So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, "Lord, is it at this time You are (a)restoring the kingdom to Israel?" 7 He said to them, "It is not for you to (b)know (c)times or (d)epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority;
Restoring the kingdom
v.6 (a) This was a valid question that the disciples had. This is the main reason that many of the Jews missed Jesus as the Messiah. It is prophesied that the Messiah will come and set up His kingdom and restore Israel to their land, Is 11:11, Jer 29:14, 31:8-10, Ezek 36:19,24,28, 37:11,12,21,25, Zech 2:12, 8:7-8,22, 12:6, Amos 9:15. What they didn’t realize is Jesus must come twice; once to reconcile man to the Father and redeem man from sin and death. The second time will be to set up His kingdom and reign on this earth for a thousand years. This is known as the restitution of all things.
What no one knows, not man, not the angels, not even Jesus Christ Himself, at least at that time, but the Father alone knows when Jesus’ return will be, Mk 13:32. The disciples assumed that since Jesus had now accomplished His mission, He would set up His kingdom and start to reign. What they didn’t realize, because it was kept a mystery from the foundation of the world, is there will be an entire dispensation of time before Jesus will come back to reign. Jesus will not be alone. He is coming back with His saints, the body of Christ, to reign of the earth, Jude 14, Rev 19:11-20:6.
v.7 (b) Jesus didn’t deny the fact that He will restore the kingdom. He just told them it not for us to know the times, but we do know some signs leading up to the return of Christ. Now don’t confuse the rapture with the second coming. In the rapture, Jesus never touches the earth, we, His saints, will be caught up in the air with Him. There are no signs for when this will take place. The rapture can happen at any time. The second coming however is very well documented and we know exactly what must take place before He returns and us with Him. This is how you can always differentiate the rapture versus the second coming. A good rule of thumb when it comes to studying your bible on end time events is, there are no predetermined events that must take place before the rapture happens, and if the bible lists certain events that must take place, then it is talking about the second coming. This is very helpful when studying the Olivet discourse, Mk 13, Matt 24.
v.7 (c) χρόνους- chronous- duration of time or delay. This is referring to the length or duration of time of this current dispensation we are living in now. No one knew it was going to be 2,000 years and we still don’t know. Jesus could come back tomorrow or it could be another 2,000 years. One thing we absolutely know, Jesus is coming back!
This word is plural; telling us there are many ages to come in our future. We know of at least two; the age of the Church, and the Day of the Lord, but according to Ephesians there will be more than that, “that in the ages to come, He might show us the surpassing riches of His grace to us ward who believe,” Eph 2:6. We don’t know what God has planned for us, but we do know it will be great. He is going to take the rest of eternity to show us how magnificent He is!
v.7 (d) καιροὺς, kairous- a definite, specific point in time, an appointed time. This is referring to a specific appointed time that the Father has fixed by His own authority. The Father has designated a fixed point in time when Jesus is coming back; one that only the Father knows and has pre-arranged before the foundation of the earth.
This word is also plural; meaning there are more than one fixed points in time that the Father has pre-ordained. One is the rapture of the Church, no one knows this date except the Father. Then there is the return of Christ after the tribulation. After this, there are countless other specific points in time that God has pre-arranged since before the foundation of the world. He has appointed these specific moments in time thousands of years in advance. Nothing is a surprise to God and His plan will be fulfilled, and what is absolutely astounding is He wants to fulfill His plan with us!
God created this plan of redemption and at the same time He made us an integral part of that plan; even to the point that He required His word, His plan to be written by us thru the Holy Spirit; and now that His word is complete and His Son has established Himself as the chief cornerstone of that plan, we now have the responsibility of being the light in this world and preach the gospel to anyone who will listen.
He gave us this responsibility so that we would be one with Him. He is with us every step of way, He wants to spend time with us. The Father is pleased to fulfill His plan with us. His enjoyment is spending time with us and He doesn’t want to wait until we go to heaven, He wants to be with us now, He wants every one of our decisions to be based on Him. This is walking in Him and in His light. If we surrender ourselves to walk in His plan, there is no reason to fear, because He knows how this plan will end. He has already foretold it in His word. Our hope is in Him and even in the end, if we give our lives to Him, our death is gain and we will spend eternity with Him.
So fear not little flock, for it is the Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom!