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Click here to read Luke 17 on BibleGateway.com

hqdefaultPeople were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all. – Luke 17:27

Recently, a prominent agnostic writer asked this question of Christians:

Haven’t the End Times been going on for two thousand years?  When will Christians finally admit that Jesus either lied or didn’t know what he was talking about?

In the interest of brevity, here is the short answer: never.

ANY DAY NOW…

Call it arrogance or blind faith or imbecility if you will, but the truth is, if one believes that Jesus spoke the truth, then whether he comes now or later doesn’t matter a whole lot. The irony is that  unbelievers ask questions like this even though Jesus himself actually gives the answer if they’ll take the time to read what he said.  When Jesus directly says “people will stop paying attention and just keep going about their daily routine right up to the point I come back,” and then people stop paying attention and keep going about their daily routine, why would we suddenly start doubting he knew what he was talking about?  It sounds like he hit that prediction out of the park.

Of course, we as Christians probably thought Jesus would be back by now, too.  The year 2000 was certainly appealing just for the bigness and roundness of the number.  But, here we are.  The year 1000 was probably equally as appealing.  But, here we are. Here’s the thing: the year 3000 will be just as appealing, if not more so.  Just look at how much bigger and rounder it is.  If Jesus comes back today, or tomorrow, or a year, or a millennium from now, it would not affect the Christian belief that he said he would come back.  For some reason, there’s an idea that God has to not only keep his Word, but keep it in the timeframe we choose.  That’s kind of a strange requirement to put on a omnipotent being, don’t you think?

CALL OF DUTY

In reality, no matter when Jesus comes back, we should be ready.  We should live each moment as if it’s our last.  Back in 1780s Connecticut, there was a freak weather occurrence during which the entire sky went dark  in the middle of the day (possibly from forest fires), and some of the more religiously inclined naturally assumed the world might be ending.  The legislature happened to be in session, and there were calls to adjourn to prepare for the end.  However, one delegate (Abraham Davenport) responded:

I am against an adjournment. The day of judgment is either approaching, or it is not. If it is not, there is no cause of an adjournment: if it is, I choose to be found doing my duty. I wish therefore that candles may be brought.

If you are living your life for Christ, the date of the End Times may be of little importance.  If he comes today, be serving him to the utmost.  If he comes in a thousand years, be serving him to the utmost.  There is not cause for either heart-attacky alarm on one hand, or complacent doubt on the other.  If you believe each day might be the end, you will choose to do those things that really  matter.  And if the world never ends in your lifetime, you’ll spend your  life doing things that matter for eternity.

And that’s no bad thing, no matter how long the world endures.

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