Coming Down With Apocalyptic Fever?
With the world in so much turmoil today, there’s a lot of “apocalyptic fever” spreading. Most every Bible-believing Christian is at least loosely aware that there are many Scriptural signs of Christ’s second coming being fulfilled in our age. It’s easy to get a little wigged out.
But God doesn’t want his people losing sleep about things that go bump in the last days. Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians was written precisely to cool Christians down a bit who were concerned that they had somehow missed Christ’s return. Don’t become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter blowing end-times smoke, is what Paul says to them (2 Thess.2:2).
Why not get unsettled when we think about such things?
For starters,because God is never in a hurry. God took centuries to raise Israel up as a nation. It took centuries before Israel’s sin brought her into exile. Jesus’ coming was heralded for centuries by the prophets. And the church has been at it for 2,000 years since Jesus said the words, “I am coming soon.” All this to say, even though the ‘stage is being set’ today with visible signs that should cause any believer’s heart to stir within them, the game may yet be far from over.
Secondly, history is littered with the ruined lives of misguided believers who did think the game was nearly over, and then messed up their futures with foolish and rash decisions. Imagine if in the days of World War II you had quit your job, cashed out your retirement, dumped your boyfriend or girlfriend, and dropped out of college, because you were certain that Hitler was the antichrist and Jesus was returning any day. Here you sit now all these years later, living hand to mouth off of social security, alone in a miserable apartment, having thrown away what could have been a blessed and happy life.
Thirdly, even if we knew the clock was ticking, God never calls his people to panic or despair. (“We will not fear though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea” ~ Ps.46:2).
Francis Assisi was asked what he would do if he knew the end of the world was coming the next day. “Plant a tree,” was his reply. In other words, we are to live every day in faithful stewardship to God, no matter what the circumstances. Faith, hope and love are never out of fashion – and these are the three things God calls us to abide in (1 Cor.13:3).
Finally, never forget that God responds to the intercession of his people. There are so many stories in Scripture where God determined to do a thing, then altered his plan in response to someone’s praying.
So friends, go about your business, faithfully serving your Lord, and praying to him each and every day. Buy, sell, save. Fall in love and marry. Go to college, build your careers, your lives, your future. But…keep loose attachments to these things, should God require them of us. Remember always to ‘seek first His kingdom’, and always keep one eye thoughtfully raised up, for our redemption draws nearer each day.
Do these things and you’ll keep apocalyptic fever at bay.
Bear Clifton, writer and screenwriter, is the pastor of BridgeWay Community Church in California, Maryland. His blogs, screenplays and devotionals can be enjoyed at his ministry website: trainyourselfministry.com and his writing website: blclifton.com. Bear is also the author of “Train Yourself To Be Godly: A 40 Day Journey Toward Sexual Wholeness”, “Ben-Hur: The Odyssey”, “A Sparrow Could Fall”, and his latest – “Living Under The Cross”, a collection of essays on the Beatitudes – all available through Amazon.