Sunday, June 21, 2009

Ready or not ...

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This week our Topical Blogger bvaliant4him wanted the group's input on the 24th chapter of the gospel of Matthew. In this chapter Jesus addresses concerns that his disciples had about what many today refer to as the "End Times."

At first reading, many of the events that Jesus speaks of are pretty frightening: wars, earthquakes, famine, persecution, stars falling from the sky, more. Many people over the past 2,000 years have made many predictions as to when Jesus is expected to return. There are people in this present day who avidly study world events and End Times prophecy who believe that we are now in the days that Jesus speaks of in this chapter of Matthew.

So what is my input? Are we in fact living in the End Times? Is the return of the Son of God imminent?

My honest answer is I don't know. I do not claim to be a Bible scholar. Nor have I seriously studied Biblical prophecy with any real intentionality. And I'm not alone in my state of not knowing. Scripture is clear: "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."

I have this very post set to publish several hours after I am finished writing (right now it's 11:00 pm Saturday). In fact, if things go as planned I should be in the midst of serving up some root beer floats for Father's Day. Jesus could return before the publication time of this entry. Or not. (If he does, will I have the presence of mind to offer him a root beer float? Probably not.) Jesus could return during our lifetime. Or not. The timing is not for me to know.

But let me tell you what I do know. The scary things that are talked about in Matthew 24 will happen - earthquakes, wars, famines, etc. - and we will continue to be witnesses to them. People will be lured into following deceptive teaching. The Gospel will continue to be preached on a global scale. And Jesus will return.

I believe that more important than being aware of the signs of the end times is to be prepared for the expected return of the Savior when we least expect him. Because no one is certain of when that day will be, we ought to live our lives with the integrity of the faithful and wise servant, the one whom the Master can drop in on unannounced and find him doing his duties.

Jesus will come again. Scripture tells us that it's unpredictable. It is also clear that Jesus will not sneak up on us. He will come "with power and great glory." Ready or not, He'll be back.
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