Are These the End of Days?
The simple answer to my blog post is maybe. Possibly, yes. However, the truth is I don’t know and neither do you. Only God knows.
What's important, my dear Christian Brothers and Sisters is to remember the truth we've been taught about Jesus’ second coming, no one knows the day or hour...
“But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to stay awake. Therefore stay awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows or in the morning—lest he comes suddenly and find you asleep. And what I say to you I say to all: stay awake.” (Mark 13:32)
Certainly, the Bible teaches us of the end-time events that will take place, but what we see today does not necessarily conclude the end of days. We must be in God's Word, discerning, and prayerful, and understand those who came before us certainly had reason to conclude the same.
For centuries men have falsely predicted the end of times from the Mayans to Y2K, not withholding Christian circles where cults have been formed by false teachers and prophets claiming to know the date of the end of times.
A most recent and fascinating and yet disturbing example is Harold Camping. A radio evangelist who passed away in 2013, Camping said he knew the exact date of the apocalypse not once, but twice during 2011. And of course, here we still are. Unfortunately, for many of his followers, he had convinced them to quit their jobs and sell off their life savings. Check out the documentary Wheat and Tares, to see the devastation his false teachings brought to the lives of his followers. It's a sad state of affairs.
Now I’m no expert on eschatology, the study of what the Bible says will happen at the end of times. Nor do I believe understanding eschatology to be essential to our salvation. However, it can inform us and impact how we live our lives and what to expect in God’s plan.
What we know is Jesus will come again. The timeline of this is unknown and debated within different viewpoints of Christian Eschatology - from pre and post-millennialism, and midtribulationism, amillennialism, and partial preterism. Phew!
While understanding Christian Eschatology does interest me, it's not a hill I'm ready to die on by placing a stake in the sand on any one viewpoint. Not now anyway. For now, I'm a disciple, a student.
In the meantime, as for me, we strive to be wise and to be alert. Be aware of the times in which we live. But also it's important to realize history has a way of repeating itself. We broken humans (myself included) oftentimes believe history began the day we were born. These are not necessarily the end of times, or should I say the worst of times. Again, the reality is we can see that history repeats itself when we take the time to look outside of our own.
How is that? Example in point.
Even during his day (the mid to late 1800s), Charles Surgeon, preached the following regarding 2 Timothy 3:15, "How remarkably the times repeat themselves! As I said just now, in the reading of the chapter, the warning Paul gave concerning his own times is needful for this present age. Again darkness thickens, and the mists hang heavily around our footsteps. Evil men and seducers grow worse and worse, and many have turned away their ears from the truth to listen to fables. Nor do we wonder that it is so. History must repeat itself so long as we have the same human nature to deal with, the same sins to ensnare mankind, the same truth to be trifled with, and the same devil to stir men up to the same mischief."
Spurgeon made a great point. The first Christians following Pentacost lived under severe persecution in Rome and most certainly under Nero beginning in A.D. 67. I can only imagine there must have been Christians then who believed theirs were the end of days.
Until Jesus returns I believe Babylons and Neros will come and go, and cultures will continue to shift like the wind. Yet during this time, regardless of popularity or not, God's word is to be preached unaltered, in and out of season (2 Timothy 4:2).
Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:12-17)
Are these the end of days? I don't know. But what I do know is I have a Savior in Jesus Christ, who lived and died for me, taking the judgment and penalty I was due for my sins, wiping my debt clean, and by His resurrection, I am reconciled to God have eternal salvation with him.
Christians, Jesus will return again. What do we do until then, or until he takes us home? We remember our great salvation, grow in holiness, plug into and live by the Word of God, pray and stir one another up by meeting together, and finally, we follow Jesus' command...
"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)