A couple of weeks ago, I was debating with a guy, that went by the name, “Paint Tank”, about the approach he took in the situation I mentioned in my post last week. He responded by explaining that part of his motivation was to get more people to attend a conference he was wanting to promote. He went on to proclaim:
Oh, good. Another Doomsday predictor. Just what humanity needs.
But, it did get me thinking, “Is the end near?” Many scriptures explain what the End Times will look like. Along with several other passages, Daniel 12:1 points out, “There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then.”
Is this what we are currently experiencing here on Earth?
Maybe. Maybe not.
The number of people and cultures that have dated the End Times to be near is astonishing and vast across the ages. According to Smithsonianmag.com, examples have been found dating back to 2800 B.C. with predictions that they were living in the end times. Britannica.com lists some more recent failed prophecies by Harold Camping, William Miller, and Joanna Southcott. Miller and Southcott developed quite a following in their event anticipations.
However, all of these have one thing in common: FAILURE.
To me, the idea of foretelling the End Times is… well, I would say “laughable”, but the reality is that this is no laughing matter. These are people who have poured vast amounts of time and energy into making these declarations.
Several scriptures point out the fallacy in trying to make these predictions.
- Mark 13:32 states:
But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
If the angels in heaven and the son do not know the date that this will occur, what makes mere mortal humans assume they can figure it out?
- Acts 1:7 tells us:
He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.”
Why would people spend so much energy on something that is not for us to know?
- 1 Thessalonians 5:1-2 states:
Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.
He will come “like a thief in the night.” Through this, we know that we will not foresee the event happening.
When scripture tells us so explicitly that we will not, nor cannot know when we are in the End Times, why do people still seek out these answers? In my non-psychologically degreed mind, it seems like these people are seeking control. It can be unsettling to know that at any given moment, the Lord will come.
But, Jesus gives us the antidote to seeking control over the unknown with two simple words.
BE READY. Be ready at all times.
Are the End Times upon us? I don’t know. The reality is, it does not matter. Obsessing over this does nothing to further the Kingdom. In fact, it hurts our main command to go out into the world and spread the message by creating distraction and division, two things that Satan happily provides.
So, Paint Tank, no I will not be attending this conference you are suggesting to me. I have no interest in figuring out when the Peace Treaty of Daniel will be signed or when the End of Tribulation will be. That information does not change what I do as a Christian, nor should it for anyone else.
Instead, our focus should be making sure we are ready for the End Times to come and to make sure we spread the message of Christ so that others will be as well.
Yet, again, I will leave you with Paul’s command in Colossians 3:2 to “Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.” This is to be forever our focus.