It's the end of the world! Or is it?
THE EDITOR, Sir:
The concept of the 'end of age', or the 'end of the world', has plagued the thoughts of many, particularly on social media, in recent times. The Bible tells of signs and wonders that would be seen in the heavens. Consequently, many believers have used the recent visit of the Pope to the United States and even the blood moon eclipse over the weekend to state that the end is near. However, is this true? Can we actually use signs to speak definitively about the end of the world?
These questions surface time and again but are eventually swept under the rug. Questions like these were always left unaddressed. In the words of author H. Wayne Pipkin: "Apocalyptic concerns have been part and parcel of the Christian way since the earliest times. The impulse to read the signs of the times as an indication to the dawn of the new age surfaces regularly in the Church's history."
It is no surprise that many persons panic when they see these 'signs'. Too often, individuals are led astray. A misconception can be hard to break and often leads one to faulty biblical interpretations. In this light, there are testimonials and stories of individuals and groups who predicted something but were bitterly disappointed.
But just what is the purpose of signs and wonders? Let me remind you that Jesus warned against looking for signs and wonders. Matthew 16:4 records His strong rebuke of persons looking for signs and wonders. Could we also be in opposition to the mission of God by looking for signs and wonders?
I wish to posit a few things. First, signs and wonders demonstrate the reality that there is a creator who controls time and space. Second, as seen from the accounts of Joel, Ezekiel, and Revelation, God always stands up for His people during their difficult moments. He always delivers His people from their immediate situation and gives them a new direction in life. This is the principal message of these apocalyptic books. They are not meant to be misused or misapplied to any particular country or individual. Sadly, based on the way in which many persons are cultured, they will find it hard to accept or see things from another perspective.
God does not want us to be involved in sign-reading or predicting. That is not our goal or our purpose. This can only lead one to a dark side of apocalyptic or end-time signs. Now is not the time to be involved in sign- reading. Now is the time to be busy staying ready for the return of Jesus.