(WARNING…Big word usage for End Times theories ahead. Stick with me there is a point in it.)
Eschatology (end times theology) has not been my forte… I was raised in a church that was amillennialistic, I’ve attended churches that were Post Millennialist, and I am currently going to a church that is Pre Millennialist. If I sit there and give it some thought, I can see where each one of them is coming from and I can find things I agree on and disagree on. So when it comes to End Times Theology, I land on this point. I believe Jesus is coming again. I don’t know when that is or how it will all go down, but I know that I am ready and the last instruction Jesus gave to his disciples before He ascended was for them to receive the Holy Spirit and to be a witness of Him to their local home area, those areas around it, and then to the ends of the earth. Acts 1. That is plenty for me to keep busy with in my area of the world and everywhere I may go.
Probably the one thing that really gets my goat when people start talking about Jesus coming is they approach it with this attitude that you feel like you should be hearing “Twilight Zone” music in the back ground and a spooky voice saying, “You know, Jesus is coming…” It’s like they’ve got to scare you with the fact. Major earthquake occurs, “Jesus is coming…”(scary tone applied to quote). Giant tornado rips through a major city, “Jesus is coming…”(apocalyptic fear applied) And now the current news, a global pandemic… “Jesus is coming… BOO!” To me the fact that Jesus is coming is not something to scare my neighbor with. It is something I should eagerly anticipate. Something I should be so excited about that it leaks out on those around me. He is coming, I am excited, time to prepare.
When my husband and I were dating 28 years ago about this time of the year, he lived in a town about 1 1/2 hours from where I lived. It was the dinosaur age of phones. There was this thing called long distance, that if he called me or vice versa, we would have to pay large fees just to talk for 10 minutes each night. In fact, we learned that one the hard way. He had to sell his favorite guitar to pay a phone bill that we racked up talking each night. We just wanted to be together. So every weekend as soon as he could get free, he would hop in his car and drive to where I lived to see me. I knew he was coming sometime that evening. So I would try to be ready. Hair fixed just so, make up on, the cutest outfit I could find. I would watch and wait to see his little red car driving up. I wasn’t scared in the least bit at his arrival. I anticipated it. THAT is the kind of feeling I want to find in myself as I anticipate Jesus and His return.
I have been reading a weekly devotion this year, Secrets of the Secret Place by Bob Sorge. This week I have been contemplating chapter 14 “The Secret of Watching”. Watching for Jesus… It’s just like me watching for my love 28 years ago. Watching is not out of fear that at the last moment I get my ducks in a row because the past 49 years I have wanted to do my own thing and now the signs of Jesus coming has increased. I better get ready… Watching is “I am soooo in love with Jesus right now. I want to be with Him. Is that the possible sound of Him coming my way?” Interpreting the signs of the times is for me to have a better perspective of how to show people this Jesus I am so enamored with. in Luke 12:54-56 Jesus talked about how the people of his time were able to “see a cloud rising in the west, and immediately say ‘It’s going to rain’ and it does.” Or they could feel the “south wind blow and say its going to be hot.” and it was. But they could not interpret “this present time”.
Global Pandemic, National unrest, International Terrorism, Natural disasters, etc. That’s what preoccupies our news. Going to the grocery store in my town, shows the fear and unrest that preoccupies my corner of the world. I can look at the “clouds and the winds blowing” in a figurative speech. It is time for me to interpret “this present time”. My interpretation is that this is not the time to scare your neighbor to repentance. Now is the time to be the light. Now is the time to show the Hope, the Peace, the Love that has been inside of us ever since we encountered the Lover of our souls, Jesus. “It’s the kindness of God that leads us to repentance.” Romans 2:4. People are scared. Offer them the cure for the fear that is eating away at their broken hearts. Let them know how you have found the One who not only holds peace for today, but who walks with you no matter where you go. The power of sickness and death are conquered in Him. We don’t have to fear. That is what the world needs to hear now. Not “get right or get left.” “Turn or burn”. But show them the love that conquered death on Resurrection Sunday so many years ago, and now He has given us GREAT Hope in a time when uncertainty and fear abounds.