Recently, a good friend of mine was talking to a gentleman who was insisting that the end times were right around the corner. My buddy replied that while he believed in the imminent return of Christ, he was not sure that it was wise to suggest it was going to happen at any specific time. After all, I think someone wiser than all of us said that no one knows the day or the hour.
Yet people have insisted on thinking they do. Just look at this list, compiled by someone named Tyrone Cropper (I don’t know anything of Cropper, but I know the people he quotes). If Cropper’s report is correct, it should be embarrassing to those quoted — but some seem to know no shame.
To me, the real value of Cropper’s report is that it helps reveal the need for discernment in our churches. It should keep us focused on the mission of proclaiming Christ’s grace for those who are in such desperate need.
A teacher in high school once asked us how we would change our lives if we knew we had only one year to live. Then he made the point, “Why aren’t you doing those things now? Why aren’t you living each day as though it’s your last?” That question stuck with me, and I’ve tried to do so ever since. Likewise, if you knew that the return of Christ is coming up in the next three days, would you be living any differently than you are now? I’ve been living as though his return might occur at any moment most of my life. If I knew he was returning next week, there’s nothing I would do differently than I have been doing: Keep my lamp trimmed. Proclaim Christ’s saving grace. And keep looking up.