Sunday, April 10, 2011

The end . . . or not?

But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.  – Mark 13:32 (NKJV)
You’ve seen the signs—billboards proclaiming Judgment Day is as close as May 21, 2011. “King Jesus Returns,” others proclaim. One newspaper even did a front page feature when a local man painted his car with the dire warning and parked it along the main street of town.
This particular movement seems to have taken the country by storm. We all know the world is coming to an end—that Judgment Day is coming. Doomsdayers have been saying that for centuries. But with all the recent wars and rumors of wars, the earthquakes, famines, and other natural disasters worldwide, folks are paying attention.
This is good. We need to be aware that Jesus is coming again—that He could come at any moment. Even Jesus’ disciples wanted to know when. “Tell us,” they asked Him. “When will this happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3)
Ever since, we humans have been trying to pinpoint a date.
I can remember as a new Christian being fascinated with the end times. I was a young wife and mother who wanted to see her children grow up and finish building her house. Back then the book The Late Great Planet Earth by Hal Lindsey was the rage. In it Lindsey suggested 1988 would be the year. In a sequel, The 1980s: Countdown to Armageddon, Lindsey predicted that “the decade of the 1980s could very well be the last decade of history as we know it.”
Remember Y2K? According to “The Doomsday List,” an online list of 40 Judgment Day predictions in the past 10 years, over half pinpointed dates in 2000. Then there’s “The Bible Code.” According to this theory, secret codes written into the Bible predict doomsday as Dec. 21, 2012. An ancient Mayan calendar also foretells the end of world on that date. Scientists have added to the intrigue by predicting that a comet will crash into the earth about that time, annihilating life as we know it on Dec. 21, 2012.
The problem with all these theories, as fascinating as they seem, is that an exact date is predicted for Jesus’ return. The head of the movement that purports May 21, 2011, will be the day predicted in 1992 that Jesus would return in 1994.
No wonder folks are confused. No wonder they don’t pay attention. Too many doomsdayers have been wrong. In fact, all of the doomsdayers to date have been wrong.
So whom do you believe?
Why not the Person who will return? Jesus Himself said, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Mark 13:32).
Jesus said it. I believe it. That settles it for me. So I don’t fret over when Judgment Day will be, whether May 21 or some other day.  The date doesn’t matter. I know that day will come eventually. I have nothing to fear. I know where I’ll be—with Him.
Until then, I’ll watch, wait, and work.  
What about you?
Help me, O Lord, to keep my eyes fixed on You, my mind stayed on Your Word, and my heart faithful to Your call. Amen.
Special-Tea: Read Matthew 24; Mark 13:1-37; Luke 21:5-36

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