I was at my parent's house on December 21, 2012, the day the world was supposed to end. The movie, 2012, was on TV and I'd never seen it before so I sat down to watch it. I quickly got sucked in to the graphics and storyline.
There's a scene near the beginning, when the world is quite literally falling apart, with a man standing on the top of a mountain rejoicing over what he is seeing. It's clear that the end of the world was something he believed in, had even been expecting. So when his beliefs are confirmed to be true, he is ecstatic instead of scared.
Now, as a Christian, I was quite certain that the end of the world would not occur on December 21 because the Bible teaches us that only God knows when Jesus will return. But, in the same way as the crazy man on the mountain in the movie, I too believe in the end of the world (at least, in the sense that we know it). But my beliefs differ in that they center around Jesus and his second-coming. He has promised to bring restoration, healing and peace to earth.
The day of the Newtown shooting in Connecticut, one of my Facebook friends posted something that caused me to pause. She wrote, "Lord, come quickly." I was moved by that response because the sad truth is, there will be another shooting. Not only that, but the tragedy that happened in Newtown is only a tiny fraction of the evil that occurs in the world at any given time. Think of all the wars we've seen; the genocide, the children forced to become soldiers, those that are trafficked, etc., etc. And even beyond that, the poverty, hunger, thirst and disease that permeates our planet. None of these issues will ever go away. This is evidence of the enemy of God seeking destruction.
That is, until Jesus comes again.
To see an end to all of our suffering, Jesus must return to right all of our wrongs. And He will. I believe that with everything in me. The question is, am I praying for that day to come quickly? Am I preparing for the day when all of our sorrows will be replaced with joy at seeing our Savior, as He fulfills prophecy and redeems the world?
Perhaps the most important thing for me to realize is that my waiting is not one of idleness. It should involve action. It should involve fruit. Although I am waiting for Jesus to come, knowing that He alone can truly restore our world, I can--and should--play my part in bringing His Kingdom that much closer.
We are on a sinking ship, but our Rescuer is coming. Our God is faithful and his character is to want to rescue us. We can rest assured that we are not waiting in vain. But in the meantime, do we not continue to bail the water out of the ship? Or do we sit, watching the water rise around our ankles? And then up to our waists?
What does that action look like for you? In what ways can you bring the Kingdom of God that much closer to your corner of the world?
"The time has come," [Jesus] said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!"
- ▼ 2013 (21)