February 2000 – If you are reading this from a bunker somewhere in the hills of Montana, listen up: “It is safe to come out now! The world did not blow up! Computers did not meltdown! People are not rioting in the streets! Bill Clinton did not enforce martial law! Dick Clark still hasn’t aged and the bowl games went ahead as planned! A couple of games were boring, but most were very exciting, especially Michigan and Alabama! A missed extra point cost Bama the game! Can you believe it? Anyway, you can come out from down there! Life goes on up here!”
Seriously, I’m wondering what happened with this whole Y2K thing? I’m still here. And I assume you are still around since you are reading this.
I must confess that I am getting a little weary of all the end of the world, last days hype or whatever you want to call it. I do appreciate and understand the importance of Old Testament prophesy foretelling the first coming of Jesus the Messiah, and the New Testament promises of a second coming of Jesus. It’s exciting to study and a great comfort to know that my Sovereign God has the whole thing worked out.
But it just seems to me there needs to be at least as much attention given to the everyday Christian walk. That’s where I am right now. I’m more concerned about raising my children to be Christians in an increasingly anti-Christian culture than I am about which country the antichrist will come from.
One of the books that made an impression on me as a college student was Hal Lindsey’s book The Late Great Planet Earth, popular back in the ’70s and ’80s. It was a fascinating look at Bible prophesy and how current events (of the ’70s) fit into the author’s view of the last days. God used that book to bring many people to Christ.
The other day I saw a book which offered a somewhat different perspective on end times. It was entitled The Last Days Are Here Again. I laughed out loud when I read that title, because people have been saying the end of the world was at hand since someone first brought up the subject around a campfire thousands of years ago. And like losing weight and miracles, it has remained a hot topic since.
In My Life As A Half-Baked Christian I wrote that a man could make a mint today with the book title How To Miraculously Lose Weight While You Go Through The Last Days. This powerful combination of three surefire best selling topics like miracles, losing weight and the last days would capture four out of every five people who walk into a bookstore. (Obviously, the fifth customer would buy a John Grisham novel.)
But we humans are attracted to the supernatural. There is great drama in looking at the end of time. I guess that’s just human nature. And that’s fine. I’m just saying if I personally see one more book that says the end is near because a certain leader did a certain thing, well, I think I’ll just move to a mountain somewhere and live off the land. On second thought, maybe I’ll just stay here at home. Me living off the land is about as likely as a whale surviving in the Nevada desert.
Jesus Christ speaks a lot about the end of this age in Matthew 24. Some of it seems like a metaphor. Jesus said He is coming back sometime in the future to gather those who have trusted in Him and take them to heaven. Jesus said this 2,000 years ago. We’ve had a lot of last days since then. But as sure as the Lord tells us He will return “with power and great glory,” He also says, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” So even though Jesus gave us some signs and circumstances surrounding the second coming, He said even He didn’t know exactly when. Seems kind of odd, doesn’t it? It will be interesting to find out – if God the Father chooses to tell us – why He would not give this information to God the Son.
Many people spent a lot of time and energy (mental and physical) preparing for the calamities they were convinced would accompany Y2K. Of course, some made no preparation at all, and others used reasonable caution, borrowing the Boy Scout motto, “Be prepared.” Then there were those who lost all sight of reason, building bunkers or stocking firearms and storing food enough to last for the next millennium. They lost all sense of balance. Fortunately no world-changing catastrophes occurred.
But according to Matthew 24, one world-changing event is certain – the return of Jesus Christ to earth. I think Jesus’ point was that our readiness for His second coming calls for balance. We should be diligent in our work for the Lord here on earth, and at the same time watchful and spiritually prepared for His return.