Some Disloyalty. Some Misconceptions. Some False Teachers. A Lot of Preaching.
I always thought that the world was ending. It was those damn Left Behind books making me suspicious of the rapture at every turn. I walk into the kitchen and my Mom is nowhere to be found? Rapture. A limp sweater randomly dropped in the middle of the floor? Rapture. My bus is late? Rapture.
It’s funny, in all these scenarios, I was one of the left behind. I never had a moment of unawareness or spotty vision and thought, “Oh God is taking me home!” No. I was always one of the lost souls left behind. In those brief moments when I believed – either half-heartedly or fully – that everyone I loved was gone, I pondered what I had done to deserve being left on Earth. Did I not pray enough? Did God know about that time I stole a Snickers bar from WaWa? Did He know that on my 18th birthday my friends took me to a fetish shop (and I didn’t buy anything and even cried a little but still)?
What had I done so wrong?
Not surprisingly, Paul has some things to say about this:
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NIV)
That’s a laundry list of bad behavior right there. And if I put on my middle-aged, conservative specs for a moment, I would surmise that these adjectives describe the current generation of youngsters: otherwise known as the worst. generation. ever. (At least if you’re Jeff Daniels or Aaron Sorkin)
Our modern culture does love money, lacks a good bit of self-control, and yes, inhabits quite a few of those other characteristics as well.
So… is this the end or something? Is this it?
When I used to panic and cry about the end of the world, my mother would just say, “These signs of the end of times… everyone for the past two thousand years has read them and thought, oh well this must be it.” We know that Paul certainly believed that the end was just around the corner from him – he even tells men not to marry women (unless they “can’t control themselves), because it wouldn’t be worth all the energy.
So the end has been nigh for quite some time.
So… where is it?