Ok, we’re going to take a slightly divergent path on my post this week. I may do that from time to time. Sometimes, I just might like to comment on current news intersecting with our faith.
Recently, thanks to Mr. Harold Camping, headlines mockingly reacted to his predictions of the world’s demise that he targeted for October 21. His announcement of Armageddon provided great fodder for late night television jokes. Possibly some interesting water cooler talk, as well.
Political correctness really does not have much to say about when the world is going to end. There is no politically correct position on Armageddon that I’m aware of at the moment. So, that’s off the table for today.
Now, back to the end of the world. Sometimes, our response to even the most ludicrous of statements provides insight into our culture’s psyche. The preoccupation with Mr. Camping’s predictions may be an indicator of something deeper in our corporate cultural soul. Something that has to do with the larger question of our purpose on this earth.
From time to time when our world gets a little off center (maybe a lot off center) we worry about losing the things that make us feel safe, comfortable, untouchable. One thing about our American lifestyles…we don’t want anything to upset that applecart.
So, every now and then when world events take a strange twist, and someone like Mr. Camping decides unilaterally to put an end date on what makes us secure, we look for signs of impending doom. There’s drama enough for everyone. Wall Street failures, government gridlock, entire countries going bankrupt, unemployment, natural disasters, the political drama in the Middle East, wars and rumor of wars. Maybe Harold Camping is right about one thing. The world, as we know it, is imploding.
Can Armageddon be far behind? Will Jesus return this year? Or next?
Certainly, there may be signs that the Second Coming is around the corner. But, who knows the length of God’s block? We get so preoccupied with the idea of the Second Coming that it overshadows the reason for the First Coming—to redeem the world, not end it.
Some people see the Second Coming like a script from some old western movie where the cavalry arrives in the nick of time, bugles blaring and rifles firing to save us from the enemy. I can see it now…Jesus riding at the head an angelic column to “save” those who’ve rallied their wagons in a circle to ward off the politically correct hordes. (I had to put that in somewhere)
We want Jesus to come soon so we can go from hell on earth to heaven with Him. Isn’t that a great reason for the Second Coming? To be relieved of our problems and pressures of living in the world.
Sure, things can be hard. But Jesus didn’t tell us to wait for the Second Coming in order to be rid of the problems that plague us. Instead, he said, “In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer. I have overcome the world. “ (John 16:33)
Long story short—we need to get closer to God, not have the Second Coming get closer to us. Wall Street can collapse. The Middle East can explode. Earthquakes can happen. But, Christ promises that He is with me regardless of my situation, and that brings real comfort.
That’s why Jesus said to occupy until He returned. And he didn’t mean Wall Street. He meant to be about His business of being His hands and feet to those in need, and to tell people about the good news. Current day saints do not forfeit the present because they are so focused on the future.
Let’s use the Second Coming as a calling to build the Kingdom of God, regardless of the work involved or forces we encounter. We already have victory over that stuff. The First Coming took care of that.