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Sunday, June 5, 2011

June 2011

As I sit down to write this column, I am wondering, "What's the point?" I mean, after all, today is May 19th and according to "prophet" Harold Camping, the rapture is going to take place on Saturday the 21st. So, what is the point of me writing this Pastor's Column if we aren't going to be around to read it. Unless... you know... you didn't make it! Then, if you are reading this you are in for a heap of trouble!

Of course I am kidding! I am writing this column because I am fairly confident that the rapture isn't going to take place on Saturday, May 21st. In fact, it is hard to see in the Bible where anyone would come up with the idea of a pre-tribulation rapture at all! (Feel free to shoot me an email if you want to discuss that more!) But this idea of date-setting or predicting the end of the world is pretty dangerous business. Especially when Jesus tells us that no one know the day or the hour of His coming. He didn't even know the time while He was walking on the earth (Matthew 24:26). So, if Jesus is so clear on this, why do so many set out to tell us when the end of the world will come?

Perhaps it is because we are very worried about the end and we want to be prepared. Jesus is clear, He is coming again to judge the living and the dead (Matthew 25) and we want to be prepared. We worry that Jesus will show up when we are doing something sinful. Or we worry we will not have done everything we had hoped to do in this life. Once we have all of the boxes on our bucket list checked and all of our moral ducks in a row then we believe, that we will be ready. So, when Left Behind books, Mayan calendars, or so-called prophets show up claiming to have some inside track on the end of days, we sit up and pay attention.

This is all very unbiblical. The Bible tells us to be ready now! Jesus doesn't say, "Since you don't know when I am coming, do your best to figure it out." He says, "Therefore keep watch, because you don't know the day or the hour" (Matthew 25:13). He could come at any moment. He may come on May 21st or even May 22nd. He may even come the second you are reading this column. Or, it could be years from now. We don't know. We are to keep watch and always be ready.

So, how do we get ready? Pull out the bucket list and stop sinning? What happens if He comes and finds you in sin? What then? There was a professor at my college who said, "We all worry that we will be sinning when Jesus comes. Well, let me put your mind at ease. You will be sinning when Jesus comes!" This was both scary and wonderful for me to hear. Scary in that the reality of sin in my life in unavoidable. Wonderful because it reminded me that on the last day my hope is not in my moral, sinless life but in the accomplished work of Jesus Christ for me. There is nothing more we can do to prepare ourselves for the second coming of Christ because we have been prepared by God's gracious work for us in Christ's first coming. His blood shed on the cross for you is enough to prepare you for His second coming. You very well may be sinning when Christ comes, but take heart, He has already washed those sins away when you were baptized.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if you never got a chance to read this newsletter because Jesus had returned and taken us to our Father to live in His new creation for all of eternity? I pray it happens before you read this article. But, in case it doesn't, rest assured, the Holy Spirit has prepared you for eternity!

Come Lord Jesus!

Pastor Bob

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