About one week ago was the most recent blood moon and all of the “prophets” are pointing to the end of the world and the return of Jesus. The theory that the blood moons signify Jesus is returning, or at least that something majorly significant is about to happen, has been blowing up my Facebook feed. If you haven’t heard about this, you can get caught up to speed here. However, I firmly believe that the blood moons have absolutely zero to do with Jesus coming back. So let’s answer 5 questions regarding the concept.
- What is the theory?
The most recent blood moon is the 3rd of 4 in a row that will take place over a two year span.
What has interested people is not just the number of blood moons, but the timing. Each one takes place on the first day of Passover and the first day of Sukkot (both significant Jewish holidays). This has people thinking that these are a sign from God.
- Where are people getting this from?
There are 3 main places in the Bible where this idea comes from
- Revelation 6:12 – I watched as the Lamb broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake. The sun became as dark as black cloth, and the moon became as red as blood.
- Matthew 24:29 – Immediately after the anguish of those days, the sun will be darkened, the moon will give no light, the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.
- Joel 2:30-31 – And I will cause wonders in the heavens and on the earth—blood and fire and columns of smoke. The sun will become dark, and the moon will turn blood red before that great and terrible day of the LORD arrives.
- Does this language usually mean something in the Bible?
Yes! What a great question! In the Bible, the shining of the sun, moon, or stars represents a time of prosperity. In contrast, the darkening, or falling from the sky, or one of them changing to blood, represents a time of judgment or hardship. These images are not literal. The destructions of many kingdoms in the Old Testament are predicted with this language. Last time I checked, those kingdoms are gone but the stars are still in the sky and the sun is still shining.
- So what do these verses actually mean?
Revelation – This is figurative language used to describe the judgment coming against Rome for persecuting the church. I have a whole series on my blog I’m working through on understanding this. Check it out here.
Matthew – Jesus is not talking about the moon literally turning to blood before he returns. He is not even talking about when he returns. He is talking about the destruction of the temple. This passage begins with Jesus telling the apostles that someday not one stone would be left on another in the temple. They ask when that great event will happen. Jesus says, this generation will not pass away until this takes place, and it didn’t. That event happened in AD 70. In the verses following he tells them that there will be NO SUCH SIGNS of the end of the world. (Including blood moons).
Joel – I’ll spend the most time on this one because it’s the main passage used. Most people don’t know very much about the book of Joel so here’s a quick recap
- A plague of locusts comes through and destroys the food supply of Judah. According to Joel, the plague was not random. He sees it as a judgment from God. He sees the locusts as God’s army.
- Joel tells the people to repent and turn back to God. When they do, the Lord answers. Here’s a few things he says
- He will send food and drink that will satisfy fully (sound familiar? Whoever drinks this water will never thirst again…)
- He will make up for what the locusts have taken
- The people will eat until they are full
- (if you haven’t figured it out yet, he is talking about Jesus)
- After he talks about Jesus. Here is what Joel says
“Then, after doing all those things, I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your old men will dream dreams, and your young men will see visions. In those days I will pour out my Spirit even on servants—men and women alike. And I will cause wonders in the heavens and on the earth—blood and fire and columns of smoke. The sun will become dark, and the moon will turn blood red before that great and terrible day of the LORD arrives. But everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved, for some on Mount Zion in Jerusalem will escape, just as the LORD has said.
Maybe you have heard this scripture before, but not in Joel. That’s because Peter quotes it in Acts 2, after the Holy Spirit comes. He quotes it because he says that when the Holy Spirit came, this passage from Joel was fulfilled. Wait a minute! How can this passage refer to blood moons in 2015 when Peter said the passage already came true almost 2000 years ago? Exactly!
So what was Peter talking about?
The coming of the Holy Spirit began the fulfillment of this prophesy that God would pour out his spirit on all people (it’s in Acts 2). He said wonders would happen (we read about a ton of miracles in Acts). Then the sun will become dark and the moon will turn to blood (which we known means struggle and hardship) before the day of the Lord. I would say the Church has definitely faced struggle and hardship, and will continue to, until Jesus returns. Jesus made it clear that would be the case. The amazing part is at the end though. Even though we will face hardship, those who call on the name of Jesus will be saved. Jesus brings deliverance for his church, and for all who accept him as their savior. What an amazing message.
- So what do we know about when Jesus will come back?
Unfortunately, not much. Jesus said he himself doesn’t know when he will come back. He says the day and the hour are not known. There are no signs laid out in scripture. It may be soon, it may not be. I can tell you though, that the blood moons have absolutely nothing to do with when he will come back. So instead of counting down the days until September 28 and the next blood moon, go out and start telling people that even though this world is full of struggle and hardship until Jesus returns, if they call on his name they can be saved.