All my life I have been very interested in watches, and was doing watch repair by age nine, and my dad was a watchmaker as a hobby. I was always fascinated by all the moving parts in a watch, how every one of them worked together as a team to keep the watch running on time.  In fact, the gears are called the “gear train”, like from engine to caboose on a train. The heart of the watch, the “engine”, is the balance wheel which oscillates back and forth at a given rate, determined by its size and a hairspring attached to it, moving a pallet fork back and forth which lets one tooth of the next gear slip by one tooth at a time.  The whole thing is powered by a mainspring which releases power through the gear train.  And of course the gear train also has hands attached to it to show the seconds, minutes, and hours.

That’s an overly simple explanation of how a watch works, and there are watches that have “complications”, which may indicate sub-seconds, or day and date, month, year, moon phase, power reserve left in the mainspring, and each of these functions add to the load or friction on the gear train. What’s amazing to me is that very fine and amazing mechanical watches have been made by craftsmen for several hundreds of years by tools they made themselves.

My particular area of interest is in the area of Certified Chronometers, which are exceedingly consistent and accurate.  Every mechanical watch varies minutely according to what position it is in, and the temperature.  Chronometers are adjusted in as many as six positions and according to temperature, in order that the average timekeeping is hair splitting accurate.  Now you can go to Walmart and buy a battery operated watch for a couple dollars, or you can spend up to a half million dollars or more for the finest mechanical watch.  They both tell you the time. What does that have to do with God, you may ask?  EVERYTHING!

God is a master time keeper.  Our particular timekeeper is the fact that the earth revolves once every 24 hours on its axis, orbited by a moon which circles the earth once every thirty days, and our earth orbits the sun once every 360 days, in fact much like a watch works, so think of our earth as part of a massive gear train.  We use what’s called a Gregorian calendar which calls our year 365 days. But God himself set the calendar according to HIS will, by the solar year and the new moons.

That’s like trying to set a Certified Chronometer to keep two different times at the same time, when it can only keep one.

Where we run into problems is trying to “predict” when Jesus will return.  Many have calculated this or that year when He will return according to the scriptures, only to be tripped up by trying to mix the timekeeping formula of God with man’s calendar.  Not to mention the fact of a little “spice” being added to the recipe which says the time is only known to the heavenly Father, not even the Son, and we only have “clues” scattered throughout the scriptures to keep us on our toes.  So what time is He coming?  Glad you asked.

The Lord Jesus told us in Matthew 24:21-51,

21  For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

 22  And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

 23  Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.

 24  For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

 25  Behold, I have told you before.

 26  Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.

 27  For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

 28  For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

 29  Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

 30  And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

 31  And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. 

 32  Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:

 33  So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. 

 34  Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

 35  Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

 36  But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

 37  But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

 38  For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,

 39  And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

 40  Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

 41  Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

 42  Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

 43  But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.

 44  Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

 45  Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?

 46  Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.

 47  Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.

 48  But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;

 49  And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;

 50  The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,

 51  And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

            So what is all this telling you?  You can observe days, weeks, months, festivals and such all you want, and keep your watch fully wound and look at it several times a day, BUT, no matter how much we calculate and predict, He is going to come when He is going to come, and when He does, if we’re not ready, we will be locked out of the Kingdom of God.

What is required of us “in the meantime”?  to love the LORD with all your heart, mind, soul and strength, and your neighbor as yourself.  We can get in much strife trying to “keep time” with our religious beliefs with our fellow believers. When we look at our own watch, we believe it’s telling us the right time, and by that, if your brother’s watch doesn’t agree with yours, HE IS WRONG.  Did you ever stop to think maybe it’s your OWN watch that is wrong?  But there’s one watch that is ALWAYS right, and that’s God’s.

I remember one time having a conversation with the LORD, and was telling Him how it appeared He was running late according to my particular needs.  He told me my watch is running fast. I replied, LORD, my watch is a Rolex Officially Certified Chronometer, and He said, I don’t care what it is, MY time is always right.  End of conversation!

God’s timing for every event of your life is on time, every time.  He’s never late, but seldom early.  Somehow or another, He has managed the timekeeping of our entire universe since the beginning, to the second. Everything in it is continually moving, even the rocks, which are made up of molecules and atoms which revolve around a nucleus at amazing and consistent speeds.  He has set the time of everything according to His master clock, and it will all play out with accuracy that boggles the mind of even the most stringent watchmaker.

Everything you are, every heartbeat, every breath, every cell within you is running according to His master clock, it isn’t a bit fast or slow at all.  It’s “just right”.  So stop worrying about what time it is, and like the old bus drivers used to say, Get on the bus and leave the driving to us”.  Enjoy the ride while you’re here, Love the LORD with everything in you, love your neighbor, and stay on the bus till you get to your destination, the Kingdom of God.  Don’t get off early and get stranded in the boonies.  Your “watch” may tell you that you’re already at your destination when you’re still far away.  Don’t trust YOUR watch, trust GOD’S watch, His is always on time!