As the moon eclipsed the sun, rumors of the end times began: How Christians should think about the subject

As the moon eclipsed the sun, rumors of the end times began: How Christians should think about the subject

Photo courtesy of Wyatt Hart

C.J. Eldridge, News and Features Editor

Cries of “The end is nigh! The end is nigh!” have rung out through the centuries. But what does the Bible say on how Christians should operate with the subject of the end times, and why is it that so many people through time have obsessed over supposed signs of the end?

Bill Murray, Christian studies professor at North Greenville University, has some ideas on the latter question.

He believes there are two reasons that some are so intrigued by the topic. The first group falls into the category that sees the destruction and war in the world and wants Christ to return and bring the kingdom now so that it ends. People want to see a solution.

“From my perspective, I’d kind of like to know if Jesus is coming back today because I’m ready to go. I’ve enjoyed all this insanity I can stand. I realize I’m not going to save the world, and kind of like we read in Peter, it’s going to continue on like it is. It’s not going to change,” Murray said. “It’s just going to get worse.”

The other side of the coin is those who want to continue being worldly until the last minute, thinking they can enjoy the things of the world. They want to live ungodly until it benefits them not to.

“And then somehow get a last minute fire insurance to where they don’t end up under the wrath of God,” he said.

God does not want any to perish and wants all to press into the kingdom, Murray explained. In grace, He puts off that day.

Murray then pointed to scripture for the answer of how Christians should conduct themselves for the end and when it shall arrive.

Matthew 24:36 says, “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”

“The bottom line is Jesus himself says even He doesn’t know. Now I find that an interesting verse . . . Isn’t Jesus God? Answer yes. Doesn’t God know everything? Yes. How is it Jesus doesn’t know? I don’t know,” Murray said. “But if He himself says He doesn’t know when He’s coming back, why do all these characters decide ‘I’m going to tell you when Jesus is going to come back’? Not going to work.”

This verse from Matthew is also repeated in Mark 13:32. Paul also writes on the topic in 1 Thessalonians.

“Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night,” it says.

You will not know until it is happening. Everything will continue on as it always has until that moment. This is spoken on in 2 Peter chapter three, which speaks on the Day of the Lord.

“As Peter says the same thing that Paul just said, this is the same thing Jesus said. So if all three say it’s going to come like a thief and nobody knows and Jesus himself says even I don’t know, are there some signs to watch for? No,” Murray said.

That is what the Bible had to say on the topic. There are those out there, especially when events such as an eclipse happens, that want to broach the subject. Scripture has words for that as well.

2 Timothy 2:16 says, “But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness.”

People are speaking on things that they can know nothing about, Murray said.

He also said, “Why spend time on foolish chatter, fables? You might want to focus on what you know to do and that’s to be godly and not be caught up with all the ifs, ands or buts that are nothing more than sheer speculation.”

1 Timothy 4:7 and Titus 3:9 also mention that you should avoid putting attention on godless myths and foolish questions.

Murray explained that Christians are to stay focused on the gospel, which tells what to know, to do and to be. But Christians should prepare for the inevitable end times, and Matthew 24:44-46 gives instructions.

It says, “So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns.”

“So what do you do?” Murray said. “You do what Jesus tells you to do and get on with the show and don’t worry about it.”

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