"I'm waking up at the start of the end of the world, but its feeling just like every other morning before."Well, like most others, I did wake up this morning and it did feel pretty much like every other morning before...except for the hot topic on facebook and twitter about Harold Camping's apocalyptic prophecy. The man is 89 years old, I have to wonder how many more false prophecies about the end does he have in him. Even most of his own family members and his media producer don't believe him anymore. Nevertheless many weak minded people did, and now they are hurt.
How Far We've Come
by Machbox Twenty
The thing is, the end will come and frankly this sort of stuff makes the true message of Christ's return sound like foolishness on a par with a guy walking the streets with a sandwich board sign saying "the end is near."
I tweeted a few days ago, "I'm not preparing for the end of the world on Sat May 21st, but today and every day." Actually, I think that is a better approach to Christ's return. I actually don't always succeed in living every moment with such intentionality, but I do think about my own mortality often and wonder what I would leave behind.
Live your life like this could be your last day...whether by rapture or by rupture...of a spleen, or a nuclear power plant, or even a blood vessel in your brain. In fact, this very day a funeral was held for a friend of mine so I guess the end is nearer than we think for all of us.
Solomon wrote many years ago "It is better to go to a house of mourning (a funeral) than to go to a house of feasting (a party), because that is the end of every man, and the living takes it to heart." (Ecc. 7:2) While there are parties planned by atheists in the streets to celebrate the passing of another false prophecy we should realize that death awaits us all. George Bernard Shaw (likely an atheist of sorts himself) once quipped: "One out of one people die, that's a startling statistic."
It's not how we die that really matters but how we live before we die. The gospel is not just a get-out-of-hell-free card or eternal fire insurance. It is the good news that Christ is real, present and willing to heal and lead our lives now and forever. The gospel is as much about now as it is about then. Jesus came to bring love to the broken and lost, not condemnation. The condemnation we usually bring upon ourselves...or thrust upon others.
The Matchbox Twenty song quoted above makes a very pertinent statement..."Let's see how far we've come." Today pastors are debating the reality of hell. False prophets are announcing the end of the world. The church looks no different than the rest of the world, or worse. I don't think we've come that far really. In fact, the Thessalonica church of the first century was wrestling with some of the same issues. The Corinthians as well.