“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.”                 (Matthew 25:13, NIV)

Improper eschatological speculation is a sort of disease that perennially flares up in evangelical circles; a teacher, with charisma and the appearance of intellectual clout, comes along and claims to have identified to some degree the timing of the end.  By hook or crook, they manage to ignore and gloss over passages like Matt. 25:13, which tell us the hour is not ours to know.

But the main thing to take from such passages of Scripture is not the defense they provide against charlatans, but the exhortation to wise living.  The fact that we do not know the timing of the end has ethical implications.  It is a summons to live every moment with our eyes on the Lord, because at any moment He may return for us.

Perhaps the very secrecy about the timing of the Lord’s return exists, in part, because God knows we are slothful, and would live lazy lives if we knew how long we had!  The kicker, of course, is how much less wise we are to live as though the Lord were a long time coming, when we know He may here soon.