In May 2011 (according to Harold Camping), the world was going to come to an end with the return of Jesus…he was wrong. There have been 100’s if not 1000’s of predictions like this one pertaining to “the end times”. Our bookstores are full of books telling us that the things we see now are the things that point us to the end of the world and the return of Christ.
This is nothing new though. As early as the 2nd century we have records of church leaders predicting the end of the world in their life time (based on the state of world affairs at the time). The problem is that the dates come and go, and Christians are made to be the laughing stock of the world as Jesus has not returned – as the many so-called prophets predict. So…when will he come back?
The simple answer to this is – we don’t know. Jesus makes a point of saying that even he doesn’t know (Mark 13:32) (a sermon on this verse was preached last year – you can find it here: http://www.christchurchpmb.co.za/sermons/did-jesus-really-not-know). I believe this to be for our benefit, as our sinful nature would probably lead to us behaving abominably until He does return, and not actually living for God as we ought. Jesus’ delay is also a kindness to us as people as it is giving humanity time to turn to Him and be saved (2 Peter 3:9, 15).
So – while he does not give us a date, he does give us instructions: be prepared. We need to be prepared for his return, because he will come when we don’t expect it. This means that every day should be lived as if he could return today. Every day should be lived with Christ as our focus, with him as the reason for what we do, and how we do it. May he give us the strength to do so.