Q: Here in the Solomon Islands it has been spread around that the door of mercy will be closed on Nov. 28, 2016. Is this true? — Dex, from the Solomon Islands
Q: I’m curious — at this very moment, does Jesus know the hour of His return? — Jobby, from Papua New Guinea
A: Dex and Jobby, since both of your questions deal with timing, I will answer them together.
Although date setting for Christ’s return, the end of the world, and other apocalyptic events has been and still is popular among some people, let’s remember what Jesus said about His coming: “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only” (Matt. 24:36).
Further on, Jesus talks about the importance of not being so absorbed with earthly things that we have no time to prepare for His coming (Matt. 24:37-39). He then emphasizes His point: “Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming” (Matt. 24:42).
Regarding the proclamation that the “door of mercy” will be closed on Nov. 28, 2016, there is no evidence from the Bible or the Spirit of Prophecy that supports such a claim.
In addition to Christ’s teaching in Matthew 24, we also have several statements from the Spirit of Prophecy informing us that we are not to set any specific dates for such events. Many of these statements are compiled in the book “Last Day Events,” which you may download free as an e-book, Kindle, or mp3 file here.
Ellen White wrote: “I plainly stated at the Jackson [Michigan] camp meeting to these fanatical parties that they were doing the work of the adversary of souls; they were in darkness. They claimed to have great light that probation would close in October 1884. I there stated in public that the Lord had been pleased to show me that there would be no definite time in the message given of God since 1844” (p. 35).
“Our position has been one of waiting and watching, with no time-proclamation to intervene between the close of the prophetic periods in 1844 and the time of our Lord’s coming” (p. 36).
“The people will not have another message upon definite time. After this period of time [Revelation 10:4-6], reaching from 1842 to 1844, there can be no definite tracing of the prophetic time. The longest reckoning reaches to the autumn of 1844” (p. 36).