Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
1 Corinthians 13:12 (New International Version)
Sometimes I’m frustrated by all the alternative theories that are floating out there about the end times or Armageddon, or about where we are in God’s plan, and how the current Middle East crisis fits in. Are we at the very threshold of Armageddon where two-thirds of Israel will be killed (Zechariah 13:8-9)? Where does the rapture fit in? Is there even going to be a rapture since 1 Corinthians 15:52 says that we will ALL be transformed “at the last trumpet” (of Revelation?). Very confusing! Nonetheless, there is no doubt we are to keep watch for Christ’s return. The preparations are clear. We need to preach the gospel “in and out of season” until Christ calls us home. I thank God for the simplicity of that instruction, and mostly, for the simplicity of His plan of salvation. All you have to do is simply confess sin and accept Christ as ruler of your life. That sounds like a big commitment, but our lives are only a vapour in time so this is not asking much of us at all, especially since Jesus did the hard part by providing the sacrifice.
I’ve often wondered how meaningless and incredibly shallow it is to pursue a life of leisure, money and possessions. We are living on a minuscule planet in an immeasurable universe, and most of mankind is interested in “the pursuit of happiness” as its overriding goal. If you’re living life like that, may you snap out of the utter stupidity of it (sorry, there are no other, more appropriate words for it). I guess that kind of lifestyle just grinds me, because I see it all over where I live, in the land of the second largest oil reserves in the world. Many young people here are incredibly wealthy, with incredible amounts of toys (i.e. boats, $125,000 cars, trailers, ATV’s, Harley’s, massive houses, etc, etc, etc). Ahhhh! These people are completely blind and need desperately to wake up! It’s frustrating watching young people throw their very eternities, not just lives, away because they devote their lives to hedonism– what a trap! THERE IS AN INFINITELY BIGGER PURPOSE! (did I stress that enough? I don’t think so!)
I’m going on vacation again to visit family over the next two weeks. I’m looking forward to it as a kind of “spiritual pilgrimage”. I’ve already had great talks with my dad on eschatology on the phone, and I can’t wait to dig deeper into conversation with him personally. Thank God that I have godly parents, who have truly dedicated their lives to Christ. It’s an incredible, divine miracle that my parents even survived their childhood, fleeing the horrors of Germany during WWII and literally outrunning Russian bombs, not unlike the situation in Lebanon today. But as is typical of God’s wisdom, I think it’s this traumatic event that produced the unshakable faith in God in my parents. One thing I’m clear on regarding the end times is that the world will enter a time of unparalleled tribulation (Matthew 24:21) before Christ returns. And whether we as Christians live through, or die in, or completely miss the Tribulation, we should all be praying for more faith, and more wisdom so that that day does not surprise us “…like a thief” (I Thessalonians 5:4)