10 June 2015 - clay
The distance to the end
But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.
– Matthew 24:36 (ESV)
Perspective of an event is everything. If you are watching a close basketball game and your team is losing, then the time on the clock seems to tick down much too quickly. If your team is winning then time can’t pass by quickly enough.
I think the same is true with the end of the world, except that nobody has a clock that they can count down with. We will all be surprised at when the clock runs out, but the difference will be how that surprise will register.
First off, I want to say that anyone who says they know when Christ is returning should immediately be labeled a false teacher. They don’t know, and the verse quoted above is pretty good proof of that. If God does not deem Jesus important enough to tell when the end is coming, he is also not going to let John from Houston know, especially if John has a book to sell that has all of his proof in it.[footnote]No, I’m not calling out anyone directly. Well, not too directly. OK, it’s more of a vague reference. Still, you get what I mean.[/footnote]
The truth is that just like viewers of the basketball game mentioned earlier, Christians will have a different reaction to the end than nonbelievers.
Christians will be surprised by how long it will be until the world ends. The world will be surprised by how soon it is.
— Clay W. Ginn (@claywginn) June 10, 2015
I had this thought while sitting at lunch with my wife today. I don’t know why it came to me at that particular moment, but I thought it was at least worth sharing.
Why will Christians be surprised? I believe it is mostly because we are looking forward to the next life. We have hope that we have found in Christ and we eagerly anticipate what comes next. Like watching water boil, the wait seems to take forever. The time may come soon, but it seems like it is still so far away. The second coming will not come soon enough for many Christians.[footnote]And too many are so heavenly minded that they are no earthly good, but that’s another conversation.[/footnote]
Why will the world be surprised by how soon it is? Because they aren’t ready for the clock to run out. Without any hope of what lies beyond, they are trying to squeeze as much out of this life as possible. Those without Christ are constantly trying to outrun death, knowing that it is futile race. Our society thinks that it will never end. The second coming will come far too soon for many in the world.
There is nothing truly theological about my idea. It’s simply an observation that our perspective differs from the world. It’s also a call to action, to help those who don’t know Christ yet see the long term view. Help those around you to see the hope at the end of this life, and be willing to help them change their perspective on the end of days.