end times

“Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires. They will say, “What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created.”

So said the Apostle Peter in his second letter, the third chapter.  We are entering that time of the year when liturgical churches look closely at “eschatology” or the end of the age; the time when Jesus comes back.  Some of us do it with a sense of slight embarrassment for precisely the reasons that Peter mentions.  I seem to spend an inordinate amount of time trying to refute the evangelical obsession with the end times and what I believe to be their improper interpretation of Jesus words and their poor track record of predictions, that I feel like I may have become a scoffer.  I’m not, but it is wearisome.  I find it more helpful, rather than focusing on the signs of the end times to remember that Jesus told us to pray that His “Kingdom come”, which means the everlasting Kingdom among other things, and one of the earliest Christian prayers was “come, Lord Jesus” and it was not a prayer before meals, (Rev 22:29).  I tend to think like Luther when asked if he knew that the world would end tomorrow, what he would have done that day?  He replied. “Plant a tree”.

Yet it is hard not to notice some of the signs of the times that certainly can be defined as “disasters” and maybe signs of the end.

  1.  Several of the largest and strongest storms in the Northern Hemisphere ever recorded happened in the last few years.  We call them superstorms.
  2.  The largest recorded typhoon just smashed the Philippines.
  3.  A recent earthquake in Chile, one of the strongest ever recorded, actually sped up the earth’s rotation and shifted its axis by three inches.
  4.  The Affordable Care Act, designed to insure uninsured folks just caused 35000 North Dakotans to lose the insurance that they had while a brave 42 wandered the incoherency of the Government website to sign up for insurance that the  rest of us will pay for because the IRS will force us to.  Those in charge still say “it’s a good thing”.
  5.  The United States Secretary of State is reducing sanctions on Iran which right now has twice as many Uranium enriching centrifuges as the United States has Starbucks.
  6. When criticized by allies that actually live near Iran he said “I think we have a pretty strong sense as to what is good for the region and for the US.”  See number 4.
  7. Most of the people reading this article don’t know what a uranium enriching centrifuge is and if they do, don’t care.
  8. As I write this on Veterans Day there is a backlog of 750000 veteran’s claims to the Veterans Administration which officials say has great benefits for those veterans.  See number 4.
  9. I will be criticized for writing this article because I brought up politics and we Christians are not allowed to bring our faith into the public square.

That may be the biggest disaster of all.  We as Christians are not allowed to stand up and denounce liars and cheats and thieves.  We are not allowed to try and explain why sin is bad and sin destroys.  We are just supposed to pay taxes ( 4 billion of which were refunded to China in fraudulent payments last year – see #4) and be quiet while we are told that those in charge of this present darkness have “a pretty strong sense as to what is good”.  Saddest of all, we are not allowed, or we are unwilling to give a testimony to the only one who was truly good and “became sin for us so that we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).  His death on the cross happened so that “I may be His own and live under Him in His Kingdom and serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence and blessedness”.  Even so, come Lord Jesus.  Amen.