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A View from the Altar / World still here. Dang.
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World still here. Dang.

Chalk up another loss for the date-setters.  I don’t know why people do this.  They embarrass themselves and the faith they profess.  Jesus said nobody knows the day and hour of his return.  (Matt 24:36)  We should leave things right there.

A long time ago, my preaching ministry emphasized the interpretation of Bible prophecy.  Eventually I came to see that I relied far too much on speculative interpretation and far too little on straight-ahead exegesis of texts.  Further, I came to see that while the prophetic word is in there, it’s a relatively minor proportion of New Testament print.  It’s more important for people to see Christ high and lifted up, to see the need for his soul-saving grace, and to see the need for caring for the widow, the orphan, and the victims of Satan’s war upon the souls of men.

Yes, Christ is coming again.  That belief is part of Christianity-101, finding a place in the Apostles’ Creed.  When we receive the bread and wine at the Lord’s table, we remember his word that this shows forth his death till he comes, so yes, he’s coming.  And even the so-called rapture is part of orthodox Christian faith, if “rapture” just refers to the fact that the dead in Christ will be raised and his living children called into the presence of Jesus Christ. (1 Thess 4:16-17)  But the insistence on a particular end-time sequence of events involving a rebuilt temple in Jerusalem, the red heifer, and what not — the older I get, the more I tend to leave that to others.  The antichrist is already here, says 1 John 2:18, so why spend time trying to hunt him down and decode his number?

If anything good comes of the crackpot insistence on prophesying the day of universal doom, it’s that it helps us focus a mite better on the first word of the Lord’s admonition, “Occupy till I come.” (Lk 19:13)

otherbrothersteve@gmail.com

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