Is This the End?

Posted: June 7, 2010 by Matt Horan in ReEmergent Church
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By Matt Horan

Terrorism has dominated the news since September 11, 2001.

In 2002, the United States plunged into war in Afghanistan.

In 2003, war breaks out between the United States and Iraq.  Untold hundreds of thousands of people have died.

In 2004, an Indian Ocean tsunami killed over 300,000 people the day after Christmas.  For the next four years, massive earthquakes would kill thousands more in the area.

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina decimated New Orleans.

In 2008, an earthquake in killed over 65,000 people in China, just before they were to host the Summer Olympics in Beijing.

In January of this year, an Earthquake struck Haiti, killing over 250,000.

A month later, an earthquake and resulting tsunami struck Chile, killing over 400 and spreading panic across the Pacific Rim about more possible resulting tsunamis.

In April, a volcano erupted in Iceland, bringing North Atlantic air travel to a halt.

As ash spewed into the atmosphere over the North Atlantic, dozens of government leaders from Poland, including the president and his wife, were killed in a plane crash.  Many world leaders are unable to attend the funeral because of the Icelandic volcano.

Ten days later, an oil platform called the Deepwater Horizon exploded and sank to the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11.  The explosion opened up an oil well that began spewing 200,000 gallons of oil into the Gulf per day.  It has continued to leak for weeks, and all attempts to stop the leak have failed.  Oil has begun to wash up on Gulf marshes and beaches in Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida.

Then, intense rain covered Nashville and central Tennessee with unprecedented flooding. There have already been several years worth of disasters in 2010, and it’s only June. What’s happening?  Is this the end?

I highly doubt it.

People have thought that, well, forever.  The writers of the New Testament thought that Jesus would come back any minute.  For eons wide scale tragedy has brought out scores of eschatological (the study of last things) predictions.  Repent, the end is at hand!

So far, however, they’ve always been wrong.

They were wrong about all of the dates that have been tossed out there as the mathematically derived absolutely correct day that the world will be ending.

God did not insert secret clues for us to decipher in the Bible that would tell us when the end is coming.  God doesn’t care when the end is coming.  In fact, I would argue that there is no end coming like the writers of the Left Behind series would like you to anticipate, but that’s a blog article for another day.  God cares about us living faithfully according to the teachings and example of Christ.  God cares about us living in the power of the Holy Spirit.  God cares about us living faithfully in prayer and study of Scripture.  God is not looking for ways to feed us clues so that we’ll know when to go cash in our 401K and buy survival supplies.

God wants us to be a part of the work of bringing the Kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven.  You don’t have to have the date of Armageddon penciled in in your calendar in order to do that.  There have been natural disasters before, and there will be again.  Go offer relief to those who are suffering because of them.  They don’t need interpretation.  It’s not helpful for us to invest time and energy giving them cosmic significance and attaching some kind of will of God to them.  Sometimes terrible things just happen.  When they do, it’s a great time for you to love your neighbor.  It’s a lousy time to build a wall around your house, plant a subsistence garden, and wait for the sky to fall.  The world needs the church of Jesus Christ to take action, not take cover.

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Comments
  1. altonwoods says:

    Matt, you make some really good points, you’re last paragraph say’s it best!

    “The world needs the church of Jesus Christ to take action, not take cover.”

    Amen!

  2. Ralph Horan says:

    Can you come over this weekend I’ve got a wall to take down 🙂
    Well said … in whom, etc.

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