Matthew 11:15 (NIV)

He who has ears, let him hear.
Matthew 11:15 (NIV)

Friday, May 20, 2011

The END of the world?

The "End Of The World" is all the buzz these days; May 21, 2011 has been marked by certain people to be the "END" or the day that Jesus returns.  Some believe it, some scoff at it, and others don't know what to believe.  This is what I believe... Matthew 24:36 "But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."

This doesn't mean that He won't come tomorrow but it does mean that we won't know when it will happen.  Matthew 24 describes it to be like the days of Noah:  The days that led up to the flood, people were eating and drinking, going out to (if they had restaurants) Olive Garden, Starbucks, and whatever the local flavor was at that time.  Everyone was doing there everyday thing when the flood over took them.  The chapter also describes it as two people working side by side... one gets taken and the other left behind.  So how do we NOT get left behind?

Be ready and be vigilant; Jesus says (Matt. 25) the kingdom of heaven will be like the 10 virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.  Let me summarize:
(For the entire parable go to Matthew 25:1-13)  
So... there were these 10 virgins, five of them wise and five of them foolish.  They were bridesmaids and their job was to keep watch for the bridegroom.  None of them knew when he was going to arrive, it could be many hours, so they had keep close watch to announce his approaching.  In order to see, because this usually happened at night, they had to keep their torches lit.  The wise ones took extra oil to keep the flame burning but the foolish ones didn't.  Well, as one might imagine after waiting so many hours one might fall asleep, and they did.  So at midnight when some one yelled out "Here's the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!"  All 10 virgins jumped up from their slumber and turned on their lamps but the foolish virgins had run out of oil.  The foolish said to the wise, "gi'me some oil" but the wise said, "No... go buy some."  (You might be thinking 'How rude!! Couldn't the wise have just shared just a little oil with the foolish?  But a bridegrooms delay was VERY common.  The wise virgins were looking out for their friends wedding and wanted to make sure that nothing went wrong.  The foolish should have anticipated and planned, but they chose not to be ready.)  The foolish went to the corner store and while they were gone the bridegroom came and the wise virgins went with him to the wedding banquet... and the door was SHUT.  Later the foolish virgins came begging to be let in but the bridegroom said, "NO".  (Again, you might be wondering why he said "no"?  To participate in a friends wedding was a great honor.  The foolish virgins spoiled the wedding for their friend by not being ready.  This was considered a huge insult and thus were "shut out".)

Just like the virgins who fell asleep... such is life.  We live, eat, breathe, get married, have babies, cook dinner, take naps, walk the dog, laugh till we cry, and so on and so on...  But when the call rings out, "He is coming!"  Will you be ready?  Will the Lord be the center of your life or will you be self-centered?  Don't be foolish... Be ready!!  
1 Corinthians 15:51-52  Listen, I tell you a mystery:  We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed - in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.  For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 
(sleep = death; changed = transformed) 

If tomorrow is the day then I hope to see you while we bask in HIS glory.  If not... pack your oil and be ready!