Sunday, February 21
The plans of the diligent surely lead to success. —Prov. 21:5.
Jesus likened our time to “the days of Noah,” and there is no doubt that we are living in “critical times hard to deal with.” (Matt. 24:37; 2 Tim. 3:1) With that reality in mind, some couples have concluded that they would like to postpone having children so that they can devote more time to sharing in the Christian ministry. When deciding whether to have children and how many children to have, wise couples “calculate the expense.” (Luke 14:28, 29) Experienced parents confirm that raising children not only costs money but also costs time and energy. Thus, it is important for a couple to consider such questions as: ‘Would both of us have to work to supply the family’s basic needs? Do we agree on what our “basic needs” are? If we both would have to work, who would look after our children? Who would influence their thinking and actions?’ Couples who calmly discuss those questions take to heart the words of today’s text. w19.12 23-24 ¶6-7
These are not the last days. Perilous times have not begun. It is true, society has become corrupt to the extent Paul described. Men are lovers of themselves. It is undeniable. This is the age of narcissism. It has not always been this way though. Cultural degradation has been a gradual process that has taken place over successive generations. Now it is fully evident. But as I have pointed out before, the degeneration does not take place over the course of the last days. Paul indicated that the last days will be perilous and difficult to deal with because men (and women) will have become narcissists, greedy, fierce, disloyal, haughty, unthankful, etc.
As regards the days of Noah, Jesus made the comparison on more than one occasion. In the 17th chapter of Luke Jesus also spoke of the days of Noah and Lot with one notable departure. Rather than likening his presence to the day that Noah entered into the ark, Jesus said something slightly different that Jehovah’s Witnesses ought to take note of. At Luke 17:30 Christ said: “It will be the same on that day when the Son of man is revealed.”
From the very first Bible studies in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, C.T. Russel proclaimed that the manner of Christ’s return will be invisible. In fact, Russell believed that Jesus had already invisibly returned in 1874. Ever since then the Watchtower has promoted that lie— only shifting the date of the phantasm from 1874 to 1914.
But, since Jesus spoke of the revelation of the Son of man in the same context as the parousia it should be evident to any honest researcher that the presence of the Son of man is the same thing as the revealing of the Son of man.
Perhaps the Watchtower can convene a special conclave, maybe form an interpretation committee and work out a plausible explanation of how something invisible can be revealed and yet remain invisible. Or, they can simply continue to ignore inconvenient facts.
It amazes me that not even one person among all of the exalted teachers of Bethel has any insight into the object and manner of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.