Since the beginning of 2010, there have been at least eight earthquakes worldwide, including the small one some of us felt here in Illinois a few weeks ago. Already, there have been the warnings that “the end is near.” Are you worried?
Back when our son played quarterback for his high school football team, there were the usual bumps and bruises. There were also the occasional times when he got hurt enough that his Dad said we had to take him to the emergency room. Each time it turned out to be nothing serious. And then there came the game where he hurt his arm. And we didn’t take him to the Emergency Room, because after all, we took him all those other times and it turned out to be nothing. Except this time, the pain continued and after several days and some x-rays, it turned out he fractured a bone in his wrist.
Do you remember when there was all the “to-do” about YK2 being such a technological disaster? And yes, there were people predicting “the end of the world” at that time, too. But we’re still here.
And now we have the warning that “The sun, earth, and milky way will align at the galactic equator, on December 21, 2012, the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, and the end of the Mayan calendar. This only happens every 25,800 years! For the first time in recorded history, our entire solar system will move BELOW the milky way galaxy. These combined cosmic events, will be the end of the world as we know it. About 6 billion people of the world will perish in just a few short years if this cosmic catastrophe occurs. (http://www.2012warning.com/ – one of the many sites devoted to this “end of the world as we know it” theory. This site even contains a countdown clock.).
On the one hand, I see these types of warnings as I did my son’s injuries, in that I didn’t / don’t take them seriously. Then again, like the fractured bone in his wrist, will I miss the “real” warning?
2 Peter 3:3-4 tells us “in the last days there will be scoffers who will laugh and do every evil thing they desire. This will be their argument: ‘Jesus promised to come back, did he? Well, then where is he? Why, as far back as anyone can remember, everything has remained exactly the same.” But verses 8-10 go on to say, “The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise to return, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to perish, so he is giving more time for everyone to repent. But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief.” Matthew 24:36 states, “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.”
My Study Bible gives the explanation, “The ‘last days’ is the time between Christ’s first and second comings; thus, we like Peter, live in the last days. We must do the work to which God has called us and believe that he will return as he promised.” It also explains Matthew 24:6, where the disciples ask Jesus for the sign of his coming and the end of the age, as “Don’t let anyone mislead you. Whenever we look for signs, we become very susceptible to being deceived. Don’t look for special signs … look at Christ.” “Eventually the world will crumble, and only God’s Kingdom will last. Those who follow Christ are part of this unshakeable Kingdom and they will withstand the shaking, sifting and burning. No matter what happens here, our future is built on a solid foundation that cannot be destroyed.” (Study Bible explanation of Hebrews 12:27-29)
That being said, we should also be “watchful.” Revelation 16:15b says, “Blessed are all who are watching for me.” “We must be ready when he returns. We can prepare ourselves by standing firm in temptation and by being committed to God’s moral standards.” (Study Bible explanation)
In the song, “Going Through the Motions,” sung by Matthew West, are the lyrics “I don’t wanna go through the motions. I don’t wanna go through one more day, without your all-consuming passion inside of me. I don’t wanna spend my whole life asking, what if I had given everything, instead of just going through the motions?”
In an explanation of why he wrote this song, Matthew West stated, “Sometimes I pray, but I don’t feel connected. Sometimes I ask God questions, but I don’t hear answers. I think one of the greatest challenges of actively living out a relationship with Christ on earth is to avoid the trap of simply going through the motions. I know what a ‘Christian’ should say. I know how I should act. I know how to put up a spiritual front even if I am not passionately seeking God. God is a God of passion. His true plan for our lives is anything but boring. Every day, the God of adventure beckons his sons and daughters to quit going through the motions and walk into a life filled with passion and wonder.”
We are to … build our future on His solid foundation … look to Christ and not for special signs … do the work which God has called us to do … don’t just “go through the motions” … and walk into a life filled with passion and wonder!