Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. (1 John 3:2)
A glorious evening spent watching “The Wolfman,” which starred Lon Chaney, Jr., reminds me that there is a part of all of us that loves mystery and things we can’t fully explain.
Harold Camping’s unfortunate prediction that the world will end on May 21 has garnered interest from all quarters, including atheists who plan a “Rapture Party” in anticipation of a non-event. Clever.
The end of the world is perhaps the biggest mystery of all. Most struggle to explain it.
Even in the Christian community, there is widespread disagreement about the end of the world. Brian McLaren, the muse of the Emergents—a group that enjoys “re-thinking” Christian doctrine, has written extensively about this. In a June 3, 2010 piece for the Huffington Post, the skillful self-promoter referenced one of his own books in revealing his thoughts about Bible prophecy enthusiasts:
“If the world is about to end, why care for the environment? Why worry about global climate change or peak oil? Who gives a rip for endangered species or sustainable economies or global poverty if God is planning to incinerate the whole planet soon anyway?”
McLaren misses the point. The apostles spent a good deal of time revealing the mind of God on the subject. Writing about the end-game for world history, Paul had this to say:
“It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” (Titus 2:12-14)
Paul called the return of Christ to the earth and the subsequent end-times events the “blessed hope” of the Christian.
There is much confusion about just what the “end-times” are and what comes after that, but we do well to see what Scripture has to say about it…not the opinions of men like Camping and McLaren.
As Claude Rains said to Lon Chaney Jr.’s anguished character in “The Wolfman”:
“Belief in the hereafter is a very healthy counterbalance to all the conflicted doubts man is plagued with these days.”