The End is Near. Maybe.

I’m not one of those doomsday prophets who predict worldwide
collapse whenever a terrorist fires a homemade rocket at Israel.  Some church-goers think that way; perhaps
it’s from their interpretation of prophecy, or from over-exposure to The Left Behind Series, or whatever.

Could the current (and ongoing, for, let’s see, my whole
lifetime, at least) conflict between Israel and the people surrounding her escalate into a larger war? Sure. Could that all be tied to end times Bible prophecy?  Sure.

But instead of watching the news in fear of handsome new
public figures who propose 7-year Mideast
peace deals (the supposed nod from upstairs that the “end is nigh”), perhaps we could direct our attention to things we can control, to things we
are responsible for.   

What did Jesus leave us on earth to do?

If the answer is self-preservation, then sure, stare at
cable news all day and make sure your shelter is stocked and your gold supply
is protected.  Set a newspaper next to
your Bible, open to Revelation, and look for parallels.  Gather your friends to discuss which E.U.
leader has the most potential to transform into the “Beast.” (If you come up
with anything new, publish quickly. 
There’s a huge market for this stuff.)

Jesus’ call to his followers has a lot more to do with
self-denial than self-survival.
disciples didn’t hunker down to wait out periods of persecution, emerging from
their catacombs only to gather supplies. 
They got out in the streets and proclaimed the truth of Jesus to all who
would listen, and many paid the ultimate price for their boldness.  They took the end times seriously; since they
knew this world wasn’t going to last forever, they didn’t put all their stock
in it.

Perhaps we could learn a lesson from them.

I take the book of Revelation seriously.  Like anyone else, I’m curious as to when and
how it will all end.  I’m not blind
either – I see the parallels between today’s society and the “last days”
described by Jesus (then again, people have seen those parallels in every era
of church history, but I digress).  I
know we’re closer to the end than we were yesterday.

But that doesn’t make me fearful.  That was the point of him telling us ahead of
time.  We’re not supposed to be afraid; we’re
supposed to be emboldened.  We’re
supposed to share his love with even more intensity and courage.  That is why we are here.

Don’t be preoccupied with the end times.  They’ll come sure enough, right on schedule,
at the end.  As the Bible says in 2 Peter
3, “Since everything around us is going to melt away, what holy, godly lives
you should be living! You should look forward to that day and hurry it along .
. . we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a
world where everyone is right with God. And so, dear friends, while you are
waiting for these things to happen, make every effort to live a pure and
blameless life. And be at peace with God. And remember, the Lord is waiting so
that people have time to be saved. “(NLT)

Notice that he’s not waiting for Israel, for terrorists, for temple
construction, or for peace deals. He’s waiting to give people a chance for
salvation, and he’s given us the task of announcing that. 

Is it possible that you and I have more to do with the
timing of the end times than do the terrorists, Israelis, and world
leaders?  Re-read the above Bible
quotation, and decide for yourself.  


Vinícius Claudino Ferraz said...

There is an Absolute Truth.
If there weren't, every truth would be relative. I would exist and I wouldn't exist at the same time. Absurd.
this is a consequence of the existance of the thinking being (Descartes) and of the principle of contradiction true/false.

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