We’ve all seen the cartoonish character, normally looking like a cross between an Old Testament prophet and a 60s hippie, holding a sign with the message The End is Near.
It’s a good question and one that more people, especially Christians are pondering. You don’t have to spend much time on Social Media before you find a post advocating that the current social unrest is a harbinger of The End.
Are we living in the days just before the return of Christ?
The events taking place in the world today could easily lead you to believe that we have reached that point. The Apostle Paul characterized the last days as perilous times when men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers. disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness, but denying its power (2 Timothy 3:2-5). Our world today checks all of the boxes.
I want to make three observations on The End. The first is that we have been in the last days since the time of Jesus. The writer of Hebrews tells us that God has spoken in these last days through His Son, Jesus. What we are going through is no different than what Christians have gone through for two thousand years. So is it The End? In that respect, Yes.
My second observation is that we really can’t know. Jesus made this clear when He told His disciples, of that day and hour no one knows (Matthew 24:36). In fact, Matthew goes on to say that even the angels don’t know. Mark reveals something even more astounding when he says that The Son doesn’t know (Mark 13:32)! Several theories have been offered to explain this statement and whichever one you believe, one thing is certain, it’s a highly guarded secret when Jesus himself doesn’t know. We don’t know if Jesus will return this year, in ten years or in one hundred years. That’s up to God.
This leads me to my third and most important observation. We need to be more concerned with Who We Are than with Where We Are (in terms of history).
We can’t do anything about the return of Christ. We can’t delay it; we can’t speed it up. In one sense we are simply uninfluential spectators in a celestial drama.
But we can do something about who we are. We can do something about becoming more like Jesus. And that should be the goal that occupies our time and thoughts, not to mention our social media posts.
In my opinion, too many times Christians who are enthusiastic about end time events are less than enthusiastic about present day living. God has not given us information about the end time so we can become experts in the area of eschatology. He has given whatever information we have about the end times to shape our lives and promote godly living in us.
The Apostle Peter touches on this in 2 Peter. In the context of a discussion on the day of the Lord, he asks the rhetorical question, therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness . . . ?
The answer is obvious – in light of prophetic truth we are to be godly people. Knowing what the Bible says about the end times and not living a godly life is missing the point. It is an academic exercise without any spiritual benefit.
Perhaps all of us need to spend less time speculating on when Jesus will come and more time trying to become like Him. It’s possible to do both but it is rare.
God would rather have a Christian who lives godly but can’t list the end time events than a Christian who knows all of the end time events but lives like the world.
Stay in the Word,