"As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. "Tell us," they said, "when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?" Jesus answered: "Watch out that no one deceives you." Matthew 24:3-4
I haven't blogged in a month and a half, so I am pretty sure that nobody is going to read this.
If, however, someone chooses to forgive my extended blogcation, here are a few of the things I have been wrestling with (and since I am pretty sure nobody is actually going to read this, I am going to be super random and like it).
* The more I read the Bible, the more my theology is getting messed up. I am preaching on eschatology right now (the study of the end of time) and the more I read the more I get a headache. I wish it were easier to figure out - it's not (though some people I know think it is - they have some sweet maps with interesting Whore of Babylon and Split -tongued Dragon sketches).
* I don't think Jesus envisioned sweet maps with interesting Whore of Babylon and Split-tongued Dragon sketches when He talked about the end of all things. But that's just me.
* It's relatively easy to sensationalize any conversation about the end times. Just throw in a few buzz words like the "little horn," "the parousia," "man of lawlessness," etc. and then immediately attach it to your least favorite political, religious, or social personality. Bet the conversation adds a few emotional amps as a result. I don't recommend trying it.
* I believe in the rapture of the Church (when the Church is "caught up to be with Jesus in the air"....I know, sounds cool doesn't it?). What I am not totally sure about is when it is going to happen. What I do know, though, is that you could get quickly "unfriended" on Facebook should you choose the wrong rapture time sequence camp. How embarrassing is it to be "unfriended"?
* I can see why addictive personalities love to be end times junkies, and can also see where they could go loopy if they weren't careful. Many a 47 year old man - living in his mom's basement with a Sam's Club palate of beef jerky, some militia gear, and a video camera - has been done in with his quest to solve "once and for all" the mystery of the end times. At a couple of points in my study I was considering a move to the mountains of West Virginia (I understand it's a good place to hide and hunt).
* If you have a friend that likes to tell you "I think I have Revelations (they will say it in the plural - trust me on this) all figured out now" - run. Fast as you can. But understand, they will try to catch you.
* I hope I have more on Sunday to offer than this.
* Pray for me. Pray for wisdom, perseverance in study, and a holy insight. Also, pray that I don't crave beef jerky.
* Jesus told us not to be deceived with too much excess noise about the end times. We should be watching, waiting, and living with the end in mind, but He makes it clear - don't freak out. Freaked out sky-is-falling-Apocalyptos don't really help the cause, and they make it look like the 2nd coming of Christ is something they hope to avoid (instead of the reality that the Bible teaches for believers, the 2nd coming of Jesus to earth is the "blessed hope").