“End Times”

But the exact day and hour? No one knows that, not even heaven’s angels, not even the Son. Only the Father knows.

 “The Arrival of the Son of Man will take place in times like Noah’s. Before the great flood everyone was carrying on as usual, having a good time right up to the day Noah boarded the ark. They knew nothing—until the flood hit and swept everything away.

 “The Son of Man’s Arrival will be like that: Two men will be working in the field—one will be taken, one left behind; two women will be grinding at the mill—one will be taken, one left behind. So stay awake, alert. You have no idea what day your Master will show up. But you do know this: You know that if the homeowner had known what time of night the burglar would arrive, he would have been there with his dogs to prevent the break-in. Be vigilant just like that. You have no idea when the Son of Man is going to show up.                                                                                                                                          Matthew 24:36-44 (The Message)

There has always been speculation in the Christian community about the “second coming”, when Jesus will return to earth, and prophecies will be fulfilled. There are many people who speculate on when those “end times” will be, and they point to events that certainly indicate (they believe) that the end times are near. Of course, through the centuries, there have been many events that people could point to as “inevitable signs” of the imminent fulfillment of those “end time” prophecies.

Interestingly, Jesus did not seem to put much focus on that event. He said that no one knew, except the Father, when those end times would come. He typically told people, and gave stories about, “occupying well” until that end time does come.

I find it a bit disturbing that people are so intent on looking for that great “end time” event when Jesus will come again. Didn’t Jesus essentially say, “Don’t worry about an event that you cannot know, keep serving and loving people right now where you are”. In the prayer he taught his disciples, Jesus instructed us by saying “thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”.

I understand that to mean that we are to not simply wait until the earth is fulfilled (or destroyed, based upon your interpretation), but we are to work to bring “heaven to earth”. That is, we are to endeavor, through our transformed lives and relationships, to demonstrate what that future Kingdom can look like here on earth.

We will never be able to make the earth “heaven”. We are all quite clear on that! But didn’t Jesus challenge us to try, in our own little way, to make the earth a little better place for those we share the planet with?

So, rather than spending time waiting and speculating on an event whose time we will never know, isn’t it better to ask, “How can I make this present time better for those around me?”

Prayer: Lord, you have given us opportunities to bring Kingdom principles to earth. Help us to focus on what is right before us, Amen

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