Often when we get in the car as a family to go somewhere, the kids want to know everything about the trip. Where are we going, when will we get there, how long will it take, what will we see along the way, what can we do in the car during the ride. The questions can be endless. If there’s nothing of importance or value to the trip, I have no problem telling them. But sometimes, I as the father, choose to keep them in suspense. I tell them it is ‘Need to Know’ information and at this time they ‘do not need to know’. The coolest part as a father is that the kids keep their eyes peeled looking for clues. They stay alert with excitement and anticipation about what we have planned. One year when we were going Great Wolf Lodge, we kept them in suspense right up to the parking lot.
Part of the excitement as a parent is seeing the real joy in the eyes of the kids when they realize the thing is actually happening. There’s also a trust we are building up in our kids (especially the adopted kids) to be able to trust that we as their parents, have their best interest at heart. We see growth in them when they are forced to trust us rather than knowing the entire plan.
It is clear that this line of thinking as a parent, is Biblical. Our Father in Heaven wants us to know that He has our best interest at heart and that He has a plan… we simply need to trust Him. Jesus’ final words before His ascension demonstrates this.
So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. – Acts 1:6-11
Jesus told His disciples, His most trusted followers, that they were on a need to know basis about the final days. He does confirm to them that the Father has fixed them so this plan is already set. But He also confirms to them that it is not their place to know the details.
Every year we hear of someone who believes they have figured out when that time is coming. Either through their own mathematical analysis of scripture or perhaps in a dream or voices in their head. No matter what method they claim to have come to this information, it is false. Jesus was clear that only the Father knows. To make it perfectly clear, He even said, “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.” (Matt 24:36)
This means that ANYONE claiming to have even the slightest knowledge of when Christ is returning, is wrong. They are either a lunatic, a liar or a false prophet. Only the Father knows. As a father who has kept his own kids in suspense, I get it. Our Father in Heaven wants us to be excited, keeping our eyes peeled, searching for clues, always ready. He knows that the moment it happens, we will be ready with such excitement to see His face.
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