I gotta admit, I am tired of the end time speculations. As I say this, I must hasten to add that many readers of this website have probably not heard much of this. But it is there. Running a website like this gives you a steady diet of those who think you are too liberal to be trusted, or too conservative to be saved.
so I admit that my exprience is not everyone’s expereince. Many never hear about the end time. But I am on 4 email threds now, only one I originally subscribed to, where end time speculation is running rampant. Many of these scenarios are not even realistic. Some would make Hal Lindsey look like a sober presbyterian amalenialist in comparison.
You know, I wonder how much of this is end time fatigue. I can remember hearing reports of “the sunday law” being on president Reagon’s desk. We were assured that it was there. I can remember every economic downturn of my life hearing about how this was the last one that we would not come out of it. I just get tired of it. I sometimes understand those folks who just go on without thinking about it.
There is actually a cottage industry built around end time speculation. Certianly Left Behind and those kinds of things but what is surprising is that the fringes of that movemnet and our own sometimes coincide. Its as if we are almost to the point that the only way you can talk about the end time, and get anyone to listen is to also talk about politics, economics, and health.
What always interests me, is how little Jesus’ only words are talked about in this context. We will got to Daniel 11:45-12:1. We will go to Revelation 13..and currently popular Revelation 18. We will sometimes even go to Ezekiel and JEremiah. But very few go to Matthew 24. Very few talk about he signs given by Jesus himself.
I was listening to an Adventist preacher this weekend who said that the Second Advent is not receiving the emphasis among Adventist preachers that it once did. His point was that our reason for being is not simply to “Spread the Love of Jesus,” but to specifically tell the world of the second Advent that is soon to take place.
Interestingly enough, it does seem that much Adventist preaching does seem to take on the characteristics of the fads and popular approaches current among evagelicals. Many are seeking to preach the message of “God is gonna hook you up” that is so popular right now. Some are preaching exactly what their congregations wish to hear rather than a prophetic voice that calls them to change. Some messages are only theraputic to be a salve or an elixir to help us make it through another week. And some are simply time wasted. But then there are those who engage in speculation about end time events. They purchase excitement at the expense of their credibility. These are the ones who forever find Sunday Laws on president’s desk or who predict every economic downturn is the final one.
But then, there are those who attempt to preach a relevant word in the present tense, but also attempt to help us look to the future. In some ways it is a difficult undertaking. It is not always easy to preach about the end time without degenerating into speculation about Jesuits and secret meetings. It is not always easy to preach a relevant word to contemporary society without degenerating into preaching an empty shell that assures a “breakthrough.”
Perhaps our end time preaching should be less about events and more about the mindset that will make it through. Perhaps, if we talked about the mindset then we will realize that that mindset not only has future implications, but it will help us through even the difficulties of today. Perhaps God’s work for us and in us in the present time is exactly what is needed to make it through our contemporary problems and our future problems.
And maybe just maybe our end time focus would move from the fear that is based solely in self-centeredness to an assurance that is based in God’s work for us which will most assuredly work “out” of us.