Yesterday, my daughter showed me a text that she received with a YouTube video link predicting Jesus’ return on Saturday, September 19.
You didn’t know that Jesus was coming back next weekend? Neither did I…
Predictions about the end of the world aren’t anything new.
Just for a quick review, here’s what Jesus taught about events predicted into the future:
“However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows. And since you don’t know when that time will come, be on guard! Stay alert! -Mark 12:32-37
That phrase “Only the Father knows” should be self-explanatory. Unfortunately, our constant pursuit of the answers that only God knows reveals one very sad fact about us: We don’t trust Him.
Our Fear and Pride Fuels False Teachers
Some of us fear what we don’t understand and so end-time events top our list of fears. Other Christians think that knowledge of supposedly secret details proves that they are more spiritual than the average saved-by-grace sinner. That’s pride.
Enter false teachers.
We fail to recognize false teachers because either fear corrupts our discernment filters or our pride blinds us. Either way, we’re vulnerable to be led astray. False teachers are like the ancient trojan horse. We invite them in because they seem like they are an answer to our prayers, but once we’ve opened our heart or mind to them, they fuel our fears or feed our spiritual egos. The kicker is that they string Christians along, keeping them co-dependent on their particular drug of revelation.
How can you identify a false teacher?
1. Be wary of anyone who says that they’ve figured out what only God knows. (Isaiah 44:25, 1 Corinthians 1:18-31)
2. Be wary of complex explanations or phrases like “special prophetic revelation.” Believers are warned to remember that human knowledge about God that sounds fancy is probably foolish. (1 Corinthians 3:18-23)
3. Be wary of anyone who tells you to share their message, not the gospel with others. They’re appealing to your pride and your desire to save yourself from whatever will happen. Only Jesus saves. (John 14:6)
Why Doesn’t God Give Us Specific Details About End Times Events?
As humans, we have a pretty solid track record in doing the opposite of what God tells us to do. For our sakes, God operates with us on a need to know basis and follows the “KISS” rule with His creation.
God keeps it simple with us because that’s all we’ve proven that we can handle. Besides, He’s aleady taken care of everything that we will need.
God wisely decided that He would only give us responsibility for the knowledge that He gives to us. “The Lord our God has secrets known to no one. We are not accountable for them, but we and our children are accountable forever for all that he has revealed to us, so that we may obey all the terms of these instructions” (Deuteronomy 29:29).
We don’t want to be responsible for everything that God knows. What if God has only given us only what we can handle? If so, then where does that leave us, especially in a world that seems to have fallen full-on into the looking glass?
Might I suggest a modified version of the KISS rule: “Keep In Savior & Scripture.” We must keep our eyes on Jesus and know what the Bible says so that we won’t be fooled by fear or our pride.
“KISS” Away Your Pride or Fear of the Future
The opposite of fear is peace. Peace isn’t knowing answers, it’s knowing Jesus. He is our peace.
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 NLT)
Jesus is your only peace. He overcame what we fear most, death. His sacrifice for us made a way for us to become a part of God’s forever family. There’s calm and peace in knowing that no matter what happens, God’s got us.
To be clear, Jesus isn’t asking us to deny that life is hard and that we’re exhausted by the sin and wickedness in our world. Afterall, he died because of the sin and wickedness that our world loves. The question is whether or not you believe that Jesus’ peace is enough for you or do you believe that someone’s special prophetic revelation can give you peace?
Here’s a few practical ways that I “Keep In Savior & Scripture”:
- I’m careful who I read or watch. Curiosity didn’t just kill the cat, it can also confuse. When you go looking for answers about God outside of God, that’s never going to lead you back to Him – and the whole jourey will lead to more fear for you.
- I choose to be comfortable with uncertainty. I trust that if God knows the answers, then I don’t have to be anxious about what I don’t know. God will protect and provide for me, even if I don’t know the answers.
- I memorize God’s promises to fill my heart with peace and it’s also how the Holy Spirit protects me against false teachers, fear and helps me identify lies. Here’s a video where I teach my God-Morning Technique and other scripture-based fear-fighting techniques.
- Finally, I live with purpose. Here’s what a pastor named Paul taught about how to beleivers should use our time while waiting for Jesus to return:
Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever. So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing. -1 Thessalonians 5:10-11
Paul’s teaching in 1 Thessalonians 5:11 and encourage each other. Stop searching the sky or spending hours on the internet looking for clues Spend your time loving and serving others. In Jesus’ final message before he went to the cross, he taught that our love will be a testimony to the world that we are his disciples.
When we fill our days with living for God and encouraging others, we won’t have time to waste looking for the answers that only God knows. And we’ll sleep better at night, too.
COMMENT: How do you feel about what’s happening in our world these days? What are the questions that you’re wrestling with?
This post was written for Christians, but in case you’re still trying to figure out your spiritual journey, one of the common questions that people about life after death or how to get right with God. If that’s you, click here and check out on of my favorite pastors – and he teaches all about the gospel.
Are you feeling like you just CAN.NOT. anymore?
We’re all there right now! Between the wildfires, election, racial unrest and our own struggles, it’s toooo much!
So why am I smiling in the middle of all of this mess?
Because I’ve learned how to live with joy and hope – even when life feels hopeless.
Now, I want to share that encouragement with you! On September 15, my new book, Surrendered: 40 Devotions to Help You Let Go and Live Like Jesus releases.
Each reading takes less than four minutes to read, but will fill your with hope and encouragement. Give yourself the gift of hope each day, friends. Life is too hard without it!
Grab it now at Cokesbury.com/surrendered for only $9.99 or wherever you like to buy books online.