Should Christians be concerned about the end time? The answer is a decisive yes…and no.
If being concerned means being aware and prepared, then a resounding yes, because 25% of the Bible speaks of the end times. It’s vital as Christ followers to know what is coming.
Yes, too, because Jesus speaks of the end times and the fulfillment of biblical prophecies. But yet some dismiss His words, discounting them as irrelevant, or too frightening to consider.
Still Jesus is telling us what is to come to prepare us, not to scare us. As Revelation 19:10 explains, the Spirit of prophecy bears testimony to Jesus.
Jesus calls us to be concerned, to pay attention, and to look for the signs of the end times.
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“Yes” Because Jesus Calls Us to Be Ready
Being concerned means we are keeping watch and looking for Jesus’ soon return. It’s about believing more in what God says will happen in the world than what governments say will take place.
Matthew 24:31 assures us, “And He will send His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.”
But yet so many Christians have given up looking for Jesus to return, not believing it could happen anytime soon, or even at all. Some don’t care if He comes back, being more interested in living out their lives.
Still Jesus tells us in Matthew 24:42,“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.”
Jesus calls us to live with an expectant watchfulness for His return, imploring, “So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him” (Matthew 24:44).
“Yes” Because of Family, Friends, and Neighbors
As Christians it isn’t enough for just us to be ready, we need to be concerned, too, whether or not our family, friends, and neighbors are ready. It’s vital for them to know, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
We don’t want to assume they have plenty of time to prepare. Jesus describes how people will be caught off guard in the end times, saying in Matthew 24:36-39,
“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
“As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in those days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away.
“That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.”
“Yes” Because We Need to Tell
As Christians are we okay with the possibility that in an instant, our loved ones may be left behind, not knowing what happened to us, with no hope of seeing us again?
In Matthew 24:40,41 Jesus describes what will happen: “Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.”
Jesus told of a rich man who died and then realized his five brothers were set to follow him to torment (Luke 16: 27, 28), but it was too late for him to tell them.
Romans 10:14 explains, “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?”
Living in the last days offers us precious, priceless time to tell our friends, family, and neighbors about Jesus. Being concerned offers us the opportunity and time to lead others to Christ before it’s too late.
It’s our calling to reach out to others with the truth of His word. “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:20).
For those who don’t know Jesus, it’s a matter of eternal life or death. “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life” (Matthew 25:46).
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“Yes” Because Our Investments Matter
Being concerned means looking at how we are investing our time and resources. As Ephesians 6:8 explains, the Lord will reward each of us for whatever good we do.
Revelation 22:12, describes how this will happen. “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with Me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done.”
Concern focuses on building up treasures in Heaven, rather than achieving and attaining our rewards on earth according to the world’s standards.
1 Timothy 6:18 describes how to store up these treasures by doing good, being rich in good deeds, and being generous and willing to share.
Jesus in Matthew 6:20 explains the benefits of heavenly investments. “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.”
1 Timothy 6:19, explains further, “In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”
Where we invest reveals our heart, too, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 16:21).
If concerned means living worried and fearful of what is coming, then absolutely, no. Jesus explains in Mark 13:7, “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.”
He tells how, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places" (Matthew 24:7).
Terrible times where men and women will love themselves most, love money, be boastful, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, and much, much more (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
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“No” Because We Will Be Saved
Even though most apocalyptic films shows everyone living panicked, distressed, and stressed out with no place to hide, as Christians, we know God is in control and we don’t have to live fearfully because He has promised to save us.
Jesus assures us of the safety and security we have in Him. “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved” (Matthew 24:12,13).
Matthew 24:17-21 describes the end-time scene, of how dreadful it will be and how the great distress coming upon the earth will be far more than ever before, unequaled from any other time in the world’s history.
So terrible, Revelation 6:15-17 describes how those who don’t know Christ are going to respond. “Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and everyone else, both slave and free, hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains and the rocks. ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can withstand it?’”
But as Christians, God’s Word equips us beforehand by telling us what is to come and how to be prepared.
“No” Because Jesus Is Preparing A Place for Us
As we prepare for His return, Jesus is preparing and reserving a place for us with Him.
In John 14:1-3 He says, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in Me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am.”
As well, Hebrews 9:28 explains, “So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring Salvation to those who are waiting for Him.”
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Originally published Tuesday, 27 April 2021.