Yesterday, I read in an email the most bothersome words: “Summer is almost over…”
Well there’s a depressing thought. Seems like the lazy hazy crazy days of summer just started! If you consider June-July-August as the summer months, we’re well past the midway summer mark. The end of summer is coming.
When it comes to summertime, there are a couple signs that this season is waning:
- People browse for Christmas gifts even though it’s five months away
- The sweltering heat has been unrelenting for so long, you’re finally looking forward to the relief of Fall’s brisk days
- Summer clothes are on close out and fall sweaters are starting to appear
What’s true for summer is also true for movies. There are sometimes not-so-subtle signals that a movie’s coming to an end. For example, when the hero gets the troubled girl and they ride toward a pink-and orange-filled sky, you know the credits will roll shortly.
For businesses too. How do you know they’re going to end? I love the quote which may very well have been uttered by a Sears executive: “When your memories exceed your dreams, the end is near.” Right.
But maybe most importantly, the Bible talks about a more important and pervasive ending. Of course, it’s the end of the age. “When time will be no more.” The Bible is filled with signals that the end is close at hand. Here are a few listed in Matthew 24. There will be:
- Wars and rumors of wars
- Nation rising against nation, and kingdom against kingdom
- Famines and earthquakes
- False prophets coming in Jesus’ name
- People deceived by false prophets
- False prophets performing signs and wonders
- Persecution of believers
- The gospel preached in the whole world
I recall in the 70’s, one sign of the end times was product bar codes. You date yourself if you remember when a can of green beans didn’t have a bar code. That they would computerize products was astounding. What kind of wizardry would let you simply scan a product and the price would ring up?! Surely barcodes were somehow a sign of the beast.
Even better yet, today it’s the proliferation of RFID chips. Sure they work well for pets, but many are suggesting that soon you’ll be convinced to have one inserted in your hand. No more credit cards. No more keys for the car or house. No more debit card when you go to the bank. You go to Starbucks and wave your hand over the reader to pay for your caramel macchiato. Your highly secure and encrypted RFID will never be stolen since it’s inserted under your skin. Suddenly, RFID makes barcodes look like a picnic.[Just a note. Here’s a link to a fascinating piece about RFID’s implanted under your skin. It’s titled, “Why You’re Probably Getting a Microchip Implant Someday—Microchip implants are going from tech-geek novelty to genuine health tool—and you might be running out of good reasons to say no.”]
Yes, there are lots of signs the end of times is near. So how should we act today?
From what the Scripture says, it seems like end-time Christians should be doing what they always have been doing: practicing holiness and doing good to others wherever and whenever they can.
Christians should be telling the Great Story, the one that’s all about Jesus, so that people who don’t know him will have an eternal life with God. That’s the mission of the church, and the mission of Haven Today!