Saturday, November 30, 2013

2 things to know first Matthew 24:36-44

Jesus spoke of the end times with two distinct lines of thought:

  1. only the Father knows the hour of the end Matthew 24:36
  2. the end will come like thief catching people unexpectedly Matthew 22:42-44
Any faithful conversation about the end of times will include the unresolved tension between these 2 equally valid teachings of our Lord. 2 millennia later Jesus' Words remain held in tension by believers. These 2 teachings both remain equally valid and equally essential to Christian faith and life. In short you can't have one without the other if you take Jesus' Word seriously.
Over the past 2000 years some have loudly insisted they knew the hour when the end was coming. Almost universally those who "know" the hour have insisted it is near by, almost at hand. Some have even gone so far done the road of error and confusion that they have published dates and timelines announcing the end. They have convinced others of their error; and those who are confused by them believe with them that this one interpretation of the signs and times is right.
For 20 centuries of Christian history this same confusion has existed and it still exists today. People believe they can crack the code hidden deep in prophecy and know the day. They will say that Jesus spoke of signs and the end coming quick. They will rightly say that our Lord Jesus called people to be prepared. And some will read the signs and believe they can see the end. But if they will be honest for even a second with Jesus they will say they can't know for certain. Unless they have access to the inner council of God the Father that the angels and the only begotten Son of the Father don't have they are just guessing. And they are at best only sharing their guesses and confusion with others.
The centuries are full of examples of teachers who believed they had decoded God's Word and read all the signs so that they knew that the hour was at hand. And Jesus Word remains true and good. The Father knows and we don't. Even as teachers come and go announcing that a particular economic or geo-political development is a sign Jesus Word remains good and true: only the Father knows.
Anytime you meet someone who wishes to speak of the end of times bring them back from their speculations about current events and their interpretation prophecy to the solid Word of Jesus Christ.
No one knows when that day or time will be, not the angels in heaven, not even the Son. Only the Father knows Mt 24:36 NCV
Anytime you meet someone who insists they know bring them back out of their speculation to the solid Word. Instead of preparing for a particular day Jesus is inviting us to live everyday as a day at the end of time.
"“So always be ready, because you don’t know the day your Lord will come. Remember this: If the owner of the house knew what time of night a thief was coming, the owner would watch and not let the thief break in. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at a time you don’t expect him." (Matthew 24:42-44, NCV)
The Kingdom of Heaven is coming. When Jesus walked on earth he said that the Kingdom of Heaven drew near to those who heard him 2000 years ago. The truth is his kingdom comes close when we live at the Father's direction. The kingdom comes when we place the love of God and the love of our neighbors above self love.
Maybe we forget what we are asking God to do When we pray, "thy kingdom come, thy will be done..." We are asking to be part of the Kingdom coming not far away but here in our church, homes, and work. When we pray we asking for Our Father to hear us. That means we are stepping into a relationship of trust in the Father that God wants to share with us from here until the end of time.
Today I give thanks that God the Father is near, and that all things and all time are in His care,
Peace and thanks for reading, John

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