Sorry to Tell You, but Jesus is Not Returning on September 23

By Michael Brown Published on September 17, 2017

Yes, it would be wonderful if Jesus returned for His people next week, but it’s not going to happen. Count on it. The Second Coming will not take place this year on September 23.

How can I be so sure? The Bible tells me so, and not in some ambiguous, mysterious language.

Instead, Jesus told His followers what had to take place before He returned. Those things have not yet happened, nor can they happen in just a few days. That’s why I’m quite certain that His return is not scheduled for September 23, 2017.

What, then, do I think about the claims of Christian numerologist David Meade? He argues that “verses in Luke 21:25 to 26 are the sign that recent events, such as the recent solar eclipse and Hurricane Harvey, are signs of the apocalypse”? And what do I think of the alleged correspondence between Revelation 12 and the alignment of Jupiter, the sun, and the moon?

Actually, I don’t think about these things at all, any more than I thought about the claim that Jesus was coming back between September 11-13, 1988, or the claim that Judgment Day was coming on September 6, 1994, or the claim (made by the same author who predicted the 1994 date) that Jesus would return on May 21, 2011.

Why Give Such Claims Any Thought?

There was not a shred of scriptural evidence to support these claims, and there was a mountain of evidence against them. Why, then, bother to give them any thought?

“But,” you ask, “didn’t Jesus say that no one knew the day or hour of His return? If so, how can you be so sure He’s not coming on September 23?”

First, the fact that He says no one knows the day or hour of His return (Matthew 24:36) means that it’s utter foolishness to predict a specific day. If Jesus says no one knows the day, we should quit predicting specific days. Simple.

Second, Jesus said we could not know the specific day or hour when He would return. He never said we could not know when He would not return.

Put another way, if I get on a boat to sail across the Atlantic from New York to London, you might not know the exact time of my arrival. But you can certainly know that I will not be arriving in one or two days. It takes longer than that to cross the ocean by boat.

So, Jesus spoke of great world upheaval that would take place (far greater than anything we have yet witnessed) and of great cosmic signs (again, of unprecedented nature). Paul wrote of major world events that would transpire before the Lord’s return (see, for example, Luke 21 and 2 Thessalonians 2).

Little wonder, then, that we’ve lost so much moral and cultural ground in recent decades. While our ideological opponents are planning ahead, we’re planning our escape.

The Old Testament prophets also painted pictures of what we could expect before the end of the age. It’s clear their words have still not come to pass (see, for example, Zechariah 12 and 14).

But this doesn’t mean that we should grow complacent and say, “The Lord delays His coming” (see Luke 12:45). God forbid.

Ready for the Lord, But Readying Future Generations

Instead, we should always live with readiness to meet the Lord. We should labor with all our might to make an impact for Him, since we have only one life to reach our generation. As one of my colleagues once said, “I don’t know if this is the last generation. But it is our last generation.”

As for those who believe that there will be a secret rapture that could happen at any moment, when hundreds of millions of Christians are suddenly and stealthily removed from the earth, that will allegedly happen without any definite signs. In other words, it could happen today as well as any other day, since the timing of it is unpredictable. Why, then, are we bothering to make predictions?

By all means, we should understand the times in which we are living and know what we should do (see 1 Chronicles 12:32). And we must be sober and alert lest we fall asleep in the light.

But let us stop making foolish predictions. Not only do they make us look like fools in the eyes of the world. But they rob us of a multi-generational perspective, since we’re always thinking, “Jesus is coming any moment,” rather than thinking and planning in the long term.

Little wonder, then, that we’ve lost so much moral and cultural ground in recent decades. While our ideological opponents are planning ahead, we’re planning our escape.

In the last few years, I’ve spoken to leaders and believers about the importance of developing a multi-generational mentality, and the impact of those messages has been very deep.

Sadly, this message is foreign to many Christians today. That’s why I devoted a whole chapter to the subject in Saving a Sick America: A Prescription for Moral and Cultural Transformation. If America is to be changed for the good, it can only be through multi-generational thinking.

I came to faith in 1971 at the age of 16.  We were told then that Jesus was coming at any moment. The signs of the times were all there! Little did we think that, in 2017, we’d still be here and my wife and I would have a 16-year-old granddaughter.

Let’s not repeat the same mistake today.

Instead, let’s live with readiness, with urgency, with focus, with purpose, and with a long-term, multi-generational plan. And if the Lord chooses to interrupt our plans along the way with His return, that would be a welcome prospect.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus! We long to see Your return. Until then, we’ll stay busy and pass the torch to the generations to come.

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  • Sandwitch

    The one problem I see with your reasoning is that, yes there are things that haven’t happened yet, but they could easily occur in the 7 years of tribulation post a pre-trib rapture. It may be unlikely but to say it’s impossible is to miss an opportunity. Even if nothing spectacular happens, the sign is a wonder predicted perfectly in the Bible and it’s happening.

  • I’m not saying the Rapture is happening this next week for sure either, but as a believer, I can admit that there ARE great signs and wonders documented in God-breathed Scripture, and I stand in amazement. How can that be ignored? Nothing else needs to happen prophetically before the imminent harpazo. I would also dare say that we are closer to the end times than you were in the 1970’s (not because we are here to see the 2000’s), but mainly due to the allied connection of Russia with Iran… that, along with all of the convergence of the other many signs! Don’t be afraid to proclaim Jesus is coming soon! Blessings to all, my brothers and sisters in Christ.

  • tether

    The bible seems to be very clear that, as was written to the Thessalonian s when they thought they had missed the Lords return, that day will not come until the great falling away (apostasy), occurs and the son of perdition is revealed. Also note that it says that day not those days, as if to say His return and the gathering are on the same day.
    Then there is Jesus’s response when the apostles asked Him what would be signs of His return. Jesus gives them some very specific signs leading up to a great tribulation, then the sun stops giving it’s light. Then the sign of the Son of man will appear and He will send His angels to gather His elect.
    And let us not forget that Jesus said multiple times that the resurrection would occur on the last day. The book of revelation describes the first resurrection as including those who did not worship the beast or take his mark. The mark of the beast occurs during the great tribulation.

  • PursueJustice

    It seems to me as Christians we should expend a whole lot more energy in living out our faith than trying to figure out when Jesus is coming back. Any time I hear someone claim they know when he is coming back, all it tells me is that person is extremely naive and really doesn’t know how to read the Bible. Faith does not mean setting our brains on the shelf.

  • The reason, as I see it, that there is so much speculation and opinion about when, what and where God will carry out His plans, is that too many Christians do not believe in Sola Scriptura and the inerrancy of God’s word. Lack of humility causes them to think their opinions are on a par with God’s word.

  • Yossi

    It is my observation that “the rapture” happens all the time on a micro level. Admittedly it’s not the dramatic “in the twinkling of an eye” event with pilotless planes and driverless cars crashing into things and an antichrist world leader arising, but in terms of individual believers leaving this life and going to be with the Lord… it happens all the time and will happen to all of us at some point (if He tarries). I guess the actual “rapture” will be nicer — no death, but our bodies suddenly taken, transformed and then we will be “forever with the Lord,” but in outline form (leaving earth, going to be with the Lord) it happens all the time.

    • Amadin Osayomore

      I like…I really like…a private personal rapture. God bless you Yossi…see you someday, somewhere fabulous

      • Karen Kolbinsky

        The Lord promises His whole church will be caught up together on an appointed day at an hour appointed by our Father in Heaven. A wedding feast.. the marriage supper of the Lamb. We are all members of ONE BODY with ONE HEAD.. we all go together whether alive on earth or in the grave when our bodies are caught up and TRANSFORMED in the twinkling of an eye. Not according to anyone’s human opinion or private interpretation but according to the WORD OF GOD HIMSELF>

    • Gina Lynn

      Love.

      • Karen Kolbinsky

        We are seated together with Him in Heave that’s true. By faith already. Still until there is peace on earth and Heaven and Earth are reunited as ONE with ONLY GOOD ruling and reigning here forever there is a part of that promise yet to be fulfilled with the RETURN OF JESUS and a thousand years of perfect PEACE. It hasn’t happened YET

        • Christine Wright

          Do you seriously believe God doesn’t reign on earth now? Psalm 96:9-10 and Psalm 47:7-8 might be a good read for you, if that’s the case.. I’ll guarantee you Satan does not reign here.

  • Jim Murphy

    God tells us in His Word that certain things will take place before He returns. For instance the 4 blood moons would take place, & then the solar eclipse. Then HE tells us in REVELATION 12:1-2, the stars will show the Virgin birth & The Lion of Judah & this is the last sign before His Return. Many are saying He is not coming back soon but the signs say different. Many who are following God’s Word believe & have expectation of His Return. Our Lord is coming back for His people who believe & are looking for His Return.

  • Kevin Quillen

    Jesus is not coming back. He already did, in 70 AD. We are in the eternal state. Research Preterism to learn the truth.

    • Michael Gore

      If this is the eternal state, it leaves a lot to be desired…

      • Tim Pan

        I suppose you could argue we are in an eternal state.

        • Michael Gore

          My point is to the original commentor that if this state as it is now is “the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior” then it’s a pretty poor thing to hope for. Full Preterism is a Heresy, and is contra-biblical because it denies the physical resurrection of the dead (according to my reading from full Preterists) and spiritualizes it. The view claims the General Resurrection itself happened in AD 70.
          If this is the case, then as Paul said, “we are of all men to be pitied”

          • Christine Wright

            Yet it’s rather odd, that the hope your hoping for is some sort of life on this earth. Jesus said, My Kingdom is not of this world. Yet, more than 2,000 years later I see Christian after Christian desiring exactly that – the one thing Jesus said His Kingdom was not.

            Our Lord reigns today. God is perfectly sovereign today. People don’t need Satan to sin. We are not somehow “good” without a Satan in this world. A thousand years with no Satan isn’t somehow going to make people any less sinful than they are. Can it be worse with Satan’s presence? Yes.. but the natural man is no saint. Jesus also made that clear.

            The one thing we have in our arsenal that helps us rise above what we are in actuality, is the Holy Spirit. It’s the only thing we have, and it doesn’t come from our own spirit, it comes from HIS.

            Will there come a day when God is done with mankind? Yes. The Earth will have an end the same as it had a beginning, but our hope lies in salvation. Our hope is in His Kingdom, not some hoped for earthly kingdom.. The Jews wanted that earthly kingdom too, and killed Jesus because their eyes were not understanding of the real prize. If anything, the Jews mistakes should be our lesson now.

      • Karen Kolbinsky

        Really… It’s sure not Heaven on Earth. It’s certainly not HIS KINGDOM filling the whole Earth where the Messiah sits on His Throne in ZION is it?

    • Karen Kolbinsky

      That is definitely error. HE IS COMING BACK… if He already had returned there would be NO WAR NO SICKNESS and NO EVIL left in this world. We are not THERE YET and HE IS NOT HERE apart from HIS HOLY SPIRIT indwelling the Church that watches, waits and expects to be delivered from EVIL just as we have prayed HIS PRAYER for 2000 years now WE WILL

  • Laura Halfpenny

    I am somewhat amazed at these comments to the article! Go back and read what Jesus said would happen AND when he said at a certain point there will be specific reason to look up!
    So many today are so lazy they find themselves ready to listen to some person with a ‘thus saith the Lord’ or read about ‘hidden messages in the scriptures’ and instead of searching the Word for themselves they run to this or that.. like a shiny object.
    Good grief it is heart breaking actually because the ‘professing church’ is actually fulfilling a dire prophecy in spite of the warnings… ‘do not be deceived’. That was the first the very first statement Jesus gave when the disciples asked him what would the be the signs of His return and of the end of the age. Maranatha

    • Karen Kolbinsky

      I agree. We are all to be watching, waiting expectantly as a woman in labor for the fulfillment of HIS PROMISE and to give birth to HIS KINGDOM come as we ourselves are doing the will of our Father in Heaven .. keep pushing until we SEE HIS FACE .. we are NOT to be like the unbelievers who will be taken by surprise like “a thief in the night” does the sleeping watchmen.

  • Interesting article… but my understanding was that nobody was suggesting that the Second Coming would be September 23rd. I’m wondering where you heard or read that? For the last 3 or 4 years the Christians who have been giving serious consideration to the astronomical alignment on that date as matching a literal reading of Revelation 12:1-6, have argued that Rev. 12 is an illustration of the Church being Raptured, a completely separate event and unrelated to the Second Coming. This is not a new belief either, there are a dozen very famous or well known theologians from the last 150 years who have held the same belief, including H.A. Ironside, William Blackstone and G.H. Pember. The male child in Rev. 12 who is ‘caught up’ to Heaven, is argued to be the Church or Body of Christ, the Greek word being ‘harpazo’, a word which was never once used to describe the Ascension of Yeshua. Personally, I don’t know if the Rapture of the Church is on 9/23 or not. But I also l don’t see fair consideration being given to the Christians who believe there could be something to this, as none of their critics have countered any of the points which have been made to support their position. That’s not how debate works best. Who is to say that this is not part of the vision which Daniel was commanded to seal UNTIL the last days? Are the last days here yet? If they are, has the vision been unsealed? Completely?
    There are a lot of unanswered questions surrounding this issue, but it’s a bit late in the game now seeing that 9/23 is only 5 days away.

    You might consider contacting Dr. Michael Svigel for an interview on your show. He is the Department Chair and Professor of Theological Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary. He wrote a paper in 2003, his Phd thesis perhaps, which makes a strong argument for the male child being symbolic of the Church. Such a strong argument that Svigel says this is what convinced him that Yeshua is coming for His bride before the Tribulation.

    • Gina Lynn

      I wish there was a love button for your post here – consider it loved 🙂 and thank you for your insight. My Pastor teaches that there is nothing more that has to happen for Yeshua to return. I can’t wait!!
      God Bless you Yeshua Follower – see you soon!!!

    • Thank you. I was confused as to what he was talking about. You helped tremendously to clarify things.

    • Karen Kolbinsky

      well unfortunately there have been quite a few who are saying that’s exactly what will happen on the 23rd. Even if they don’t say it exactly that way 🙂 Some really believe that’s the DAY and will be deeply disappointed if they find themselves still here on the 24th.

    • Karen Kolbinsky

      I do agree with Dr. Svigal and millions of others who embrace this same belief. I used to be “post trib” and I am prepared to be if necessary but after listening closely to the teachings of Anne Graham Lotz and the many Calvary Chapel pastors I’ve known for years I must agree with their position after all. It seems to me the promise is to the Church that we will not go through that 7 years and will be removed just like Noah and his family had while a judgment of fire is poured out on a rebellious, unbelieving and rejecting world down here .. though I also believe all of Israel will be saved through that time. There are many things I don’t understand but I have a sense of “time” as far as giving birth is concerned and I believe we are seeing all of the signs right now Jesus told us to be looking for. We aren’t to be like the unbelievers when He comes like a thief in the night. Those who are watching with our lamps burning will be ready to GO the minute He calls us HOME.

  • Karen Kolbinsky

    In reality we don’t know if HE will choose to come that day or not. To say we know or don’t know the day or the hour is equally error because we honestly don’t know. HE could definitely choose to return that day if the Father has it marked on His Calendar. I for one am sure hoping HE WILL. 🙂 If He doesn’t then I will just keep looking up crying out with all who are everywhere else in this world “Come quickly Lord JESUS !” HE WILL ANSWER in HIS PERFECT TIME.

  • Karen Kolbinsky

    I might add I say that as a women who gave birth many times in this world and know what labor pains are all about. Believe me the harder they get and closer together they come the more I was screaming out “HURRY UP!!!” I sure never once said “WAIT WAIT give me some more time “.. oh no. Labor is labor. We are groaning and travailing right now together with the whole creation. Marantha !

    • Karen Kolbinsky

      Our dear friend, Len Ravenhill, used to say “the Kingdom of God can’t be organized it can only be AGONIZED” Until we all as members of Christ’s Body are crying out together with ONE VOICE we may not be pushing hard enough to get this birthing thing over down here.

  • Karen Kolbinsky

    I might mention here that years ago I met Corrie ten Boom while I was working as a productions assistant at CBN. I was a brand new believer in Jesus having just been delivered from the NEW AGE movement and working as an astrologer with the Edgar Cayce Foundation. When I met Corrie I sensed in her the presence of God like never in my life I’d ever from the time I was born. After listening to her testimony I asked her to pray with me. In the middle of her prayer she suddenly stopped, looked right at me and said, “If you get to be as old as I am now you will see Jesus return” It was overwhelmingly “supernatural” and I received what she said in my spirit. I have expected Him since the time I have become almost as old as she was then but didn’t before now. I knew in my heart and soul and mind we had time left but right now I am not so sure there is any time left at all before the final judgment begins. Possibly another few days until this year of Jubilee is over and YOM KIPPUR is upon us. The world has gone mad and evil is so prolific I’m not sure the Lord can keep watching without Himself coming down here to put an end to it all quickly as HE promised HE WILL

  • Christine Wright

    Excellent article!

  • Boris

    Jesus won’t be returning because he was never never in the first place. The gospels are the most obvious contrivance ever.

  • Laura Lee

    I agree that there are still prophecies to be fulfilled… but
    the signs are getting more frequent.

    The clock of the last generation started ticking when Israel became a nation
    again after 2000 years, in 1947-48. That’s
    now been 70 yrs… so just how long is a generation? (Psalms would say 70 or perhaps 80)

    As far as the Sept 23rd… actually that date only works for this year…
    it was really about Feast of Trumpets…(aka Rosh Hashanah) on the biblical
    calendar.

    Why do a lot of people believe that the rapture of the
    church (not the same as when Jesus returns after the tribulation is finished to
    rule and reign on earth for 1,000 years) will be on Feast of Trumpets?

    It’s pretty straight forward… If you read Leviticus 23 about
    the Jewish feasts, there are 7 that are declared by God to be “divine
    appointments” between Himself and His people.
    The first four of these feasts were fulfilled by Christ when he came to
    earth the first time…. But what we’ve been missing is that not only did Jesus fulfill
    them… he fulfilled them EXACTLY on those dates in the Hebrew calendar, ALL FOUR
    of them. He was the Passover Lamb, he
    was buried on feast of unleavened bread (“leaven” represents sin in Hebrew
    culture/traditions) HE rose from the grave on the feast of First Fruits as HE
    is the first born of the dead, and 50 days later he sent the Holy Spirit precisely
    on Pentecost…(yes Jews have been celebrating Pentecost for 1500 yrs before
    Jesus’s death. Aka “Shavuot” )

    So, if God is the same yesterday, today and forever… and he fulfilled
    the first 4 feasts on the exact day of the biblical calendar… it’s not a far
    leap to believe that Jesus will fulfill the remaining 3 feasts (Trumpets/Atonement/Tabernacles
    ) on the exact biblical calendar dates.
    We don’t know the year… but the day of the year… I think so.

    Also remember that anytime you read the bible, you have to
    know 1) Who the author is and his background
    2) Who is he speaking to? And 3)
    what are the verses before & after that are a part of the whole
    discussion. When we read that we don’t
    know the day or hour… who was Paul or John talking about? The 5 foolish virgins, the unfaithful
    servant, the sleeping church…. 1 Thes
    5:4 But you, brethren, are not in
    darkness so that this Day should overtake you as a thief…

    So study the feasts…don’t be overwhelmed by
    reading Revelation..it’s the only book that comes specifically with a blessing
    just for reading it!

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