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Monday, September 9, 2013

The End of the World Blues

Listen to much Christian radio, watch much Christian TV, and you'll get the message...surely these are the last days!

There are signs and wonders, and there are codes in the Bible that will tell you the day, and the hour!

Odd. Jesus Himself said, explicitly, that He didn't know when He'd be back. Only the Father knew, and He wasn't telling.

Part of the desire to have things end soon is the same desire we have when we want to get to the end of a good book...we want to see what happens at the end.

And we want verification of our faith, the Living Proof that it's all true, without - inconveniently - having to die.

Nothing new, really. Around 1914, the letters 'PCR' appeared carved in a brush-covered hillside above Santa Barbara, California, sending the residents into a panic. They thought it meant "Prepare for Christ's Return!"

Alas, it was just an advert for Painted Cave Resort. Sigh.

And the first half of the 19th century was alive with millenialist fervor. Hellfire and brimstone were circuit preachers' stock in trade, as they tried to bring in the harvest in the waning hours.

Scripturally...we simply don't know when it's going to happen. There is no Bible code, just as there is no Da Vinci code. There's no secret conspiracy of which we can become a part.

Our job is, boringly, still the Great Commission.

Bring people to the Cross, where and when we can.

And pray that we have as long as possible to do it, to save as many as possible. For to wish otherwise is kind of like being on a sinking ship, and hoping it sinks fast so you can enjoy the spectacle from your seat in a lifeboat.

Of that, one suspects God might not approve.


  1. Hi Andrew, thanks for your link, I thought I'd pop over. :-) It's true, we won't know the day or hour, but God is clear throughout the gospels and the Book of Revelation, He does want us to know the signs of the end days. In Matthew 24:6, Jesus tells us that there will be wars and rumors of wars, earthquakes, signs in the heavens. I'd say we've seen some of that! ;-)

    1. Hi, Gwendolyn - thanks for stopping by!

      I agree that God does want us to pay attention to the signs; indeed, it would take a stunning lack of situational awareness to ignore them!

      I think that the problem arises when the search for signs takes precedence over the Great Commission, and the responsibilities we have toward one another.

      Earthquakes...before I started writing for a living I was a structural engineer, specializing in research on the design of reinforced concrete structures to withstand seismic loads!

  2. Hi Andrew - I appreciate Kim Henson "introducing" me to you! Interesting post. What I think is also interesting is how many past generations thought they were seeing endtimes based on their interpretation of the signs listed in the bible. Each thinks it's here this time. And we'll still be surprised when it is!

  3. Hi Shel - thanks for stopping by, and please pardon my tardy response. Had an emergency dog adoption, a husky pup someone dropped on the road in the face of an impending storm. Had to get her to the vet, and set up quarters for her here.

    I think we're supposed to be surprised when the end does come. I can understand the desire to see around the curve in the road, but I think there's some mystery for a reason. Kind of like the thief in the night...if we knew when he'd break in, we wouldn't have to worry until that night. Uncertainty is the root of the vigilance to which I think we're called.

    I'm just glad the world didn't really end in the 1830s. I'd have hated to have missed Elvis' Hawaiian concert!