Our Single Adults pastor used to joke, the most three popular topics for unmarried Christians were;
Sex in the End Times
So, why all the fascination with End Times and in specific, trying to pin-point when Jesus will return? Before I attempt to answer that question, you should know this about me; I’ve never read an “end times” book in my life, except the book of Revelations and I don’t intend to.
Jesus said this when asked by his disciples when he would return, “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Matthew 24:36
If Jesus himself did not know when he was going to return, what are the chances any human is going to figure that out? There are literally thousands of books that have been written on the topic. None can answer that question, but almost all try. Jesus himself said it’s unimportant for his disciples to know.
“Then they gathered around him and asked him, ‘Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He said to them: ‘It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.’” Acts1:6, 7
I do think every Christian should have a basic understanding of this topic. However, I think the Bible tells us everything the Holy Spirit thought we needed to know. I’m always skeptical of authors who try to tell us more about end times than what the Bible actually does!
Here’s what I believe, short and simple; Jesus is coming again to judge all people. The unrighteous will be separated from God forever and those who were made righteous by Christ in this life, will live with him in the new kingdom forever.
I believe the most important element in the end times, for Christians today, is the judgment and the criteria for who is a true believer or not. That question affects our own eternal destiny and that of our friends, co-workers and neighbors. We don’t have to try to figure out who is saved and who is not. I don’t have a Save-o-Meter that I can point at myself or others. That’s God’s business.
However, we have the obligation to tell everyone what we know about Jesus and the eternal life he promises to all who truly embrace his salvation and the gospel. If we actually believe our unsaved friends will live separated from Jesus forever in hell, introducing them to him should be the most important thing in our life other than loving God and others.
So, why all the fascination about end times? I have a theory. Trying to figure out the prophecies in Daniel, or when the rapture will occur, or understanding the symbolic meaning of all the creatures in Revelations does not require us to live more holy lives. It costs us nothing to debate and discuss those topics. We don’t have to live any differently. But, we weren’t placed on this earth, redeemed by Jesus to devote endless hours trying to figure out God’s time table. Just live out the gospel today and every day God gives you and I’m confident you’ll never be scolded by Jesus at the judgment for not having a shelf full of end time books.
Trust God with the future. Here’s what Jesus demands of us:
“Then he said to them all: ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.’” Luke 9:23
Live out the will of God daily and leave the future to him.
How following Jesus works in real life.
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