Friday, April 29, 2011

The end of the world . . . May 21, 2011?

A group of "fundamentalist Christians" have pinpointed the end of the world. The Des Moines Register reports: "Ken Bushman of Newton wakes up each day and inks a new number on his left hand in black magic marker - his personal daily countdown until May 21. It's a constant reminder of his fundamentalist Christian conviction that the rapture will arrive that day, heralded by massive global earthquakes as God sweeps 2 or 3 percent of the world's population up to heaven. Then those left behind will face 153 days of hell on Earth until the Oct. 21 apocalypse." (see the entire article, http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20110429/NEWS03/104290342/1001/)

I find this incident humorous in light of our church's family Sunday School class studying Matthew 24 this week and next. In Matthew 24, we read something that Ken Bushman must have missed: NIV Matthew 24:36 "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

No one knows the time . . . well except this guy I guess.

No one knows the timing of Christ's return (not the hour nor the day). Christ's return is certain, but this is another mystery that God reserves for himself. Then at the end of Matthew 24 and all of Matthew 25 contain parables that offer implications for Christ's return, they are as follows:
24:42-51 – How we serve in X’s absence, reveals our desire to please Him. (Are we seeking to please God or ourselves?)          
25:1-13 – How we wait during the delay, reveals our commitment to Christ. (Are we eager for Christ to return and faithful during the wait or are we apathetic toward Christ?)        
25:14-30 – How we use our resources reveals our heart for God. (Do we love our stuff or the One who gave us stuff to be used for His glory?)
25:31-46 – How we love our Christian brothers and sisters in need before Christ's return reveals our love for Christ. (Do we care for those in need or do we care for to meet more of our wants?)

I preached a sermon a few weeks ago on both chapters Matthew 24-25. If you are interested, you can download and listen to it here:
http://cornerstone-marion.org/sermons/11-0410_The_End_Times_According_to_Jesus_Matt_24-25_Matt_Proctor.mp3

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