Monday, June 22, 2009

End Times

Our blogger group this last week decided on the topic of Matthew 24: What's that all about? As you look over this chapter as a whole, you will see that Jesus is not trying to alarm anyone, or gratify anyone's curiosity, but rather He is trying to inform His disciples, and ultimately us, that the world will come to an end. He gives some signs of the end of the world, but we see that the signs are general enough that the time can't be pinpointed. So if and when anyone does try to pinpoint the end of time, we can know that they are false prophets, which Jesus speaks of several times in this chapter.
One of the keys of this passage is for us to be prepared by the way we live, to be prepared for Jesus, but to also be prepared for life, because we should live every day in essence as if it were our last. Our life should be about living for God totally and at all times. As Jesus says in Matthew 24:44- "Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour." The only one who knows is God, as we are told in Matthew 24:36, "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."
I believe another reason that Jesus is not specific, is because we get caught up in these great scenarios so much so that we lose track of every day life. We begin to worry about that which should not concern us. If we are prepared for the day of Jesus' return, then it need not be a worry to us. As Jesus said in Matthew 6:34, "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Jesus knows we have the tendency to look past the present to the future. So Jesus tells us about the fact that the world will end, and that there will be troublesome times, but He still wants us to focus on what we are doing today. This is why Jesus ends the chapter by giving the analogy of a slave who is found hard at work when his master returns. Jesus wants us to be focused on the work that we are given to do, the work we can accomplish, rather than that which we cannot change (i.e. when the end of times will come).
Let us seek to be faithful followers of Christ, working hard at what God gives us to do, and making a difference with our lives today!