This Looks Like the End

By Walt Groth

Photo by Pixabay

When I was a boy, both of my parents worked and I became well acquainted with daytime television. One of the shows I watched frequently was the original non-animated Batman. Many of the episodes ended with Batman and his sidekick, the Boy Wonder, in a tight spot—having been captured by some cruel villain.
The announcer would close these episodes with, “This look like the end!”
When I became a Christian, talk about the nearness of the “end” was more than frequent. I expected the credits to roll on this Pale Blue Dot at any time. In the 39 years that have since passed, I have heard many reasons for the end to be described as “near.” I have been asked more than a few times to preach on the nearness of the end as a motivator for change in church member’s lives.
But I am resistant.
My foremost reason for resisting is that people mistake knowledge about the end as preparation for the end. However, there is no correlation between information and preparation for the return of Jesus. The preparation needed for the return of Jesus is a relationship with Jesus. Accepting the grace that God offers and submitting to His leadership in your day-to-day life is the only way to be ready for Jesus to come!
It seems as if people have been sucked into a version of Gnosticism as it relates to the Second Coming. They believe that the information itself is needed—and, for some, that the information is all that is needed—to be saved. As in all forms of Gnosticism, here Jesus gets sidelined in the teachings even though He is the one returning.
So what about North Korea, hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and the massive wildfires in the Northwest? Aren’t these things fulfillments of prophecy? Sure. The Bible says that the earth will groan—that there will be wars and rumors of wars, earthquakes, famines, and epidemics. But, I will say, to name one set of events as harbingers over others past and future is not wise.
Instead, may I suggest that these things remind us that we live on a fragile, old planet that will one day come to an end—and that we should prepare to meet Jesus, who is anxious to come and take His children home. Let’s read about Him, focus on behaving as He would behave today, and align ourselves with what has been revealed in Scripture.
Let’s be about loving our neighbors—and working for them in the hopes that they will allow us to tell them about God’s love and that amazing, joyful, exciting day when Jesus comes again.
It is not possible to scare people into loving Jesus. Sure, it looks, perhaps, like the end—so let’s be ready to follow Jesus home!