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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

End times

With the turmoil in the Middle East and the vicious earthquake that hit Japan, I've gotten a lot of questions regarding the end of time and what the Bible has to say. It's come from those near to me, like my daughter, as well as from some relative strangers in the community. I imagine most ministers get some kind of questions related to the subject when things like this happen. So, I thought I'd take this space today to answer the biggest question...are these signs that the world is about to end?

Yes...and no.

Allow me to explain. There is no doubt that what's going on in the world are indications that the end of time is coming. Matthew 24 leaves little room for question. There Jesus talks about wars, famines, earthquakes and the general "labor pains" of the world as it faces its end.

But we must remember two things. The same Bible also says no one--not even Jesus Himself--knows exactly when the day will be. For anyone--and I mean anyone--to predict a time and place is a waste of time and a warning that they don't have a clue what they are talking about.

Secondly, we have to remember we aren't the only ones to ask this question or to face difficult "signs." Americans in the 1860's were quite sure that the Civil War was a sign things were coming to a rapid conclusion...but no more than the rest of the world felt it during the The Great War (World War I). It was the largest war ever...until World War II came and convinced everyone that Jesus would be here any day. Even more recent conflicts like the Gulf Wars have raised the eyebrows of those who live in anticipation of the end time. Both of those wars brought a flood of books to the shelves about why this was the end. That's not all...

As bad as last week's earthquake was, it ranks seventh on the list of severity in the recorded history of such events. So, as afraid as we became last week with that event, can you imagine what others felt during those six tremors that ranked higher? Other events such as oil spills, large hurricanes (remember Katrina) and great blizzards have led people to announce the end was near.

Here is my point. Yes, it is very apparent that events and signs are all around us. Jesus said there would be. He also said they would increase in intensity. But there are many more signs to be fulfilled from Scripture before we face the end of the earth.

Now, this is the most important part. I shared this with a young man yesterday as we interacted about this very subject. We have two choices. We can live in fear of what we know is coming. Or, we can live with confidence that what is coming is not to be feared. The difference is Jesus and what you do with the reality of His existence. Deny Him and live in disobedience and you have much to fear. Know Him and surrender to His desires and you'll find great peace knowing that the future you question is a future He holds in His hands.

1 comment:

Wayne Causey said...

well said, brother! We have the choice each day how we shall live: in fear and dread or in faith and confidence! Thanks for the good word, Ridley