(image courtesy of time/life)
Frequently, when folks are knocked from the routine of their lives by world events, I am asked if I think this is the start of the end times that the Bible speaks of. The corona pandemic certainly falls under this category, perhaps bringing this question to me more than ever.
My answer to the question is definite “I do not know.” I base my uncertainty not on my inability to fathom the depths of the pandemic, but rather on the very words of Jesus Himself. His disciples we’re coming to grips with the fact that the Lord would be leaving them. Having heard Jesus say that He would return, they were looking for when that time would occur.
As recorded in Matthew’s Gospel, the disciples asked Him, “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3a NIV)
The answer Jesus gave them is the same one He gives all of us concerning the when of the end of the world: “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, not the Son, but only the Father.” (Matthew 24:36 NIV)
Because the Lord Himself tells us we cannot know when the end will come; I believe the better question to ask is this: “Am I ready for His return if this is indeed the end?” Seeing that we will never be able to ascertain the exact date or season of the Second Coming of Christ, trying to decipher current events in this context is fruitless.
Of much more importance (eternally so I might add), is the question posed about our readiness for His re-appearance. Given that I cannot know the day or hour, what I can control is whether or not I am prepared for the triumphant return of King Jesus. Please understand, my preparation has no ‘to do’ list attached. What it does entail is my heart position toward Jesus: do I believe He is who He says He is? Was He crucified in my place and resurrected from the dead? Have I asked Him to forgive me of my sinfulness? Having received forgiveness through His grace, does my life reflect the love God has shown me in all I say and do?
Being able to honestly answer yes to these questions allows you to know beyond any doubt that God has poured His loving forgiveness on you. Therefore, whenever He does return, you are ready!
To the believer in Jesus Christ the Second Coming is the end of life as we have known it here on earth and the indescribably awesome beginning of forever life in His presence.
And if, Dear Reader, you are undecided about who Jesus is, might I kindly suggest that you re-consider your stand. If this were truly the end of life on this planet, to you really want to face the possibility of existing forever knowing that you missed the greatest opportunity ever given? Should your evaluation reveal to your heart and mind that you do indeed need the Savior, please answer the above questions again. What a beginning to a never-ending life awaits you!