Why don’t we know when Jesus Christ will return to this earth?
Most likely for the same reason that when we hear that someone is coming to visit we vacuum, do the dishes, clean off the dining room table, and clean the litter box – we’re not paying that much attention and get lazy until we know we’ll actually have to do something. In other words, we procrastinate (why do today what I can put off until tomorrow?).
If we knew precisely when the Lord would return, it would be nearly impossible for us to resist the spiritual version of housecleaning before company arrives. If Jesus’ specific time of arrival was 9:29 a.m. February 19th, 2019 (that’s an arbitrary example – I’m not setting a date here!), most, if not all, of us would simply ignore Him and live in order to please ourselves until around 9:28 a.m on that day and then “get right with Him.” We’d know when He was coming, quickly do the housecleaning, and welcome Him with bright eyes and a bushy tail when we hear the doorbell ring.
Jesus said of His return,
“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone” (Matt. 24:36).
“Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour” (Matt. 25:13).
“Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time will come” (Mark 13:33).
“You too, be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect” (Luke 12:40).
We don’t know when the Lord Jesus Christ will return to this earth as King and Judge. Therefore, we’re told to be ready and on the alert because it could be at any time. He may not return for a thousand years, but the possibility exists that it could be a lot sooner, too. The point is to be ready and “occupy” till He comes.
We need to get our house in order, so to speak, now. We can’t wait until right before we think Jesus might come back – it will come when we least expect it.