachers teaching with the “hellish torch of Satan,” contrary to the word of God, and yet so few, relatively speaking, perceive the errors because they don’t understand what the word of God actually says.

David said, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee” (Psalm 119:11). Jesus said “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me” (John 5:39).

The apostle Paul wrote, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished, unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16, 17).

Of all the things that Christ could have said when the disciples asked the question, “What will be the sign of thy coming and the end of the world?” the first thing He emphasized, that evidently is so important, was to guard against being deceived. There are going to be great deceptions in the last days, every wind of doctrine will be blowing, and people will be very, very confused.

If there was ever a time when people need to be searching the scriptures with prayer, it is now. It is so important that we not allow the enemy of souls to deceive us in any way. Search the scriptures, we are commanded.

Wars and rumors of wars

After Jesus shared with the disciples and admonished them to be so careful about falling into deception, the next thing He said was, “And ye shall hear of wars, and rumors of wars.”

Regarding the number of wars and killings, one student writes:

“Well, what can you say about a century that begins and ends with killing in Sarajevo? ‘Good riddance’ springs to mind. Somewhere around 180 million people have been killed in one Twentieth Century atrocity or another -- a far larger total than for any other century in human history....

“By my calculation, there have been 165 wars or tyrannies of the 20th Century which have killed ... 6,000 [or more] people [per war]. Five of these events claimed more than 6 million victims. Twenty- one events claimed between 600,000 and 6 million lives. Sixty-one events claimed between 60 and 600 thousand, and seventy-eight events killed between 6 and 60 thousand.

“Of course, all these numbers are subject to a wide margin of error and a rancorous debate. Wars are messy, and tens of thousands of people can easily disappear without a trace. The worst atrocities take place in the dark, unseen and unrecorded” (Historical Atlas of the Twentieth Century, Matthew White []).

“For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom” (Mt. 24:7).


The Bible predicts famines, great famines, just prior to the second coming. According to the United Nations World Food Organization, at least 850 million people on this planet are in some stage of malnutrition. Nearly one out of every six people go to bed hungry in our world. Over five million people die every year for lack of proper nourishment.

Here is one listing of the current situation from a web site that gathers such data:

* 854 million people across the world are hungry, up from 852 million a year ago.

Every day, almost 16,000 children die from hunger-related causes--one child every five seconds.2

In essence, hunger is the most extreme form of poverty, where individuals or families cannot afford to meet their most basic need for food.3

Hunger manifests itself in many ways other than starvation and famine. Most poor people who battle hunger deal with chronic undernourishment and vitamin or mineral deficiencies, which result in stunted growth, weakness and heightened susceptibility to illness.3

Countries in which a large portion of the population battles hunger daily are usually poor and often lack the social safety nets we enjoy, such as soup kitchens, food stamps, and job training programs. When a family that lives in a poor country cannot grow enough food or earn enough money to buy food, there

is nowhere to turn for help.

1. State of Food Insecurity in the World 2006, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 2006.

2. Black, Robert, Morris, Saul, & Jennifer Bryce. "Where and Why Are 10 Million Children Dying Every Year?" The Lancet 361:2226-2234. 2003. ( international.html)

3. Are We On Track To End Hunger? Hunger Report 2004. Bread for the World Institute. 2004.


We are also told that there would be pestilences in the last days. More than 80 million Africans may die from AIDS by 2025. And infections could soar to 90 million, or more than 10% of the continent’s population, according to the Associated Press.

Speaking of pestilence, the earth could be on the brink of a global epidemic from the bird flu virus, which may mutate to become as deadly and infectious as viruses that killed millions during three influenza pandemics in the twentieth century, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said (Washington Post, February, 2005).

Millions of people die every year of diseases, old and new. The search for cures is continuous, but diseases are complex and sometimes changing, making the effort difficult.


Jesus said there would be earthquakes in diverse places (Matthew 24:7). The United States Geological Survey typically reports 2000 earthquakes per month for an average of about 70 earthquakes per day. There are actually many more quakes than this, but they are limited in their ability to detect small earthquakes that occur far away from seismic observing stations (http://atlas.geology.cornell. education).

Balakot, Pakistan: The death toll soared to 79,000 Wednesday from South Asia’s mammoth earthquake following a survey of one of the two hardest hit Pakistani

regions, making it one of the deadliest quakes in modern times (Associated Press, October 19, 2005).

Consider the May 12, 2008 earthquake in China, where an estimated 69,000 were killed, with aftershocks destroying cities and creating dams, with subsequent further evacuations to avoid further loss of life.

 The numbers of earthquakes of 6 points or higher on the scale has been dramatically increasing (see the chart below). The total recorded earthquakes over 3 points on the Richter scale from 1987 to 1996 was 100,810.

1890 - 1899

1900 - 1910

1910 - 1930

1930 - 1940

1940 - 1970 13

1970 - 1980 56

1980 - 1989 310 

1990 - 1999 1496 

2000 - 2008 1387

Recorded Earthquakes over 6.0 on the Richter Scale

Gleaned from the web site of National Earthquake Information Center of the U.S. Geological Survey

One of the most devastating earthquakes that took place in recent years was the Indonesian earthquake that shook the planet. “The great Sumatra-Nandaman earthquake that generated a devastating tsunami in December 2004 was so powerful that the ground shook everywhere on Earth’s surface and weeks later the planet was still trembling” (Washington Post, May 20, 2005).

Jesus said in Luke 21:25, “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring.”

What the underlying Greek text is basically saying is that as a result of tsunamis there will be perplexities in the nations, as the oceans leave their boundaries.

Seeing the signs and giving a warning

One heartening story that came out following the 2004 Indian-Ocean tsunami that killed over 225,000 people is that of British schoolgirl, 10-year-old Tilly Smith. Vacationing on a beach in Thailand with her parents, she recognized the signs of a tsunami from her recent school lessons. She persuaded her parents and other tourists to flee the beach. No one was killed on that beach (BBC News, Sept. 9, 2005).

Tilly is credited with saving nearly 100 tourists. Tilly was recognized at the United Nations in September 2005 (, art. “Tilly Smith”). Tilly not only recognized the signs of a tsunami, but she warned people. She did not keep it to herself. She shared the signs with others so they, too, could be safe from the devastation.

The Days of Noah

Remember the Old Testament story of Noah? The Bible tells us the animals went into the ark, two by two and seven by seven, and yet the people of the world refused to get on board and subsequently drowned.

Jesus said in Luke 17:26, 27, “And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it also be in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.”

What was it like in Noah’s day? “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”

“And God looked upon the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth” (Genesis 6:5, 12).

Why do people think evil?

Scripture says the imagination of the thoughts of the heart was evil continually. Why is this?Why do people behave the way they do? It seems that human behavior is out of control.

We believe that one of the reasons is that many churches today have been teaching for a long time that the law of God is no longer binding on Christians. But what happens when people disregard the law of God?

Those who teach the people to regard lightly the commandments of God sow disobedience to reap disobedience. When the restraints of divine law are cast aside, human laws soon are also disregarded. Because God forbids dishonest practices, coveting, lying and defrauding, men are ready to trample upon His statutes as a hindrance to their worldly prosperity.

What happens when religious leaders say it is no longer necessary to keep the Ten Commandments? If that law was not binding and civil enforcement failed, property would no longer be safe. Men would obtain their neighbor’s possessions by violence. The strongest would become richest. Life itself would not be respected. The marriage vow would no longer stand as a sacred bulwark to protect the family. He who had the power would, if he desired, take his neighbor’s wife by violence. The fifth commandment would be set aside with the fourth. Children would no longer shrink from killing their parents, if by so doing they get what they wanted.

The religious teaching that men are released from obedience to God’s requirements has weakened the force of moral obligation and opened the floodgates of iniquity upon the world. Lawlessness and corruption are sweeping in upon us like an overwhelming tide.

The whole system of religious principles and doctrines, which should form the foundation and framework of social life, seems to be tottering in the mass, ready to fall to ruin.

Society’s response to evil

And how do we as a society deal with it? The vilest of criminals, when thrown into prison for their offences, often receive gifts and attentions as if they had obtained an enviable distinction. Great publicity is given to their character and crimes, especially if they are a sports or movie star or otherwise famous. The media publishes the revolting details of vice, thus initiating others into practices of fraud, robbery, and murder.

It’s very clear that if one has enough money one can often bend justice in one’s favor. These things should arouse all of us who fear God to inquire, what can be done to stay the tide of evil?

The courts of justice, it seems, are corrupt. Men are actuated by desires of gain and love of sensual pleasure. Intemperate living has impaired the judgment of many, so that Satan has almost complete control of them. Even

some judges are perverted, bribed and deluded. Drunkeness and rivalry, passion, envy and dishonesty of every sort are found among those who enforce and administer the law. “Justice standeth afar off: for truth has fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter” (Isaiah 59:14).

“Ordinary citizens have been the heart of Anglo-American criminal justice for centuries. Ideally, 12 jurors reflect the common sense of a community. The Simpson jury shows the system at rock bottom. Nobody applauds the swiftness of its verdict or the internal rancor over the past year. ... Either possible verdict was going to be illegitimate to a major segment of society; that’s no way to promote confidence in criminal justice” (“Disorder In The Court,” Newsweek, Feb. 11, 2008).

Perilous times in the last days

The inspired apostle Paul said, “This know also, that in the last days perilous [hard to bear, troublesome, dangerous] times shall come” (2 Timothy 3:1).

These are certainly dangerous times. One cannot be in a marketplace in many countries of the world without the threat of being blown up. Whether at a high school in Colorado or a university in Virginia, we are living in dangerous times.

Paul’s prediction about the Christian church

But Paul doesn’t stop there. In verses 2-5 he writes, “For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent [no self-control], fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”

Paul here is not describing the world when he gives these various things that will be taking place. He’s talking about what the so-called Christian church would appear to be before the second coming of Jesus.

The signs in the church

Consider the serial killer in Kansas who called himself BTK, and who was an elder in his local church. Then there was the woman who wanted a child but could not give birth. She found someone on the Internet that was about ready to deliver her baby. She went to this lady’s home, murdered her, and cut the baby out of her womb. A few days later she took the baby to the local church she attended to show her child to the church members and the pastor. Pastors and priests are molesting children and running off with other people’s wives.

The author remembers a story told by an evangelist many years ago. He was in the city of Baltimore, Maryland, having evangelistic meetings. The pastor of the venue church left the building late that night after locking up. As he went to his car, two men approached him, stuck a gun in his back, tied him up, put tape across his mouth, placed him in the trunk of his own car, and drove around Baltimore trying to decide what they would do with him. After several hours they decided to free him. They lifted him out of his trunk and untied him to let him go. Before he left, the good pastor said he would like to have prayer with these men who just robbed him. They too wanted to have prayer, and after the prayer, one of the robbers put his arm around the pastor’s shoulder and said, “Pastor, we’re so glad you prayed for us, for you see, we are Christians, too.”

Just another sign of the coming of our Lord.

Crime and violence will get worse

Will the amount of crime and the violence diminish? The Bible says in 2 Timothy 3:13, “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.” Some look for things to get better before Jesus comes. It’s not in scripture. But praise God, there is a cure.

On June 30, 2007 there were 2,299,116 prisoners held in U.S. federal or state prisons or in local jails – an increase of 1.8% from year-end 2006, less than the average annual growth of 2.6% from 2000- 2006.

Despite a decline since 1993, the number of violent crimes in the U.S. in 2003 (the last year for which data was available) was still close to two million for that year.

As it was in the days of Lot

Jesus went on to say in Luke 17:28-30, “Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.”

What was it like in the days of Lot? Two angels came to the ancient city of Sodom at evening. The patriarch Lot met them and insisted they stay with him for the night.

“But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them. And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly” (Genesis 19:4-7).

Our days like those of Lot?

Item one: Jesus was called “King of Queers” in a recent off-Broadway production. Terrance Macanally’s play “Corpus Christi” is about a Jesus-like figure who has sex with his apostles and is crucified as the “King of Queers.” This insult to the people of faith was produced with tax dollars.

Item two: “Demonstrators supporting equal rights for gay men and lesbians are expected to fill the streets and parks of Washington this weekend with events including a mass commitment ceremony involving a thousand couples.... ‘We are expecting hundreds of thousands of people to participate in the march,’” said spokeswoman Cory Planck (“Gay Rights Supporters to March This Weekend,”Washington Post, Apr. 28, 2000).

Item three: “On May 15, 2008, the Supreme Court of California overturned the state’s ban on same-sex marriage in ‘In re Marriage Cases’” The four-to-three decision took effect on June 16, 2008. The Court declined to stay its decision until after the November elections” (“Same-sex marriage in California,”, on Sep. 10, 2008).

Defacing the image of God in man

In what other ways are we living in perilous times? How else is man defacing the image of God?

Washington Post dated 11/20/ 2004: “In Minnesota pigs are being born with human blood in their veins. In Nevada there are sheep whose livers and hearts are largely human. In California mice peer from their cages with human brain cells firing inside their skulls.”

“If we open this door and say it’s allright to create new forms of life that are part human and part animal, what will we ever say no to?” said biologist Jeremy Rifkin, author of Biotech Century.

“We no longer feel ourselves to be guests in someone else’s home and therefore obliged to make our behavior conform with a set of preexisting cosmic rules. It is our creation now. We make the rules. We establish the parameters of reality. We create the world, and because we do, we no longer feel beholden to outside forces. We no longer have to justify our behavior, for we are now the architects of the universe. We are responsible to nothing outside ourselves, so we are the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever and ever” (Algeny: A New Word -- A New World, p. 244 by Jeremy Rifkin).

Are these events just old news?

Some have said throughout the years, “Oh, these things have been going on from the very beginning. They’re nothing to be concerned about.” The very fact that people are saying that is certainly another sign of the times in which we are living.

“Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of His coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old” (2 Peter 3:3-5).

Many are saying, “Whatever. We’ve heard these things before.”

The world is continuing to live on as usual: eating, drinking, merrymaking, and yet probation is closing. “Come ye, say they, I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and to morrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant” (Isaiah 56:12).

It’s time to awake!

But the word of God says “that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying” (Romans 13:11-13).

The word of God warns us: “And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that that day come upon you unawares” (Luke 21:34).

As has been noted, Jesus Himself said that at His coming it would be like the days of Noah. The people did not know until the flood came and destroyed them all (Matthew 24:37-39).

“Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you, I say unto all, Watch!” (Mark 13:35-37).