This is the last of a four-part blog post on my message series “2012 – Is This the End?” It deals with a few after-thoughts about our response to current world affairs and the dominant end times theology that is rattling around in our subconscious.
Sidebar: Fox News is doing a special report tonight on 12.21.2012 – Is this the End? I guess it is an expose’ dealing with the 30 days that remain before the Mayan calendar runs out and what different people from archeology, science, humanities and religion think about this. Not sure if I will be home in time to watch.
So I guess in 30 days we will find out if the Mayans knew something that we don’t or if they just ran out of room on a stone to continue the calendar or if they counted as high as they could…which ever.
Question: So how do you feel about all of this?
If you have been watching any sort of news broadcast or reading on-line you know that tensions are high in the middle east, especially between Israel and the Palestinian Gaza Strip. Unfortunately most of us are moderately to severely apathetic to the whole situation simply because tomorrow is the Thanksgiving holiday followed by black Friday and then the mad rush to our over-commercialized, consumer-oriented celebration of Jesus’ birthday. So who has time to really care?
I think that the disease of apathy is dangerous. It is like a fast spreading germ or virus. It can quickly go from one person to the next infecting your whole family, your neighborhood, your city, your nation…your church. One of my silly indulgences is watching AMC’s “The Walking Dead.” I am also a fan of the movie franchise “Resident Evil.” In the show and the movie people succumb to a virus that takes over completely – 100%. That is the power of apathy. Signs of apathy are attitudes like:
– I have no ability to change things around me.
– Que sera, sera or whatever will be, will be.
– No one listens to me, so why even bother.
As Christians we believe in the second coming of Jesus to this realm and there is really nothing we can do to stop it; it is God’s will and purpose. But just because God is on a mission that we cannot stop does not mean that we can afford to be an apathetic, passive community. No – this good news should engender even more anticipation, excitement and participation.
We should be actively looking for the signs of Jesus coming now and in the future. Paul in Colossian 3:12-17 encourages the church to “clothe yourselves” with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; stand by each other and forgive as the Lord forgives us. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Let love be the highest virtue because it binds us in unity; let peace rule in our hearts. Teach and admonish each other in the wisdom and truth of God’s word and worship together. Why? Because we represent the Lord Jesus no matter what we do or say. When these virtues take root and become our way of acting toward each other, we will be the sign of Christ’s coming now and in the future. An apathetic response will not produce these signs.
The kingdom of God is emerging around us. Everywhere there are signs of its coming – in houses of worship, through hands on missions projects, and in the form of justice ministries. And while it is emerging it also marches on to the perfect image God intends and that only God can bring to fruition. The church local and universal works in partnership with God to participate in the emergence, the coming of God’s kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven. An apathetic response will mean that we miss our chance to help in God’s cause.
I think Jesus was pretty clear when he said that “no one knows the day or the hour of the coming of the Son of Man.” Only God knows when…but we all know what is to come and this should cause us to anticipate, to be excited, and to participate.
Could the world end in the next 30 days? With the way things are going in the middle east I guess it is a possibility – it is simply a matter of a few leaders pushing their button and we blow ourselves up! But it certainly reminds us that only God in his sovereignty and righteousness will be able to bring an end to our brokenness. If you are looking for anything at all from your future…look for God who is acting on our behalf and come do your part for His kingdom. Don’t give in to apathy.
Do you really care about the coming of God’s kingdom or are you apathetic?
Is your purpose in life to simply enjoy as much of it as you can no matter what the eternal effects?
Or are you responding daily to the master’s call no matter what the costs associated with being his disciple?