Fearing or Embracing the End

Joel 2:1–11, Mark 13:1–8, Mark 13:32–33 (read online ⧉)

“We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ will come again; that we who are alive at His coming shall not precede them that are asleep in Christ Jesus; but that, if we are abiding in Him, we shall be caught up with the risen saints to meet the Lord in the air, so that we shall ever be with the Lord.” Article of Faith 15, 2017—2021 Manual of the Church of the Nazarene

With the coming of a New Year, and with any year that has a strong potential for being tumultuous, there will be plenty of people who will loudly and proudly proclaim that the end is coming. They are right. The end is coming. They are wrong, however, when declaring when.

If Jesus Christ, the Son of God doesn’t know when, then why would anyone dare to suggest they do?

It’s not a new thing. Prophets such as Joel foretold a “Day of the Lord.” Generally, while it was often interpreted as some form of judgment, it was really a foretelling that God was coming in a supernatural way, and that the way of things would be changed.

So, why do people focus on dates? The primary pieces appear to be fear and control. Generally, those that focus on the impending Day of the Lord also appear to be concerned about being rule-followers and obeyers of the Law. This is definitely part of the fear that many have been taught regarding God. Those that have been trained to think far more about God as judge and punisher than about God’s grace, love, and mercy.

The other piece, control, is a little trickier, but overall, by putting a date on it, it seems to lose that “lack” of control, and maybe even some fear goes away. There is the constant human desire to quantify, qualify, and define everything, even that which God says is not for humankind to know.

There will be those, especially in this election year, that will declare the end of the world if such-and-such is (re-)elected. There are those declaring the end of the world due to environmental catastrophes, economic breakdown, or many other things. We are not called to merely react, we are called to listen to and read God’s word. We are called to be more like Christ every day. We are called to wisely act with Godly discernment.

1) When “your” side (regardless of issues/person) is “attacked” what is your initial response? What is your follow-up response?

2) What is something you fear? Why? How do you deal with that fear?

3) What is something you want to control? Can you? If you can’t, how do you deal with that desire to control?