First, the most important thing that needs to be discussed is when the end times will occur.
Here's the answer: No one knows.
And no one can know. Many Christians have come up with a supposed date, but not only have these dates come and gone, the idea of coming up with a date goes against the Bible.
Jesus says, "But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." (Matthew 24:36)
Some Christians try to predict the second coming of Christ, but Jesus himself says that not even he knows. That's pretty significant. If even Jesus doesn't know when he's coming back, how in the world are we supposed to know?
That's easy to answer: We aren't supposed to know.
So when they had come together, they asked him, "Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?" He replied, "It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. (Acts 1:6-7)
Jesus clearly states that only God the Father knows the exact day and time. And it's only for the Father to know. Jesus makes it absolutely clear that no one else will know.
So it really is against the Bible to determine when the end times will occur.
In addition, he says that it will be unexpected (which means if people are expecting it, then it certainly won't happen on that day).
"Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour." (Matthew 24:44)
If Jesus is coming at an unexpected hour, then we can be guaranteed that Jesus won't be coming on a day when everyone thinks he is coming. So all those days when everyone is predicting the end of the world; we can forget about those dates.
Based on the passages we just covered, anyone who says they know when Jesus is coming back has to be wrong, (even if they sincerely believe they are right).
Unless they say, "Whenever God the Father decides it's time!"
The very Jesus they say is coming back, is the same Jesus who said it's not for us to know when (Acts 1:7).
You have probably heard people talk about a specific date for the end of the world, or when the end times is going to begin. Yes, these people may honestly be sincere in their belief.
But based on what Jesus says, they are sincerely wrong.
There is something very odd about a person using the Bible to predict the end times and Jesus' return, and then ignore what Jesus says about the end times. And there can only be a few possible explanation for why this happens:
They don't read their Bibles.
At least they don't read all of it. Or, they are just ignoring certain parts of it, treating part as credible and the other part as not credible.
(Some people value imaginary "secrets" of the Bible more than the actual content of the Bible.)
Either way, when you start trying to pick and choose what you want to believe is true or false, you start standing on very unstable ground.
What makes the Bible such a reliable source is that it is composed of many authors (about 40), who are telling us what they, and others, have experienced (spread out over hundreds of years).
(And Christians believe God also was involved in overseeing the whole process of its writing over hundreds of years.)
When someone says the Bible is true, what they are really saying is that they believe these many witnesses are telling us the truth.
(Historians believe certain events happened based on writings that are far less credible.
Actually, the Bible is one of the most credible books in the entire world, if not the most credible (because of all the witnesses). It doesn't even compare to other writings that only have one or two witnesses.
Basically, if one stranger tells you they saw something, and 20 other strangers told you they saw something different, who would you believe?
Entire belief-systems have been based on what a few witnesses had to say. On the other hand, Christianity has a strong human-witness foundation that completely surpasses other sources.)
Someone is on unstable ground if they begin to pick and choose what they want to believe is true.
If a person says, "The Bible is true." They are saying, "I believe these many witnesses are telling the truth."
However, if they start saying some of the Bible is true and some isn't, suddenly they are basing their beliefs on themselves, and that support of witnesses disappears.
Such a person's beliefs have a foundation of themselves, rather than a foundation of all those witnesses (who where actually there).
And, of course, a foundation of themselves (when they weren't even a personal witness) is extremely unstable.
People who believe in these hoaxes feel like if they doubt, then they are doubting God.
However, doubting this kind of situation isn't doubting God, because Jesus has actually said that we cannot know when.
We can only be ready.
Instead, doubting the person who says, "Jesus is coming back on day X," is actually doubting that person who is going against the Bible.
So if you have been a victim of such an occurrence, there's no need to waiver in faith in God because that person was wrong.
Jesus tells us there will be false teachers and prophets (some who even do signs and wonders!) who will try to lead us astray.
"And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray." (Matthew 24:11)
"For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and produce great signs and omens, to lead astray, if possible, even the elect." (Matthew 24:24; Mark 13:22)
The best thing to do is to discover, learn, and know very well what it is God has said, so we won't be lead astray by even the most convincing person who goes against God's word.
And please don't hold a grudge against the person who said Jesus was coming back on a certain day. They may have been sincere in their beliefs and are just as disappointed as you are.
Please find it in your heart to forgive them, and just view it as a learning experience.
If you don't forgive them, then unfortunately your unforgiveness will make you a prisoner (just ask anyone who has held onto a grudge for long).
Instead, move on with life, and look towards your brighter future.
Some of the predicted dates for the end times are May 21, 2011 and the whole Y2K new millennium thing; and of course there is the whole December 21, 2012.
However, many days like these have come and gone, and the world continues on. The following is a list of some more of these dates for the end times.
(Note: This isn't an exhaustive list of end times dates. The purpose of these dates is just to illustrate that many people have thought they knew when Jesus was coming back, yet they were wrong.)
30-100 (In the Bible it is clear that the early Christians thought that Jesus was coming back in their lifetime because many quit working, which is something Paul had to address in one of his letters.)
500; 1000; 1033; 1284; 1757;
Sept/15/1829; 1843; Oct/22/1844; 1874;
1975; 1978; June/28/1981; June/21/1982; 1988; 1989
1994; 1999; Sept/13/2007; Sept/30/2008;
May/21/2011; Oct/21/2011; Dec/21/2012
2022; 2025; 2057; 2827
(Note: A common theme when people predict the end of the world and are wrong, is that they just add one year or 6 months onto their original date, saying "Oops, I miscalculated by a year (or 6 months)." For example, 1988 turned into 1989.)
Jesus wasn't joking when he said "It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority." (Acts 1:7)
When the Bible talks about the end times, it's obvious that the purpose can't be to tell us exactly when the end times are supposed to occur.
So then, what's the point when the Bible talks about the end times?
The point is actually pretty clear.
Jesus is coming back, so in the meantime, live a peaceful life, being a witness for Jesus Christ, and going about his work. That's it. That's the point. That's the important thing.
Jesus says, "But know this: if the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour." (Luke 12:39-40)
Basically, Jesus is coming back, so be prepared. And how do we become prepared? By living like Christians are supposed to live: in obedience to God (loving others, being kind, patient, and honest).
Paul says to a group of Christians, "Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers and sisters, you do not need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night." (1 Thessalonians 5:1-2)
These people realized that there was no point in determining the date, because no one will know. In the meantime, Paul tells them they are supposed to live like children of the light while waiting. (1 Thessalonians 5:5)
If you have decided to accept God's gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, and you have repented (turned away from evil) and now serve and obey God, then you're good to go.
If that's you, then it doesn't matter when Jesus comes back, or when the end of the world is. You're ready.
If you haven't accepted God's gift of salvation, and you aren't obeying God, then you might want to consider getting ready and being prepared, so you won't have to worry about when Jesus will comes back.