Friday, July 13, 2018

Do Not Be Mislead

Jesus said, “So when you see the desolating sacrilege standing in the holy place, as was spoken of by the prophet Daniel (let the reader understand), then those in Judea must flee to the mountains; the one on the housetop must not go down to take what is in the house; the one in the field must not turn back to get a coat. Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing infants in those days! Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a sabbath. For at that time there will be great suffering, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been cut short, no one would be saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look! Here is the Messiah!’ or ‘There he is!’—do not believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and produce great signs and omens, to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. Take note, I have told you beforehand. So, if they say to you, ‘Look! He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look! He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather. Matthew 24:15-31 
Several years ago the Left Behind series was all the rage among many non-denominal churches and some main line churches as well. Some well-meaning folks don't want to stop global warming, want to encourage Middle Eastern war, all for the sake of bringing the end times and the second coming of Jesus. Some prophetic leaders have named a day when the end would come, only to see it come and go. Getting caught up in the predictions, the preparations, the desire to be separate and "better ready" than other folks - all of these things are false idols and not really part of the life of faith.
Jesus warned his followers, as he warns us today, that focusing on the end times, the rapture, or whatever one might expect or imagine, is just utter foolishness. We are to focus on the true commandment - love God and love your neighbor.  All other acts, behaviors and ways of being are not nearly as important as how we love. If our hearts are in caring for all of our neighbors, loving the unlovely, loving beyond measure, caring for everyone and everything around us, well, this is the way of God and we have nothing to worry about. If we are judging, separating, encouraging destruction and isolation - these are not the ways of God. We are invited to inventory are lives and rid ourselves of those habits and behaviors that keep us from loving God and loving ALL our neighbors. If we live love we have nothing to worry about.
Today, I ask God to help me live a life of love. May we be those who do not worry about end times or being left behind because our lives are filled with love. 

No comments: