PASTOR'S PEN

End of the World Predictions

posted by Rusty Guenther

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you may also be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going”  John 14:1-4  It seems like there are people in every generation for the last 2000 years that allow themselves to be consumed with trying to figure out when Jesus will return. In the 1970’s Hal Lindsey’s “Late Great Planet Earth” had everyone anticipating his return at any moment. The “Left Behind” bestselling book series were all the rage in the 1990’s. One so-called “prophet” gained fame with his “88 reasons that Jesus will return in 1988” only to “readjust” his date to 1990, then 1992 after the appointed dates passed and eventually his followers stopped listening. Once again,  as our world has faced an abundance of natural disasters recently, many so called “experts” are back in the prediction business. One popular recent theory predicts that Jesus will return this Saturday, September 23rd. Using Luke 21:25-26 alongside the solar eclipse, the various earthquakes, western wildfires and deadly hurricanes in conjunction with this year containing 2 “blood moons” and it being a “year of jubilee” on the Jewish calendar; they are certain in their prediction and have gained a large following. Jesus did promise that He will one day return for The Church and His followers but he also warned in Matthew 24:36 “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Fatherwhen asked about that day. Again, as he was ascending to heaven in Acts 1:7, he reminds his disciples, It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by His own authority.” Clearly, you and I are not a part of the “planning committee” when it comes to the time and date of Jesus’s return and we should probably stop spending so much time and energy speculating on when it will happen. He did appoint us to the “invitation committee” and that task includes getting the word out and inviting as many people as we can to “the party”. I don’t know if this is the “last generation” but I do know it will be the only generation you and I will  have a chance to invite, share and reach with Jesus’s message of love, forgiveness, grace and mercy. Instead of focusing on “when” He might return, maybe it would be more beneficial to focus on “Why” He is coming back. We need to be ready, but we also need to be focused on our task with an urgency and purpose. It is okay to long for His return, but until then—we have a job to do!  

 


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