I’d be lying if I said I haven’t contemplated this question. And I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t embarrassed to ponder it. Have you?
By no means am I an expert in the end times/Revelations/Eschatology (fancy word for the study, or theology, of the final events in history). But I am a curious person. I’d go as far as to say I am a very observant person. The pattern of my blogs have always been rooted in, “Hm, this is what I’ve been wondering about lately, so I’ll share it.” Diving deeper into this subject is a result of personal concern that I am not ready for the world to end.
Let me explain.
I believe what the Bible teaches about eternity. That there is a heaven and there is a hell.
“Then He will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” Matthew 25:41
“I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man.” John 3:12-13
“They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His might.” 2 Thessalonians 1:9
“In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?” John 14:2
And if I truly believe this (not just in my head but in my heart) then in order not to contradict that belief and foundation, I must fully absorb the fact that the world really will end one day. Our finite minds can barely conceptualize such an event. Even so, the Bible tells us that, “everyone will have to give account on the day of judgement” Matthew 12:36.
Back to the question: Is this it? Is the world ending? What does the Bible say about all this?
There have been a few opinions floating around that I want to first address:
On March 17th, The Washington Post published an article that included an interview with a dad who calls himself an apostolic prophet and leads a prophetic ministry. He reassured his son that this was not the end times because God “had shown him through 2026.” Now I am not here to refute or deny his relationship with the Lord, but I am going to reassure you that no one on the planet can tell you when God will or will not return.
“No one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows.” Matthew 24:36
That same day, a national tabloid newspaper (Daily Express) in the UK published an article titled, “Coronavirus in the Bible: Preacher warns of ‘apocalyptic signs’ as ‘end of world nears’” and said a “Christian evangelist has outrageously claimed amid the COVID19 pandemic.”
Outrageously. That’s quite an adjective.
All over the world we are getting mixed signals. Pastors from near and far may attempt to tackle this question but ultimately, the better question is: If it were, would you think differently?
What if it were…
I am not here to argue yay or nay (thank goodness because I have no appetite to spend a decade earning a google PhD in Eschatology). I actually lean towards no. There are many things that need to happen before Jesus can come back (including every people group in the world hearing about Jesus. Yep, that’s a sign that Jesus is coming! As of today, 42% of the world’s people groups are unreached, approximately 3.2 million people). I am actually here to pose the question, if it were the end, would that change things? Why do we need to know so much? My curiosity, and even fear, is also peaked so don’t shame yourself for wanting to know.
“‘Tell us,’ they said, ‘when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?’ Jesus answered: ‘Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.’” Matthew 24:3-7
I’ve contemplated this seriously.
During the treasured 30-minutes a day that I am kid-free and can hear my thoughts, I’ve really felt the weight of this question. And I will be honest, my answer is yes.
Yes, it would change things.
Yes, I would view life differently.
Yes, my every move would have a narrow agenda.
As it stands, my actions say I am more concerned with comfort than sacrificing myself for others.
As it stands, my actions say I am more concerned about praying for business growth than my own children’s salvation.
As it stands, my actions say I am more concerned about overflow in our bank account than starving widows and lonely orphans.
As it stands, my actions say I am more concerned about Instagram followers than multiplying Christ followers in my very neighborhood.
If Jesus really did come back soon… let’s pretend the countdown is 5 years from today… what would you do differently?
Would you forgive quicker? Give more? Worry less?
Would you finally do that scary thing God told you do?
Would you change careers since you “had five years” to make things right?
Would you adopt a few kids and ensure they heard the gospel a million times?
Would you pray differently and tell God thank you more?
What would you regret about your years on earth? What would you be proud of?
“Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” Matthew 24:44
No one knows what the future holds.
All we know is that we are months into this worldwide pandemic. COVID-19 has shaken us all. We are weary and afraid. We are overextended and uncertain. Most of us wake up with a 24-hour goal of just making it to another day. One foot in front of the other. One courageous choice at a time.
You are not alone.
And if there were any appropiate-law-abiding-socially-distant-virtual hugs I could offer that eased your burden just an inch, I would. I’ve squeezed my brain and attempted to use this time to practice my life motto even more. Have you ever known a better time to love fast and live slow? Me either.
For what it’s worth, I’m hosting online devotionals each day on my Instagram account. We are walking through a 10-day devotional I wrote back in October called Hidden Heroes. If you are reading this after April 9th… it means you missed that bandwagon. Sorry. But you can catch those recordings on my IG TV series. And on April 9th, my next 10-day devotional releases, Almost Heroes.
If you made it this far, I’d love to hear from you.
Comment below some of the thoughts you had while reading this blog. Can you relate to a lot of my roller coaster feelings? Has your perspective or urgency to focus on eternal things changed?
Share this blog with a friend if you found it helpful. Thanks guys. Xoxo