The Internet has become predictably excited about the claim made by Harold Camping that the world will end today (a story we first mentioned two months ago). There are a couple of blog posts that I think are worth highlighting because of the way in which they analyse the whole issue of ‘the last days’ which so fascinates so many evangelical Christians.
Firstly, Onesimus has some very good things to say about the place of the End Times in the Bible and the life of the Church:
Neither Jesus nor any of the apostles made the sort of deal about the second coming and the end of things as they are the way the Dispensationalists and others like them have. Jesus and the apostles said it would happen and then spent most of their time discussing it by explaining what would not happen leading up to it. Since then, Christians have believed it, have looked forward to it, yearned for it. But for Christians, the end times are not the most important thing. Eschatology wasn’t the most important thing in the New Testament, and it isn’t the most important thing now. Even if Jesus were expected to arrive in five minutes, eschatology still wouldn’t be the most important thing.
Instead, Christians were given a charge by the Lord Jesus himself that involved loving each other and loving neighbor and loving even enemies, a charge to tell people around the world the good news about the resurrection of the Lord Jesus from the dead and about the forgiveness of sins that comes through faith in the crucified and risen Lord, a charge to become the new humanity, the new people of God that becomes the very presence of Jesus in this neighborhood so that when the people around us who do not know God see us, they see Jesus. From the Lord’s perspective and the perspective of the apostles, we’ve got work to do. Mr. Camping and his ilk are a sad and devious deception, however sincere they feel themselves to be. Blessed is the one the Lord finds about his work in his vineyard when he does, like a thief in the night, come again. Maranatha.
On a different note, Archdruid Eileen make some excellent points about what our attitude should be as we read Revelation:
The Revelation isn’t to give comfort to the people on top. It’s to frighten them.
When you live in the richest country in the world, and your existence is predicated on borrowing such eye-watering amounts of money that you could never pay it all back, and therefore your way of life is dependent upon a legal fiction that your money is somehow worth something – even though it clearly isn’t – the Revelation isn’t to give you comfort and hope for the future. It’s to scare you…
… When you’re clinging on to faith against a repressive ruling order that hates your faith and diminishes your status and silences you with hate and violence and unjust laws – the Revelation was written so you can hope.
Please read both posts in full – they are both absolutely brilliant in their own way.
As for me, I look forward to seeing what God will be doing tomorrow and in the following days as his Gospel goes out into the world and his Kingdom approaches on earth as it is in heaven