False Christs are usually those who appropriate Jesus' name for credibility sake yet promote lies (Matthew 24:5). The Apostle Paul (1Timothy 1:7, 2Timothy 4:3), Peter (2Peter 2:1), John (1John 4:1) and others have warned Christians about false teachers. Our responsibility is to "test the spirits" (1John 4:1) to determine if what is stated is the truth.
The chaos caused by false Christs and their clever deceptions is real. One day the disciples questioned Jesus regarding when they would know his return was imminent. The first words out of his mouth were, "Be on guard, so that no one deceives you" (Matthew 24:3, HBFV throughout). Later he stated, "For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets . . ." (Matthew 24:24).
One of the primary deceptions promulgated by false Christs (or those who are sincere but spend a great deal of time studying prophecy) is that they possess special knowledge and insight. Many times their "unique" understanding takes the form of them strongly believing they know when and exactly how certain Biblical prophetic events are guaranteed to take place (Matthew 24:23, 26).
For example, a popular Baptist leader named William Miller was thoroughly convinced he knew when the rapture and Jesus' return would occur. After three of the dates he promoted (one in 1843 and two the next year) failed miserably, many who followed his teachings gave up on their beliefs.
In modern times, many people remember the fear and foreboding that surrounded the advent of the year 2000. Many false Christs (and a bunch of sincere but uniformed folk) foretold that at the stroke of midnight on January 1, 2000 terrible things would begin to occur. People horded food and water, bought ammunition and so on to wait out the end of civilization that never came.
Several years ago, the Mayan calendar was thought to mark the end of a 5,126-year period on December 21, 2012. Several books and articles published by false Christs proclaimed apocalyptic events and cosmic disturbances were sure to occur around this date. Another false prediction was that a four-part appearance of blood moons, which occurred in 2015 (and has occurred several times in history), was a sign that the prophetic "Day of the Lord" would soon commence.
What do all these end time predictions have in common? They all miserably failed! They were promoted by "false Christs" who pretended they knew the mind of God and were able to figure out when certain Biblical events would happen in the future. They failed to understand or refused to believe what God thinks of those who deceivingly proclaim they speak for the Lord (see Deuteronomy 18:20, 22).
Jesus told his disciples that NO ONE would know or figure out the exact time (meaning the year, month, day and so on) when major prophetic events, such as the beginning of the tribulation period or the Second Coming, would take place. Sadly, many false Christs seem determined to prove our Savior wrong or find Biblical "loopholes" that allow their consciences to promote their errors (Matthew 24:36, 42, 44)!