Thursday, December 31, 2020

Last Days

“Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that the antichrist was coming, so now many antichrists have appeared.” 1 John 2:18

Since Jesus’ time, His followers have been expecting the end of the world. It is fascinating to go through the list of people or groups who have predicted the end of the world. There are bishops, monks, historians, mathematicians, theologians, ministers, cardinals, prominent preachers, etc. who have given precise dates for the last days. There’s the painter Botticelli who believed he was living during the Tribulation and that the world would end in 1504. Martin Luther, the priest who started the Protestant Reformation, stated the world would end in 1600. Christopher Columbus, the explorer, claimed that the world was created in 5343 BCE, and would end after 7000 years in 1658. John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Church, believed Christ would come in 1836. In 1976, Pat Robertson on his TV program, the 700 Club, predicted the end of the world would come in 1982. When that did not come true, he proposed April 2007 in his book, The New Millenium, as the new date when the earth would be destroyed. Where does this fascination with the end of the world come from? 

Many fear that this time of pandemic, when the world is crashing all around us, may be apocalyptic, because Jesus said in Luke 21:11, “There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.” But the other signs in the Bible, and the Bible is very specific about what will happen before the very end, have not unfolded yet.

“It is the last hour...” John the Apostle said, and indeed it is the last day of a tremendously challenging and difficult year for most of us. I personally started the year almost bedridden, after my surgery. Then our stores had to close, and we did not have income for months. We had to find ways to earn so we could provide for our employees. When we finally opened, the sales were not enough to pay for our staff, and the rent. As far as planning went, how could one plan for something so unprecedented, so unpredictable? Our biggest solution? Prayer. We prayed together every day. We asked our staff to pray. To pray for protection, to pray for guidance, to pray that through it all, God would walk with us, and show us the way. We prayed for my brother, Robert, for healing from his colon cancer. Honestly, there was a very real chance that it was his last days, his condition was that serious. But God gave him new life. 

We are all creeping, or maybe running, towards our last days. We do not have to wait for the end of the world. Are we ready? Let us treat each day as a gift. We do not really know how long we have here on earth. 

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:^) Patsy