Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The End of the World as We Know it

I feel fine. Before all of this Camping--Armageddon business came into the spotlight, someone asked me if I thought the world would end in 2012. Time is relative. We created calendars and time measurement, so what does 2012 really mean in terms of the end of the world?

And if the world ends what do I care? Has God not promised me a place in Heaven? I am secure in my faith. At the end of the world I am going to be with God. We may get hit by a meteor or have some massive global warming breakdown…I’m not sure, but a disaster like that wouldn’t signify the end of the world. The subject of the end of the world is discussed in scripture at length and  it is the shout of Jesus returning that I will be waiting for rather than a natural disaster or a date determined by man's mathematical figures.

I wrote a play once about two dead men. Both appear in a limbo-like state out of darkness. One arrives with a sigh and takes a breath of fresh air. He behaves as if a great weight has been taken from him. When the second man arrives it is with a cry of pain and anguish. He is scared of this new situation. The idea is that one of these men was a Christian prior to death. The Christian is relieved to be gone from Earth. Each second in his new surroundings is another moment he remembers less about his life. What’s back there isn’t what’s important. What is waiting is.

We should take care of our planet. We should be good stewards of the resources God has given us and we should spend our time on this Earth enjoying God’s grace and seeking ways to further His kingdom. Enjoy your family, enjoy your kids, have that care-free cookout with the guys. Enjoy it! But don’t lose sight of what is important and what is simply…a cookout. You can sink into nihilism if you aren’t careful, but if you simply maintain perspective on what it means to be a Christian at the end of life, there should be no fear or anxiety regarding what is to come.

Of course you don’t want to die right now. Who does? We have bills to pay, loved ones we want to enjoy. We get attached to this globe. I do not want to die until my children are grown and can support themselves. But if God sees fit to take me sooner than that, I simply have to trust Him that it is for the best. And not my best at that—His best. Easier said than done, but personally I do not fear death.

I made the statement, “So what do I care if the world ends?” Even though we are secure in our faith and know our place in heaven is assured, there is something to care about for as long as this world exists. There are lost people who will not be joining us in Heaven and for us to sit back and allow that is unacceptable. Only God can change their heart, but we are commanded to reach out and help make the introductions.  God uses us as His tools for ministry and evangelism. Do not hide your light under a bushel. Let it shine until the day God takes you home.

I want to go the way my Gramps went. He opened his eyes in the middle of the night and said, “Lou Ada. I’m dying.” My Granny called in the nursing home staff and they tried to revive him, but I imagine that Gramps was at the gates of Heaven and there was no turning back. Why would you want to turn back when you are so close to eternity with God? I think he saw Jesus at that moment and wanted to, out of common courtesy, let Granny know that he was headed out.

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