The question above has been raised and songs sung since first century Thessalonica. In the past century the discussion was raised in and around both world wars, again in 1961 during the Cuban missile crisis. In 1990-91 many false prophets were proclaiming the signs of the end of time and that Jesus is coming, soon.

The day of the Lord is coming (I Thess. 5:2; II Pet. 3:10) to be sure, but inspiration gives no indication of signs leading up to the fact. The Hebrew writer affirmed he is coming a second time “unto salvation” (Heb. 9:28).  God says the end comes as a “thief in the night.” Jesus is coming again—on this you can be sure (I Thess. 4:16-18; Acts 1:11), but no warning card is sent or sign given ahead of His coming. “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man comes” (Matt. 25:13). Does that sound like the time of His return is going to be revealed? The day and hour information is not given, thus remaining among the secret things which belong to God (Deut. 29:29).  Of that day and hour “you know not” (Mark 13:33). No man knows, not even the angels of Heaven (Matt. 24:36). Only the Father knows.

Many have tried and failed in prophecy along this line. William Miller [Baptist Adventist] failed miserably in 1843. Ellen G. White [Seventh Day Adventist] failed in 1856, and the notorious Judge Rutherford [Jehovah’s Witness] in1925. All these proved themselves to be false prophets (Deut.18:22).

Rumors of war are no sign of His coming (Matt. 24:6), but rather were a sign that “there shall not be left here one stone upon another” in Jerusalem—fulfilled—realized in A.D. 70.

Almighty God has set the time (Acts 17:31), described by Jesus (Matt. 24:36-46). Jesus assured that at His returning all will hear His voice (John 5:28-29), and then comes the judgment (Rev. 20:12).  Just because one cannot know the time changes nothing! What God chooses to do or not do is His business. The revealed instruction to all is to be ready!

Is Jesus coming soon?  No one knows, but each day and hour should be lived as though His coming is imminent. The day of the Lord could come at any time.  Perhaps more importantly is your day of the Lord is coming, and could come at any time. The day of the Lord for most who have lived on the earth is essentially the day of their death. It’s the appointment all must keep (Heb. 9:27), and these appointments are kept daily all around us and around the world. What then? Can you answer as John the beloved apostle, “Even so come, Lord Jesus” (Rev. 22:20)? If you’re not ready for that day, remember the hymn—“it won’t be very long.”  Live everyday to the fullest for Jesus, and look forward to His coming someday (I Thess. 4:16-18).
-David Hill