Most everyone is familiar with the story about the boy who cried wolf. The mischievous shepherd boy repeatedly sends the herdsmen running with his false alarms. When a real wolf finally does come prowling, no one responds to the boy's cry for help.
In recent years, I've noticed a good deal of false cries of the prophetic kind. We're in the midst of a sharp increase in the number of false predictions concerning Jesus Christ's second coming. I believe this trend is an indication that Satan is attempting to suppress prophetic wariness of the tribulation hour.
One of the main reasons that the devil is promoting date setting is because Bible prophecy already tells us what Satan's final plans are, and the devil knows he needs to discredit the Bible before he can fully set up his demonic kingdom.
I've always taken note of any new predictions, where some individual or group is claiming to know the exact time of Jesus Christ's return. Despite the fact that our Lord said, "Watch therefore for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come" (Mat 24:42), people are still trying to figure out the magic date.
Since every one of these predictions ends up being wrong, it's quite clear the devil is the one who originates them. False predictions certainly could not have come from God's guidance. The Bible requires 100 percent accuracy as the test of whether or not something is divinely inspired.
When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken...
In the past, after someone forecasted Christ's return, and obviously turned out to be wrong, there followed a period of prophetic inactivity. People were naturally disillusioned with the passing of the date and yet no second coming. However, today, as soon as one prognosticator fails, another one will take his place.
Back in the 1800's a major second coming prediction appeared to occur about every 30-40 years. In the 1970's and 80's someone was claiming they knew when Jesus Christ was coming about every 4 years. Currently, I see a trend where predictions are being made several times a year.
I cannot think of any other time period that has more signs pointing to Jesus' second coming. Yet strangely, at the same time, end time fatigue is also at very high levels. Even the way new dates are proclaimed shows the strain. Prognosticators at one time would openly set dates. Now because of the growing history of failed predictions, they just "suggest" dates.
Erroneous date setting has a profoundly negative affect on nonbelievers. The failings of Christians has always been a favorite excuse used by the lost to explain away their unsaved and unprepared condition. If you ask them, "Why don't you believe?" they'll point to crooked TV preachers. If you ask them, "Are you ready for Jesus' soon return?" they will tell you, "Oh, people have always been saying Jesus is coming soon."
As it is with everyone who practices treachery, the devil has one huge problem. If people become aware of his true intentions, instead of working to deceive us, the devil's every act only works to warn us. Paul the Apostle said that believers would not be in darkness. (1 Thes 5:4)
As we draw closer to the end of the age, I believe Satan will continue to trick people into crying wolf. As the cries grow louder, and folks in general become more desensitized towards the return of Our Lord, we that are watchful for Jesus' return should be watchful all the more.
Therefore be ye ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh