I think too often in the case of the end-times focus there is entirely too much talk. God has written all there is to say on the subject. We are admonished not to add to it in any fashion. However, many end-times preachers seek to “fill in the gaps” or to expound or interpret it in light of their ministry.
I have yet to find it in the Bible where it says; “If only my people would talk more!” Instead there are verses such as these…..
When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.
Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.
If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is useless.
1 John 3:18
Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.
That is but a sampling of course. An unhealthy focus on the end-times has lead to the creation of many deviant groups….people really want to believe that Jesus is coming and/or that He has arrived. Because of that desire and our natural human tendency to want to be “special” and set apart; people have been murdered because of it.
The Branch Davidians
I saw a sermon that David Koresh preached. Do you know what passage he used? Beware of false prophets.
The Heaven’s Gate Cult
A distortion of the scripture based on the 144,000
Jeffery Lundgren’s Murder of a family
What was his defense of murdering the family? That Jesus was coming and he had to “prune the vineyard”
Jim Jones and the famous Kool-Aid
Jim Jones started an innovative church for his time, multi-racial but he preached the hypocrisy of white Christianity. They became very paranoid about the end of the world; they came to believe that they had to die to move to another planet for a life of bliss. After a botched visit by a congressman who was killed they all “drank the kool-aid”. In all, 914 people died.
This is the hazard. These groups have 2 common threads…..
- The Lord is doing a new thing and we’re the only ones doing it
- Jesus is coming back in our lifetimes and/or He is already here and is invisible, reincarnated, etc.
Other groups have their roots in failed end times predictions. Some have matured beyond it, others are debatable. The dates are the predicted end of the world.
1794: Charles Wesley (one of the founders of the Methodist church) predicted the world would end this year
1850: Ellen White founder of the Seventh Adventists said her accompanying angel told her that it would be over in a few months
1890: or thereabouts by Joseph Smith founder of Latter Day Saints
1914: Jehovah’s Witnesses
1936: Worldwide Church of God
So….where does that leave us?
Humbled I hope. We don’t get to get it all. We are called above all to Love God and Love our neighbor. We are told of the future to give us a hope for it. Not to throw away our present in light of the future. We love God by obeying His commands, by studying His word and above all living out what we believe daily in every aspect of our lives.
The Bible says that out of the abundance of the Heart the mouth speaks. Let’s speak the Good News and ponder for ourselves the end of days.
Let’s take an example from Mary. After the birth of the Messiah, a child whose birth was announced by angels, she didn’t go running through town yelling “Repent!!!! For the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!” In the Jewish culture, it was taught that the Messiah was going to come and conquer and set them free. No….she didn’t exalt herself, or her son, she……
…. treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.