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Ask A Pastor – March 23, 2016

By Rev. Beverly Kahle,

St. Paul’s United Church of Christ

Are we in the Last Days? How do we know?

This is the question that has brought hope and terror throughout the ages. When is God going to say, “Enough is enough!” and bring the end that the Bible describes in various places like the book of Revelation, Daniel, Matthew, etc.?

In the book of Matthew we are told many times to be aware of signs – to look for those things that fulfill prophecy. However, we are also given the admonition that no one will truly know the day or the hour, only the Father who is in Heaven (Matthew 25.36). Because of this, we are advised that the best thing we can do is to live our lives always ready for the world to end and judgment to come.

This preparation, this being ready, I find to be sound advice for indeed we do not know when our time on earth is coming to an end, whether through Christ’s return or the end of our own lifespan, and we stand before our God and judge.

We could play games with numbers and predictions like the Mayan calendar, Nostradamus, the year 2000, and join so many others who have tried and failed to determine when the world would end, or we could live our lives knowing that we have a limited amount of time on this earth during which we can choose to live in ways that honor God and the people around us.

We can choose to live a life of being ready. Jesus gave us the description of what a life that is ready to meet “Final Judgment” looks like. That would be to live a life that is filled with loving and serving God by caring unselfishly for the needs of others because we understand that we are all connected to one another.

Those who are truly prepared do this because that is what the God of the Universe that we love and serve and who loves us asks that we do – to live in loving, caring community with all of creation. When we do, and when we, as Christians, keep Jesus at the center of our lives, then we don’t have to worry whether we are in the Last Days or not. We are ready, whenever our last day is.

So, are we in the Last Days?

I don’t know. I, like so many before, look at the state of the world around me and say the end has got to be close!

However, the question for me isn’t, “Are we living in the Last Days?” but instead, “Am I, are you, ready if it is?”

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