Pastor's Corner

15 Jan
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Mid-Week Challenge

Maybe you have heard, “The End is Near,” and there is a great photo going around the internet that proves it!  Elias Chasiotis was taking pictures of the solar eclipse on December 26 when he captured a photo at sea level of the sun and moon. The way the light came together it looked like two separate pieces of the sun forming some sort of red horns coming out of the sea. You really have to see it to appreciate it:   Scientist say it is easily explainable as “Fata Morgana” when rays of light bend as they pass through air layers of varying temperatures. That hasn’t stopped some Christians from suggesting that it could be connected to all the unrest across the Gulf region exactly where the photo was taken!  Signs of the End Times and the signal of Christ’s return?  

If you grew up in a conservative church in the South you no doubt heard that message from the preacher more than once a month.  The preaching style sought to focus the hearer on to the fact that Jesus is coming back soon and all the wars, the events and rumblings were signs.  In reading the Bible all Christians should take the Great Commission in Matthew 28 seriously because it is a command of Christ to go into all the world and tell people about Him.  But some Christians also tie the command of Jesus in Matthew 28 to a message He preached in Matthew 24:14 - "This good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed in all the world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come." In an attempt to mesh the two verses some Christians believe they can speed up the coming of Christ by working harder to share the Gospel with every people group.  In other words, as soon as the last person hears, Jesus will immediately return.  As much as I want Jesus to return I’m not sure that is what He meant, nor is it what He wants us to focus on.  Some take this so serious that they believe political events can force Christ’s return sooner than later.  Thankfully this extreme view is becoming less common.  LifeWay Research was interested in pastors' views on whether Christians can play a role in bringing about the return any sooner so they surveyed pastors and discovered around 1 in 8 Protestant pastors (12 percent) believe Christians can speed up the second coming of Jesus by supporting geopolitical changes mentioned in the Bible, with 5 percent strongly agreeing.

Thankfully they also found that protestant pastors still take the Great Commission very seriously. While wars and rumors of wars are interesting they can be distracting from our mission to tell people about their need for Jesus.  When we focus on the “signs” and neglect the call we are in a sense being disobedient and could be falling into a trap of Satan.  If he can distract us from telling people about Jesus by getting is more interested in predicting times and dates then he has won.  Jesus warned us about this temptation in Matthew 24:6 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 goes on to say in verse 36 that even He does not know the actual time but warns again about being personally ready for the return.  Satan will use anything to take the attention off Jesus, even our curiosity to know the future.  

It’s not wrong to wonder about these things, in fact we should study all of Scripture, but don’t let your curiosity and the sensationalism of the media distract you from most important part of the message, Be RIGHT with Jesus, because the END IS NEAR! 

Be on your guard and stay alert! For you do not know when the appointed time will come. Mark 13:33 

Serving the Savior

Bro. Jonathan

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