Look Up not Out
“When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near."- Luke 21:28
"Another one bites the dust."- Freddie Mercury, Queen
If you are reading this Daily Bread, you have made it! September 23, 2017 came and went, and the earth is still spinning, our hearts are still beating, and there is still much sowing, laboring, and reaping we can be doing for God's kingdom. I am constantly amazed, baffled, and even slightly amused by the pundits who continue to predict the end of the world, who continue to propagate an alarmist message, and who continue to be preoccupied by the world's events, rather than the Creator's eternal plan. The prediction of this numerologist must be filed away as another missed diagnosis and opportunity.
We have seen these cataclysmic claims crumble before. I remember the hysteria that Y2K brought as people braced for the worse. On New Year's Eve 1999, I remember staring out the window of a friend's house overlooking the San Fernando Valley as midnight hit, expecting to see something of chaos, breakdown, and anarchy. Despite all the scenarios and predictions of what "may" take place, nothing happened. After so many misses we need to be reminded that there is a flaw in the foundation of all of these Apocalyptic Forecasters: The Bible clearly tells us that only God Almighty knows the end from the beginning. In Matthew 24:36 Jesus proclaims about the end times, "But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."
Even though I was certain nothing would happen on September 23rd, something still had me scratching my head and wanting to be sure my faith is fixed on what is true, good, and hopeful. I went away from the most recent "doomsday" report asking myself why people become consumed with decimation, terror, and pending catastrophe? From horror movies always having strong sales at the box office to the skyrocketing number of views of disturbing videos on the internet, from the threats of war due to a maniacal leader in power to the many projections of natural disasters (i.e.- earthquakes and meteors), our culture definitely has a "fright", "shock and awe" mentality. We are drawn to the shocking and are fixated on the potential hazards of life. With all the impending chaos and doom, it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep our minds centered on the Word of God. We must choose to shift our attention away from the sideshow, to the One who bring us salvation! In Philippians 4:8, Paul reminds the church, "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things."
The problem with all the "doomsday" rhetoric is the true message and real opportunity gets missed with people who are searching for answers or shaking in their boots. Despite the errors in these predictions, there is still the reality that our lives are temporal, our time on earth is short, and our need for God is great! People do not need to hear about what may or may not happen to the earth, but about the mighty love, forgiveness, and power of our God who reaches out to save His creation out of the sin and brokenness they find themselves in. The reminder, message, and action that we should be taking from September 23rd, is not to look out at all that is being said and taking place, but to look up to heaven as we seek God's help and mercy in prayer and to look at the Scriptures to find truth, instruction, comfort and hope. Jesus speaks the greatest, most lasting reality, one that is not about destruction but about life-giving truth and power. In Matthew 24:35 He declares hope for the end times, "Heaven and earth will pass away; but My words will never pass away." Here is one prediction that you can hold onto all the days of your life and that will never fail you.