If our dog were a human, she’d be a beach bum, I’m quite certain. Her days consist of eating, drinking, running around like a Tasmanian devil dog, and seeking those sun spots to stretch out and relax, to bask in the warmth.
She’s pretty simple actually. She doesn’t read books or worry much, at least I don’t think. She just trusts for her daily kibble and fresh water. And of course, the thrice daily treats I give her with some salami thrown in (but don’t tell my husband). It’s just that when you LOVE someone, you want to TREAT them and DELIGHT them and what’s a slice of salami going to hurt, anyway?
So what does a dog seeking the sun and her “daily bread” with a few treats thrown in have to do with some heavy theological discussions on prophecy and end times? Read on.
Seems like everyone I know is joining the debate these days over “end times” and the “Rapture”, especially in light of the second blood moon this year—the one we just experienced. After all, the first of four anticipated blood moons in a two-year period occurred on Passover last April and the second occurred on the Feast of Tabernacles two nights ago. The next will also happen on Passover next spring and the fourth will occur on the Feast of Tabernacles again next September.
I don’t believe in coincidence.
But I do believe in signs and wonders because the Bible talks about them both.
The celestial phenomenon of four lunar eclipses occurring exactly on two significant Jewish festivals has occurred in the last millennium only at specific, crucial times in the history of the Jewish people. (Mark Hitchcock, Blood Moons Rising)
Hmmm. Let’s see. Is Israel still in the news these days?
So what should we think?
Then there’s the “Left Behind” movies and the book series by the same name which has drawn sharp criticism from both secular and Christian voices. Everyone seems to have an opinion about “end times” theories and, in my opinion, we’re all free to believe whatever we want.
So I decided to take my little corner of cyber-sphere today to broadcast my one little voice on the matter of Jesus and Biblical prophecy and events occurring in the heavens and on the earth lately. Though I don’t have a theology degree, I do read my Bible, and I don’t believe one has to be highly intellectual or learned to understand the basics.
Here’s a true story having to do with Jesus and Biblical prophecy and how simple it can be to understand the essentials . . .
When I was 12, I saved my babysitting money and went to the mall. I bought a New Testament because a classmate had written something intriguing in my autograph book: “May Christ be your guide.” I didn’t know who Christ was so she suggested I read the New Testament part of the Bible. My family didn’t have a Bible and I didn’t know anything about Jesus Christ except that His name was used a lot by my mom when she was swearing mad.
So I purchased my first “half-Bible” and approached it as I do all books—I read the first “chapter” (Matthew) and then the last “chapter” (Revelation) because, well, I’m impatient and I want to know how the story ends before I commit to reading all the innards. There’s only so much time to read when you’re 12, after all.
With no prior Bible education and with no Bible commentary to help, I got the message of the first and last books of the New Testament, the message of the Alpha and Omega, who was foretold from the first verse of Genesis through all of the Old Testament and on through Revelation, I learned later.
This Jesus, the Messiah, came to save our fallen world and all in it from death, from destruction. He showed us how to love, really, by serving. And He loved us most and served us best when He paid the price for our sin on the cross—when He bought us back—when He reversed the curse of death through His resurrection. He ascended into heaven with His promise of coming again. He promised He’d come complete the work of love and peace and reconciliation and restoration with His second coming. He told us that even HE didn’t know the time of His second coming—but to WATCH for the signs—to stay ALERT—to keep on working and not give up or become complacent—to not be drawn away by the world and its values that opposes God’s kingdom values.
In simple words, as a 12 year-old, I got this message from Matthew all the way through Revelation without getting hung up on all the details and specificities of prophecy. The main message that even children can understand is this . . .
Seek the Son.
See His cross of mercy and grace in everything.
Pray for the power of the Holy Spirit to do His will while still on earth.
Stay excited about His second coming but keep from drifting into the shadows of distraction.
Join hands on this earth to keep working for good until Jesus comes back and completes God’s perfect plan—however and whenever that will be.
Keep Christ’s work on the cross propelling us forward—unified, not divided over non-essentials.
Biblical prophecy is not intended to distract us from Christ’s work of reconciliation and restoration or cause us to throw up our hands and wait for Christ to do it all for us. No! We are supposed to be ambassadors of Christ, right here, wherever we are planted this day, this moment. Biblical prophecy is intended to spur us on, to energize us, to keep us encouraged and hopeful for Christ’s SURE second coming when He will make reconciliation and restoration COMPLETE.
I think we’d all be better off staying focused on the absolutes about God’s word instead of wasting precious time and causing probable divisions by speculating on mysteries too vague for us to know currently. How about focusing on what the Bible DOES state clearly? And one of those clear absolutes is that God is absolutely sovereign.
His will WILL be done, in HIS way, in HIS time and only GOD has the awesome ability to use ALL for good, for the fulfilling of His perfect plan.
So, yeah, while it’s interesting to talk about prophecy, as for me, I really don’t care how the whole “end times” plan pans out. God is God. His plan is good enough for me, whatever it is. I’ll just keep working, watching, and waiting. Then I know I’ll be ready, whenever.
“Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen. (Revelation 22:20-21, the last two verses in God’s holy word)