I was pulled aside after a Sunday service not long ago by an attender who wanted to know when I was going to be warning the congregation about the impending crash of the world economy that Illuminati would be orchestrating in order to decrease the human population by up to 90%. After several minutes of hearing of the danger of vaccines, conspiracies with communist nations, and the malicious intent of the heads of states, I finally held up a hand and said, “Even if this were all true, I’d be completely comfortable preaching exactly what I just preached.”
This isn’t the first time I’ve been confronted about my lack of urgency about end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it issues. There are also these pesky blood moons to worry about. And someone is always trying to kill us with vaccines, or aspartame, or a zombie virus, or purple dinosaurs on TV, the numerical value of whose names add up to 666 and therefore must be the antichrist in disguise… I’ve heard it all…
I’m a skeptical believer. I’ve come to have a sturdy faith in Jesus because I believe the central truths of Christianity stand up under tests of logic, reason, science, history, archaeology, and textual criticism. I embrace the Bible as inerrant, as crazy as that may sound to some.
But I’m still skeptical. I don’t mind wrestling with big questions and have found it to embolden my faith over time. I’m especially skeptical of teachings and arguments that serve as a distraction from the main thing – God loves you and sent His son to pay for your sins so you could be reunited with Him.
Let’s say, hypothetically, that the blood moons point to the end of the world as we know it. The Illuminati is planning to trim the human race back a bit and assume complete control over our lives economically and militarily. What I’d want to tell you today is… the good news that Jesus Christ died to save you and rose again.
The Apostle Paul once warned a young Pastor named Timothy to rebuke some leaders in the ancient church of Ephesus for getting people off track in endless debates about myths, legends, and Old Testament genealogies. As Paul put it, “these things only lead to meaningless speculations, which don’t help people live a life of faith in God.” (1 Timothy 1:4 NLT). That concern and the subsequent advice is as current today as it was then.
And then Paul continued by saying, “The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith.” (v. 5). I love that statement. Paul is essentially charging Timothy to avoid motivating people to seek God on the basis of fear, rational or otherwise, and instead to seek him on the basis of love and a desire for purity and real faith. That is the goal of this blog. People do not become followers of Jesus out of fear. Fear only motivates in the short term. It is the love of the Father demonstrated by the Son that motivates.
I don’t want people to be afraid of the end of the world. After all, what do we Christ followers have to worry about in the eternal scheme of things? Though the world fall apart around us and our bodies be destroyed, we live on! We win! We enjoy victory! I’m not attempting to minimize the seriousness of persecution, which is obviously a real and present danger in our world. I’m simply saying that there are some essentials to be shared regardless of the direction the world around us is headed.
If the world were ending tomorrow, I’d want to tell you the good news that Jesus Christ died to save us ALL and rose again, and that we can live a life of faith in him that matters for eternity.
I want to lead people to life in Jesus. Lead people to the cross for redemption. Lead people to discover the life worth living no matter what the world looks like around us. Lead people to follow Jesus, emulate his character, and implement the ways and practices conveyed in Scripture.