Saturday, May 21, 2011

The End of the World... Today?

It was only recently that I became aware of a street sign on one of the major roads through my city.  It simply proclaimed, "The Lord is coming.  May 21, 2011".  Also seen on the sign was a website, which I confess that I have not looked up, and will not mention in this post.  I wondered at the sign, but didn't really think much about it until yesterday when my colleague at work mentioned that his pastor friends were posting on facebook that they were going ahead with their sermon preparation for Sunday just in case the world didn't end on Saturday, the 21st of May.

So, last night I watched some of the cable news shows, and was not disappointed to see that each of them had a short piece on this supposed momentous upcoming "end of the world" event...  granted, there were not any who were taking this apocalyptic prophesy seriously, but they covered enough of the story for me to learn what was behind the sign I had seen.

In short, an elderly Christian gentleman, through his study of the Holy Bible, believes that he found passages that enabled him to calculate the exact date that Jesus will return and take the faithful believers to heaven, and at the same time that the judgement of the world will commence... that day being sometime today, Saturday, May 21, 2011.    

A few thoughts about this:

I am Christian and do believe that at some time, Jesus will return, as He promised.  That being said, I do feel it is important to point out a couple of things about this event:

1.  When Jesus' disciples ask when the time will be that He [Jesus] will return, and what will be the sign of His coming, and of the end of the age, Jesus speaks of many events that must happen before His return [see Matthew 24].  He cautions that there will be many who will try to mislead believers [Jesus calls them false prophets], but in answer to His disciples' question of when He would return, He says, "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone."  [Matthew 24:36]

2.  The Apostle Paul, in his first letter to the Thessalonians, echoes this, as he tells the believers, "... the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night" [1 Thessalonians 5:2]... In other words, suddenly and without warning.

3.  When this event does happen, it won't be in secret... all will know and see it take place.  Jesus tells His disciples, "...they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory." [Matthew 24:30]  We will not need to be told that He has come... when it happens for real, all will know... there will be no questions or doubt in anyone's mind.

I think that there are far too many people who focus on and worry about the exact date and time the Lord will return.  In the past, people have come to my house to tell me that they know when Jesus will return, and to ask if I wanted to know.  My answer to that type of question is, "No."  I would rather do my best to live as a faithful servant of my Lord, Jesus the Christ, so that when He does return, if it happens to be in my lifetime, He will find me living a life that brings honor to His name and doing the things that He has called me to do.

Do I believe that Jesus will return again?  Yes.

Do I think he will return today, May 21, 2011?  I don't know... it is always a possibility.

Am I ready for His return?  I believe this is actually the most important question that each person needs to ask themselves... However, I can only answer that question for myself...  You have to examine your own heart and relationship with the Lord, and answer it for yourself.

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