My Fitness

Thursday, August 31, 2017

predicting the end times


There's a story about a couple of preachers walking down the road carrying a sign and calling out to people saying, "THE END IS NIGH!" One car drove past and honked and yelled at the crazies to get off the road. Right after the driver passed the preachers he turned the bend in the road and the preachers heard him crash. One of the preachers turned to the other and says, "Do you think we should be more specific and say, "The road is out ahead?"

It's a joke.

Back in December I calculated my due date to be August 31. Today is August 31. I've not had a single contraction. If this baby comes today it will be quick arrival. My midwife calculated the due date for September 1. Micah's due date was August 29 and he came on September 13. The earliest any of my babies has been is 5 day late.

With all these predictions, and guesses, and failed attempts of conveying when this pregnancy will end, I'm reminded of all those failed predictions of the end of the world. Remember Y2K? Or the Mayan 2012 scare? Then all the Biblically-based predictions that have obviously been wrong.

I have listened to several preachers predict the end day and I don't know why they waste their time when they can read Mark 13:32 where Jesus is telling his disciples that no one knows except the Father in heaven.

We can rest easy knowing that our salvation is secure no matter what happens here on earth. Christ came 2000 years ago in the "fullness of time" (Galatians 4:4) and he'll come again when the time is full again. For any one of us that day could be today. We are not promised tomorrow. One person's sin means death for another. You could get hit by a drunk driver. You could be the victim of a freak accident. You could be at the wrong place at the wrong time right when a fight breaks out. Whatever your destined path, God already knows of it. Your future is his past.

Luke 21:25-28 talks about the second coming of Christ. Matthew 24:8 specifically says that as we grow closer to the end, it will be like birth pangs. My birth pangs. My birth pangs were created to remind me, and in turn you, that the end is almost here. I'm going to give birth soon. It does not look like Baby is coming on the predicted days. It doesn't make those days wrong so much as it makes them wrong. ha! What I mean is that our predictions of when the baby will come are based on looking at the signs and the best we should say is "it's about time". But they're only guesses. Likewise we can look around us right now and see Houston under water, floods in India have killed over 1,000, landslides in China, Sierra Leonne, and Swiss Alps have taken lives, politicians and supremacy movements give us flashbacks to the 50s, and no matter how hard we try to get ahead there's some tax or bank or foolish man pulling us back under. I'm sure things felt more bleak in 1940s France. Or for Christians in hostile Iraq nowadays.

It's really depressing unless your hope is elsewhere.

I can let my prolonged pregnancy and the pain that comes with it beat me down and wallow in grief and self-pitty. Or I can redeem the time and make sure I have things prepared. I've written about this before. I've painted and packed and cleaned. I started preparing back in March with my kids schooling by making sure they started this school year back then knowing that this month would be rough. So we are having our summer vacation now when most schools are starting.

The analogy is for us to redeem the time for Christ too. We don't know when the end will be but we can see the signs. The crops are ripe for the harvest. The end is coming and we need to save as many as possible. Remember the story of the starfish? Some people were walking along the beach when they saw thousands of starfish washed up and dying. One man started picking them up and tossing them back in the sea. Another man asked him what he was doing since he couldn't possibly save them all. The first man said, "I know but I bet I made a difference to that one." as he tossed another back into the sea.

That's what we need to be doing as well. The baby will come whenever s/he comes and that's minor and really not that significant. Probably. But the purpose of birth pangs is to remind us of much more: Christ is coming. Whether he's coming for you or the end of the earth, he's coming and today could be the day. Today was the day for thousands. Is our hope in political parties and pastors and movement leaders or is our hope in the only one who can do anything with our souls for all of eternity?

You need to decide who you are going to serve. There's no neutral ground here. By choosing "self" you're choosing death, because you will die. It will not be pleasant. By choosing Christ, you are choosing the resurrection and life. It will be glorious. I'm not a gifted writer or theologian or evangelist, but if you feel like enduring a bit more, read how to choose Christ here.

Therefore choose life, that you and your
offspring may live...Deuteronomy 30:15-20
Jesus is life...John 11:25

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