Why Shouldn’t We Ignore It?
Just a few days ago, Courtney posted on the end times. People react in many ways to this topic- there are those who sit back and wait expectantly for the return of their King, those who adamantly oppose any notion that our world is on a time limit, those who know their King is coming back but for some reason don’t want to hear anything about this topic, as well as other reactions. In my opinion and Biblically, all three reactions I listed are wrong. If you’re in one of those categories, I don’t mean to offend you, but we’re trying to wake people up.
First category, those who sit and wait for the rapture. There is nothing wrong with being excited for Christ’s return – in fact, I believe how much one looks forward to Christ’s return shows how close that person’s relationship is with Christ to some extent. After all, it’s your King coming back and taking charge over what’s rightfully His! But there are many people who expect the rapture at any moment and wait idly for it. Jesus gave us the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20 – in essence, a divine order to go and minister to others, discipling and teaching them. Jesus never gave us a ‘Great Timeframe’ for the Great Commission, so it means it’s something we need to consistently and constantly do until we are not on this earth. Besides, not ministering to others and not trying to lead them to Christ when you yourself know what’s to come is cold and not like Christ at all.
Those who don’t believe there’s a time limit on this earth, all I can say is look around you. Get into the Word, read for yourself about what the end times will look like – moral decay will creep into the entire earth. Does that sound like modern times? Modern culture accepts no absolutes: wrong is right and right is wrong, depending on what you choose it to be. When there’s no absolutes, there’s no morality. Also, there’s so much prophecy in the Bible that has come true, only by supernatural events. Take the rebirth of Israel, as well as its supernatural protection in the seven wars since it became a nation (specifically the six-day war of June 1967 – predicted to be the next holocaust). This has all been predicted in the Bible long ago. The Bible also predicts the rising up of evil in the end times before Christ sets up His kingdom on earth – with the Bible’s track record, I wouldn’t take predictions like this very lightly.
On the opposite end, there are those who try to predict the very day of the rapture. We have a time frame for the ultimate return of Christ (7 years from the rapture & start of the tribulation) but as for Christ bringing his followers up with him, there are only certain criteria that needs to be met (ex: the Gospel must go throughout all the nations) – no time frame. It could be today, next year, 20 years, 100 years, we don’t know. Matthew 24:36 says that only Father God Himself knows when it will happen. So if someone starts telling you ‘this is the year!’ or putting a time frame on it, ask if they’re Father God.
Now we get to the final reaction we’ll address: those who know somewhat, but for some reason or another don’t care. This is confusing to me, so this will be speculation. I suspect one of the reasons is fear. End times talk sounds scary: antichrist in power, mark of the beast, this seal and that seal, persecution, etc. Maybe these people don’t want to be reminded of all the horrible things to come. If you’re one of these people, don’t be scared! No matter what happens, remember that if you accepted Jesus, your spirit is untouchable. Most prophecy scholars agree that there will be a rapture before the tribulation – in other words, Jesus will ‘pick up’ his believers before the tribulation starts, and after the seven years of the antichrist’s reign Jesus will actually come down to earth to set up His kingdom. But, to entertain a ‘what if?’, what if they have it wrong and Christians will actually have to go through the tribulation? Well, God will not leave you alone. He will be with you no matter what people try to do to you. Another reason people don’t want to hear about the end times might be apathy. Personally, if something big is about to happen, something unlike ever before and something very challenging to people like me, I would want to know what it is and how it will happen so I can be prepared a bit. Not necessarily to know every detail in effort to counter it (which tends to put our faith in ourselves and our abilities – not good), but to know things to avoid or look for. How many reading this check the weather somewhat regularly? Probably most. Why? Same reasons – if it’s going to snow, you probably want to grab a warm coat and make sure you have a scraper in the car (for those reading in the north). You most likely don’t check the barometer, dew point, wind direction and other lesser used measurements daily (of course unless it applies to you), but you probably want to know a) what’s the temp, b) any precipitation, and c) will it be windy? Just like the daily weather, us Christians should at least know the basic plot of the end times. Get in your Bible, read what Jesus wrote about this topic. Look at some books that explain basic prophecy, tune into some people that help to explain this stuff (see Courtney’s post titled DON’T IGNORE IT! For more resources). I don’t recommend fixating on it, as we’re called to make disciples of all nations, not worry about what’s to come. But knowing the basics will definitely affect what we do and how we act. The more we know about what’s to come, generally the more motivated we are to reach out to others and find what God wants us to do in the short amount of time we have.
The BOTTOM LINE: The events of the end times won’t go away just because you want them to, but we shouldn’t worry about it. Just keep growing closer in your relationship with God, and find out what you can about this topic – stay informed!