I posted an article at http://hubpages.com/hub/Its-not-the-end-of-the-world so I won’t repost the whole thing here. However I’m still bothered by Christian perspectives on disasters and other bad things. Within five minutes of posting the article I got a response on facebook that basically said that the truth is the truth whether I wanted to accept it or not, the signs prove that Jesus is returning soon.
Of course the entire point of the article is that we simply don’t know because all of the things that are being pointed to as signs have been around since Jesus left us. Things might be worse now or they might just get more television coverage. There is no way that we can know for certain. Every generation has seen disasters in their lifetime and has had reason to believe that they were signs of Jesus’ return.
Of course I reread Matthew 24 over the weekend. There are a few things that are absolutely clear. One part has been fulfilled – the destruction of the temple in AD 70. Another part is still definitely future – the abomination that causes desolation. This leaves us looking for signs to mark the time of Jesus’ return. The more I read, the more I believed that Jesus was purposely vague. This wasn’t vague like Nostradamus or other so called prophets that can be twisted in a number of ways until they are proven right. Instead it is vague as a warning.
Matthew 24 closes with Jesus saying that no one knows the time of His return, not even He. This means that anyone who claims to have figured out the date is a liar because they claim to know more than Jesus. The chapter closes with a warning to be watching for His return. I believe that is the point.
Every generation has seen signs of Jesus’ return because God wants us to be watching and waiting. We should live our lives as though Jesus could return at any moment, because He can. The things that are going on in the world today could be signs of Jesus’ imminent return, or they could be more of what we’ve always had. We simply don’t know for certain. Things could get much, much worse.
I have always believed that Jesus could return at any moment and have tried to live my life in light of this fact. He could return today. Or He could be another thousand years off. We simply don’t know. What some Christians are offering as proof is not a guarantee if for no other reason than God’s measure of time is not the same as ours. The birth pains that act as a sign could be a hundred years long. It is not our job to interpret the signs. Instead, we need to live our life like He could return at any moment.