Our theme for this month: “Life on this side of the cross”
Our Bible verse for today: “Now concerning that day and hour no one knows – neither the angels of heaven nor the Son – except the Father alone. As the days of Noah were, so the coming of the Son of Man will be. For in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah boarded the ark. They didn’t know until the flood came and swept them all away. This is the way the coming of the Son of Man will be.” Matthew 24:36-39 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Does the COVID 19 pandemic prove we’re living in the End Times?”
I was once at a gathering of Pastors and some of us were discussing whether or not we were living in the End Times. There were events taking place in the world at that time which seemed to provide proof that Biblical End Times prophecy was unfolding before our eyes (this was twenty-five years ago). In the middle of the conversation I offered the brilliant insight that “Well, we’re certainly closer to the end now than we ever were before!”. And … there was silence. After a moment, as we all stood quietly in the awkwardness, one of them said, “Well, I suppose that is true. Today we are one day closer to the end than we were yesterday, and tomorrow we will be one day closer than we are today. Someday Jesus will in fact return and every day between now and then brings us one day closer.”
Well, duh! Look at me being “Captain Obvious”. Yes, each day that passes brings us one day closer to the Second Coming of Jesus and to the end of time. But does that mean it’s right around the corner? Does the COVID 19 pandemic prove that Biblical prophecy is unfolding before our eyes? Maybe, but probably not. Twenty-five years ago many of us thought the events of that day were signs of the end. And we were wrong. Twenty-five years later we’re still here.
Every generation since the time of Jesus has believed there were events taking place in their world that seemed to line up with End Times prophecy. And they have all been wrong. Over the course of 2000 years, generation after generation, through wars and natural disasters and plagues, group after group has claimed that the events of their day were lock-step in-synch with Biblical prophecy and therefore the end was upon them. And they have all been wrong.
Therefore, historically, statistically, and Biblically, there’s a strong probability that those claiming today’s events point to the end of time are probably wrong too. As Jesus explained in Matthew 24:36-39 quoted above, we cannot know the time. It could be today, or tomorrow, or a hundred years from now, or a thousand. (Even Noah didn’t know the time. All he knew was that he needed to be ready whenever it came).
We don’t know when the End Times will commence. We’re not supposed to know. And that’s where we need to take this discussion in tomorrow’s devotional. Why does God not allow us to know such things? And since He has chosen for us to not know, how are we supposed to live in the middle of not knowing? There’s actually a very helpful lesson to be found in Jesus’ example of “the days of Noah” about End Times theology and about how we’re supposed to live between now and then. We’ll look at that tomorrow.