What's the Point - Part 6
Why are we Any Different?
You may say, “I am still not convinced” Didn’t every generation think they were in the end times? Why are we any different?”
It is true that in most generations, some of the people thought they were in the end times. We know that the apostles clearly believed they were in the last generation (Heb 1:2, 1Cor 10:11, Jas 5:8, Phil 4:5, Heb 9:26, 1Pet 1:20, 1Pet 4:7, 1Jn 2:18, Rev 1:1-3) and would see Jesus return. However the vast majority of people throughout history in most of the earth did not have a sustained conviction they were living in the end times; this theme was absent from the vast majority of their historical writings. Whenever there was a global crisis or much suffering, such as in World War II, people thought for some years that it must be the end times. But then when things got better, they changed their minds to believe that life would just go on and they forgot the urgency they felt.
There is some talk that our current generation might be near the end times; encouraged by the rebirth of the State of Israel, which seems like a miracle of history. The Jewish people who were without a homeland since the Roman Invasion in AD 70, came back in 1948 to settle in the very same land they had lived in when Jesus was on the earth. No other people group who have been thrown out of their homeland and dispersed across the face of the earth, have been able to preserve their traditions and culture for 2000 years, and even more miraculously return to the exact geography they left.
Positives & Negatives
Even though in our time in history, there are many breakthroughs in science, education, technology and medicine and many positive trends occurring on the earth, it is not all good news.
There is no shortage of scientists writing of trouble coming to the earth. Meteorological scientists are writing about major changes in the world’s weather systems, sometimes described as global warming. There is still talk of an energy crisis after many years. 1 Nearly 500 species of animals have become extinct since 1900. 2 Some studies say that the world's currently fished sea foods will have collapsed by 2048. 3 That is because scientists believe we are using up the earth’s energy and resources of fuel to keep us warm and food and water to sustain us. According to the United Nations, the earth’s population is rising at a faster and faster rate and it is estimated will reach 8.6 billion by 2030 and 10 billion by 2100. Many scientists believe that the earth cannot sustain a population of more than 8 billion for long because our natural resources are shrinking. 4
Something is up. Things are not just going to go on and on as they have for thousands of years. There is very real scientific evidence to go along with Bible truth that says there is great change coming. Christians who search the Scriptures believe this is because of the very real “groan” of creation longing for the return of Jesus, Who only will be able to bring about full restoration for our planet.
Even if we did not have these negative trends there is no respite in sight, nor any solution to the problem of sin; resulting in the inhumanity and injustice human beings perpetrate towards one another. Only Jesus can manifestly deal with the problem of sin in every human being, as he legally dealt with it on the cross. It is only God, when He comes to establish His kingdom on the earth, who can bring an end to the sadness and pain caused by human sin:
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away. Rev 21:4
What will you do?
The Bible has given us much information about the time of the end. God wants us to know about the return of His Son. It is wisdom to search the Bible. It is wisdom to pray and ask the Lord to help us to understand this part of His heart.
What kind of person will you be? Will you be like an ostrich who buries its head in the sand so it doesn’t have to face trouble? Do you think we can stop the plans of God if we don’t want to face them or refuse to believe Scripture? Will God change His plans just because some people don’t believe His Son is returning or aren’t interested in what He is thinking and feeling? Many learned people have exciting ideas, wonderful opinions and beliefs. Many clever people have lots to say and many other people follow them.
Some people care more about what God says in the Bible, than they care about all the words of clever teachers. This is more than cleverness. This is wisdom. Where will you and I stand? Whose ideas will you and I follow? Will you be one of those people who cared more about what was in the Lord's heart than what your classmates thought or what your teachers believed? Whose words will shape your life; the words of newspapers, TV hosts, sports personalities, movie stars, or the Word of God? If God says His Son is coming and if we are commanded to be ready for that coming, how should we live?
Looking forward to and pursuing a Biblical understanding of the end times gives meaning to our current life, by inspiring us with great vigor to seek both to live in a way that pleases Jesus and to complete His great commission. It provokes us to exert our every energy, strength and passion to present to the Lord a worthy bride and to participate in becoming a worthy Bride. Being excited about Jesus' return gives us a sustained reason for living and for throwing ourselves into life with a passionate pursuit of the presence of God and a desire to pull down from His heart as much as he will give us now, of the coming kingdom, in every sphere of culture and society. What better inspiration than the coming of Jesus would lead us to spend our lives to become a dwelling place for the Holy Spirit and a testimony of the coming kingdom?