Announcements like this awaken the sarcastic and (I think) witty person in me. I want to laugh and chide and share in the general mockery.
I could even use Scripture to mock these people. After all, Jesus clearly said no one would know when the return would happen (Matthew 24:36).
But I can’t. Like the restraining bolt on R2-D2, something is holding me back. Here’s are some thoughts on what that might be.
People will be really hurt on Sunday
When I was in college, some folks went to a church that “knew” Jesus’ return was going to be on a certain date. They earnestly believed it. Their whole faith in Jesus was invested in it.
And it didn’t happen. I’m not sure these people ever got over it.
I hate seeing people taken out like this. Jesus gets blamed for someone else’s…what do you call it? A lie? A misguided teaching? A heresy? Whatever it is, good, sincere people get hurt deeply.
Crack pot announcements like this discredit the Gospel for years afterward
As a follower of Jesus, I would that all would encounter Him. As I’ve grown in my faith, I have moved away from the “I have all the answers to the questions you’re not asking.” Instead, I want my life, actions, words, and deeds to be so different that is screams “This guy knows Jesus.” I think it’s St. Francis who’s credited with saying, “Preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary, use words.”
We Christians already do enough to give Jesus a bad name. Crazy stuff like this is like proclaiming that bad PR through loudspeakers.
Sometimes I think it would be better if we were taken out of the way so people could experience Jesus without having to go through us! But for some reason God keeps us here and still chooses to work
There really will be an end…at some point
Hebrew and Christian Scriptures both point to an end. A Day of Reckoning. The end of the world. “That Day.” Jesus even talks about it in the chapter I referred to above, Matthew 24. As a follower of Jesus, I believe this to be true.
So, in theory, the world could end tomorrow. Or today. Or Monday. There’s just as much chance of it ending before I finish typing this sentence as it ending in another 1000 years.
Having people publicly proclaim the end, however misguided, reminds me of one of the strong teachings of my faith. And that, like so much in Scripture, makes me a bit uncomfortable.
It gets me thinking about my life, how I’ve lived it, if I’m doing all I can for God, loving Him with all that I am. Or not. Bracing stuff.
So I do snicker when I see signs like the one above on the streets of Portland. But not whole heartedly.
Perhaps I’ll play R.E.M.’s “It’s the end of the world as we know it” and pray for God to use even this for His glory.