The End is Near?
Years ago, I drove my elderly grandfather on a nostalgic outing to visit his childhood home area. We visited old farms, historic bridges on a local river, a few small towns where his grandparents had lived, and finally we stopped at the Lower Ash Grove Church and Cemetery. As we strolled among the slumping gravestones, he pointed to one stone and reflected, “During the 1918 Spanish flu (his words—the label given to it by the survivors; I am aware that the CDC now refers to it as the “1918 influenza pandemic”), the men and boys in our community needed to bury 18 neighbors--infants, children, adults, and elderly friends and family-- in one day.” He then paused before concluding, “We thought the end of the world was coming since we had never seen anything like this before.” Sound familiar?
Recently I have seen numerous social media posts postulating the apparent end of the world. The hypotheses range from, “God must be trying to warn us that the end of time has come” to “There has never been a time like this; it must be the end.” And I must say, this is really one of the strangest times that any of us could have ever imagined! That said, it does not necessarily mean that the world is ending.
Let’s look to scripture for insight: The Apostle Paul is compelled to write two letters to the Thessalonian church. In both letters he spends time admonishing them not to be misled regarding the Second Coming of our Lord. “For you know quite well that the day of the Lord’s return will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night” (I Thes. 5.2). And again in II Thes. 2.2 the Apostle counsels, “Don’t be so easily shaken or alarmed by those that say that the day of the Lord has already begun. Don’t believe them…”. A further study of I and II Thessalonians would be a great investment of your time in these days in which we live.
Importantly, what does Jesus say about the end of time? In Matt. 24.13-14, Jesus says two very unequivocal things regarding the Second Coming: Verse 13, “But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” So Christian, be strong and faithful to the end; Verse 14, “And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations (all ethnic and people groups) will hear it and then the end will come.” So Christian, remember. Jesus says that until all the world, peoples, nations, tribes, and languages have the opportunity to hear the Good News, the end will not come yet.
In these tumultuous times we live, be strong and courageous. Be the Church and share His love, peace, joy, hope, and grace with a fearful world.
Scripture verses taken from The New Living Translation.
This is a guest post written by Gary Barnes