There are several verses in the Bible that many use as arguments against being able to know the Day and Hour of when Jesus will return. We are going to analyze this topic and look closer at what the Bible says.
Let’s get straight to the verse most often quoted in this regard:
Mat 24:36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
The verb in the verse above is translated from the Greek. Let’s look at that verb and its parsing – οιδενG1492 V-RAI-3S. Notice the “R” in the parsing just after the “V”. This R denotes a PERFECT tense. In the Ancient Greek language a PERFECT Tense expresses something that has already happened and is continuing to happen. Nothing in this verse indicates that someone CAN’T know the day or the hour.
Now let’s look at another verse:
Mat 24:42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
Again, we have the verb expressed in the Perfect Tense – οιδατεG1492 V-RAI-2P. The people that Jesus is talking to here are His disciples which is set in context in the first verse of this chapter 24:
Mat 24:1 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.
Let’s also address the time of Noah in the following verses:
Mat 24:37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Mat 24:38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
Mat 24:39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Did Noah actually know the very day the flood would come before it happened. Yes, and your Bible indicates this in the following verse:
Gen 7:4 For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth.
There are additional details that seem to indicate that he knew the year as well from the reference to the 120 years in Gen 6:3 as well as chapter 6 of the Book of Jasher
Now, lets continue on and notice verse 43:
Mat 24:43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
Now let’s analyze that verse. When would the goodman have watched for the thief? Answer – when he knew in which watch the thief would come. Now let’s continue on with the next verse:
Mat 24:44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
In that verse we have the verb “think”. Again, let’s turn to the Greek Parsing and see what it tells us about this verb – δοκειτεG1380 V-PAI-2P. The “P” just after the “V” indicates that this verb was stated in the Present tense. Again, there is nothing in these verses to indicate that we could never know the day or the hour of the return of Jesus Christ.
Now let’s look at the verses that end out the chapter:
Mat 24:45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?
Mat 24:46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
Mat 24:47 Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.
Mat 24:48 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;
Mat 24:49 And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;
Mat 24:50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,
Mat 24:51 And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Let’s consider verse 50 above. This verse indicates that the Lord would come on a day and hour when the evil servant was NOT looking for Him. Surely, this is contrasting that the righteous would be looking for Him in a certain day and hour.
Now consider that the disciples were instructed to stay awake and watch when Jesus went into the Garden of Gethsemane. It should make one very curious to why would Jesus instruct them to be watching when Jesus already knew the time He would be taken into custody. Surely this was instruction for them to keep watching because they didn’t know the hour. But Jesus did know that day and the hour in which He would be crucified and raise from the dead. This was all accomplished according to the prophecies concerning Him. Jesus had even told them already of which day it would be that He would be crucified:
Mat_26:2 Ye know that after two days is the feast of the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.
So by the very example, there was a day and hour when Jesus would be crucified and die on the cross and Jesus was here telling us this by these very events. And when that day came the sheep scattered because they were not ready and not watching.
Let’s look at 1 Thessalonians:
1Th 5:1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
1Th 5:2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
1Th 5:3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
1Th 5:4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
Now those that are prepared and not in darkness have no need of concern on that day. Now there are no indications that one must know the day or the hour in order to be saved.
Do we even have indications in the Bible that God is concerned with us knowing the “TIME” of events? We do:
Luk_19:44 And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.
Now we come to what many think are the verses that settle the question:
Act 1:6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
Act 1:7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
Act 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
But let’s analyze what the first two verses above show. They show that the times and the seasons are in the Father’s power. Now notice verse 8, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you”… So notice that they will receive power from the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost is the very Spirit of the Father Himself. So after they had received that Power they could know times and seasons. So while many opponents cite these verses, they are actually a proof that we can know know the day and hour of the return of our Lord Jesus.
It is truly wonderful that God doesn’t withhold anything from those that love Him. We can know the day and hour of Jesus’ return. We should prepare and seek out that day with all earnest. God bless those whom He will find prepared which sought out the visitation of His Son coming in the Glory of His Kingdom.