Many have endeavoured through the ages to predict the date of Christ’s Second Coming. In the 1830s, a Baptist minister from New York by the name of William Miller began publicly sharing his newfound belief, that Jesus Christ was going to return around the year 1843. This belief began to gain momentum across denominations, and by 1840 it had become a nationwide campaign with between 50,000 and 100,000 followers. This growing group was dubbed ‘The Millerites’. When 1843 passed without Jesus coming, one of William Miller’s followers, a preacher by the name of Samuel Snow, pinpointed an exact date for the Lord’s return — October 22, 1844. Such was the expectation and hope placed in the October 22 1844 date that many of those devout Millerites cast in everything, giving away all their possessions. If my dates are correct, today marks the beginning of a new year, January 1st, 2023, and what do you know? Jesus hasn’t come back yet!! When October 22 1844 came and went without the Lord coming, William Miller’s followers were left devastated, their hopes dashed into pieces!! Many were left to pick up the pieces and begin the painful process of rebuilding their lives from scratch. This event became known as the ‘Great Disappointment’.
If the Millerites had cared to consult the Bible, it would have saved them a great deal of disappointment! What did Jesus say? “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only” (Mt. 24:36). Though we know not the day nor the hour, we can know the season. All around the signposts of prophecy declare the soon return of Jesus Christ. It is one thing to read the signs and another to allow these signs to move us to readiness to meet the Lord. A cry goes forth from the heart of God, “Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready”.