This past weekend, September 23, 2017, the world was scheduled to end. David Meade prophesied that a planet was going to smash into earth and destroy the world. Since you are reading this, you probably realize that it didn’t happen. Not to worry: Meade has rescheduled this collision for the end of October.
Doomsday predictions are not new. The apostle Paul had to warn the Thessalonians to “not be idle.” Apparently they had misinterpreted messages about the coming of Christ and since they thought the world was going to end very soon, they decided to take it easy until He came. Meanwhile, they were living (mooching?) off of the church. Paul then commanded the church to “keep away from every brother who is idle…”
You may remember the book, 88 Reasons Why Jesus Will Return In 1988. As convincing as that book may have been, with all its mathematical calculations and reasonings, I didn’t believe it. Jesus had said, “No one knows the day or the hour, not even the Son of Man.” I did read the book and, yes, I believe that Jesus is coming back, but anyone who sets a date is setting himself up to be a fool. He can’t win. If Jesus does come back, so what? No one will congratulate him on the way up; if Jesus doesn’t come back… well, the fool resets the date.
Having said all that, I have to confess that the events in the last months have made me wonder if the end really might be near. Even leaders that I trust, “non-kooks,” like Ann Graham Lotz and John Hagee, have wondered if the Lord is speaking to us through these events.
Matthew 24 reads, “… You will hear of wars and rumors of wars… Nation will rise against nation… There will be famines… earthquakes… persucution… you will be hated… many will turn from the faith… there will be false prophets… the love of most will grow cold…”
In August there was a full solar eclipse, the first one in many years to be seen only in the US (God’s judgement on America?!) Last year was the blood moon. There have been three major hurricanes in a month. There was flooding in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico… an earthquake in Mexico and Guatemala, famine in Africa, major fires in Montana… North Korea is threatening war. The NFL has become a political quagmire… Political unrest; racial anger; police assassinations; school shootings (and stabbings)… whew…
Is God trying to tell us something? Is Matthew 24 being fulfilled?!
Here’s my take on these events and predictions of the end of the world: Yes, God is speaking to us through these events. But, He also speaks through every sunrise and every sunset every single day. He raises His voice through earthquakes, floods, famine, etc. To paraphrase C.S. Lewis: “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our troubles. They are His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
Although I don’t believe in doomsday dates, here are some things that these predictions do for me: They encourage me to be ready.
- Make sure I have committed my life to Jesus Christ.
- Make sure I have no known sin in my life.
- Be at peace with all men.
- Live as if He is coming tomorrow, and work as if He’s not coming for 1000 years. Martin Luther said that we should live every day with the day of our death always before us, like a billboard that we see everywhere we turn. Jim Elliott said he wanted to live so that when it came time to die, there was nothing else he needed to do but die. John Wesley said, “Our people die well.”
Friends, the Lord is coming back. He didn’t come on Sept. 23. Or did He?! Well, yes, for two people that I know, He came. Two of my friends died and stood before the Lord on September. 23rd. For them, this life is over.
For everyone of us a date has been set. “It is appointed unto men once to die and then the judgement.” Hebrews 9:27
Pastor Bill Detweiler said, “There are only two days in all of history that matter: 1. This day, and 2. That Day! Live this day so that day, “the great and terrible day of the LORD” will be a day of rejoicing for you. Malachi 4:5
Be ready! The Lord is returning! When? I can tell you the date: THAT DAY!