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Who will sound an alarm?

June 29, 2009

the-end-is-nearHow do we awaken the body of Christ to the reality of the times?

That question has been pressing me since Friday morning, and I haven’t come up with much. I’m genuinely looking for ideas, here. Let’s talk about this, and see if we can’t come up with a good first step at least.

‘Cause Friday morning, a rather popular and well-respected pastor  (whose ministry and preaching I, personally, really enjoy and appreciate) Twittered a link to what he thought was a ridiculous website declaring that – without doubt – Jesus is coming back in 2012. I didn’t look at the website because I was on my cell at the time, and it doesn’t support big websites … and because I’m sure I could well visualize what was going on: bad HTML, bold declarations with little scientific or scriptural support, vast assumptions, and some silliness about the Mayan calendar.

And I’m sure that the whole thing is pretty ridiculous – as said pastor commented.

But then, he followed it up with another 140-character comment about how Jesus said no one would know when He’s going to come back, and he proceeded to mock people who believe otherwise. For the next several hours, he would occasionally shoot off sarcastic Tweets about the idea.

On the one hand, I agree. Jesus said no one would know the day or the hour (Matt 24:36, Mk 13:32), and some of these groups and websites are unfounded and really, really out there.

At the same time, though, Jesus made it clear that He expects His people to know the general time frame of His return, and to be prepared for it. He called the religious leaders of His day hypocrites because they could discern weather patterns, but not the season of His visitation (Matt 16:3, Lk 12:56). Scripture contains more prophecy about the time of His second coming than His first, so how much more will He expect us to recognize it?

I could go on, but my object today is not to convince you that we can and should know the season of Jesus’ return. My object today is for those who believe that it’s possible to know the season: how do we convince the body of Christ that it’s worthy of our time/study?

There seems to be this over-riding default mentality that we can’t know, that the Bible studies are too hard, or that the topic is irrelevant anyway. How do we break through that without becoming sensationalists? Without bad HTML? Without being the “The End is Near” guy?

Do you see this in your churches or Christian social circles? This avoidance of all things eschatology? What do you do?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jacob Zarris permalink
    June 29, 2009 3:58 pm

    I don’t mind getting into eschatology at all, but their are so many point of views that are all biblical. It’s one of the hardest things to try to understand, but that shouldn’t neglect the signs of the times at all. I know Jesus told His disciples to realize the time that they are living in, but I don’t know if I believe that was referring to His return. (Seeing as Jesus was still with them pre-resurrection when he said that) Mostly to realize what historic thing is about to unfold and what is now their responsibility as men who are to spread the good news and disciple people throughout the ends of the earth. I do find that quite a bit more important that what other people view on how the world is going to end. Not trying to be mean about it, but I do think that some org. one in particular spends way to much time on it. The Holy Spirit guides us and will help us if we follow him, and well protect us and tell us what to do if/when the end time happens.

    • Lex permalink
      June 30, 2009 11:49 am

      Do you think it really is one of the hardest things to understand? I used to think that, but I’m starting to wonder if it’s just one of the things we pay the least attention to, or don’t really try to understand.

      I don’t think Jesus was referring to His return when He told people to understand the signs of the times either. I was just saying, if He expected it then He’s probably going to expect it during the time of His return.

      I agree that the focus of the body of Christ should be doing His work, which means spreading the gospel. I’m not suggesting we shut down our missionary efforts to study biblical prophecy concerning the last days. But if it is important to know the signs, to understand prophecy, to be prepared, and if there IS so much confusion or disagreement or tension over the issue … it seems like something that at least needs a little more attention that it’s getting.

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