John Bressler-031811Listen to John Bressler read his column - Don't worry about the end of the world.
Are you a Premillennialist, a Postmillennialist, an Amillennialist or just a plain old Millennialist? I'll say this: I have heard more end of time conversation in the last few weeks than one can imagine and quite a few folks are pretty jittery about the entire scenario. According to Google, 45 million searches are asking about all these catastrophes and disasters, 380 thousand are checking out the latest on the Mayan calendar and about 11 million want to know what the Bible has to say about the end of the world.
Let's stop for just a moment and back up. Throughout the history of this old world — and I am now speaking of scientific research history — there have been more problems than can be documented. I suppose that dinosaurs were destroyed by a comet some 65 million years ago, bubonic plague almost wiped out Europe, earthquakes are commonplace, tsunamis are not new and wars upon wars never cease. The facts seem to tell us that with an unbelievable population growth, more and more are living around the seashore, near fault lines, next to a volcano, on flood plains, you name it, and when a common and not unexpected natural phenomenon occurs, the destruction and loss of life is overwhelming.
As a humble theologian — which means someone who talks about God in a reasonably intelligent way — I must refer to the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, which basically state that there will be worldly and heavenly signs but no one should presume to know what is God's plan. They go on to say we should not be led astray by humanly predictions but be ready. "But what about all these signs?" you ask. Folks, when I am driving along and see signs like: Falling Rocks, Slippery When Wet, RR Crossing, Sharks or Bears, that doesn't mean it's going on as I read. It means be aware and use common sense. It means to slow down, look both ways, don't swim with your lucky ham tied around your neck or stand between momma bear and her cubs.
I suppose we all want to know the day of our demise right down to the second so we will have enough time to change our habits, make right our wrongs or do what we always wanted to do. We just don't have that luxury. I know there are those who are terrified that they won't be ready to stand before Almighty God or are not secure enough in their faith and will be overlooked because they just aren't good enough.
I don't like to admit it, but no one is perfect. I may think I am 100 percent sure of my salvation, but what if, for one split second I have a doubt, then does that cancel out my assurance? Was it not Jesus Christ who, on the cross, asked, "Eli, Eli, la'ma sabach-tha'ni?" or, "My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?" God has the final choice and He did not forsake His Son and will not forsake us. I rest, assured that the promises of God are irrevocable! I am a forgiven sinner and not a forgiven saint.
Is it just possible that these terrible tragedies are road signs to the realities of life? We know without a shadow of a doubt that there are active volcanoes, unstable fault lines, unpredictable weather patterns that will produce hurricanes and tornadoes and a multitude of disasters that will happen. The lessons that are to be learned are to be prepared for the inevitable!
When we lived in Florida, there were a couple of rules for the weather: be prepared, leave or tie yourself to a nearby tree after you have completed your last will and testament.
I could close with so much more to say. However, I must close with the words of Jesus, "Surely, I am coming soon."
"So be it," said John, "Come, Lord Jesus!"