“The End Of The World” by Gary Ellis

May 21st has come and gone.  Although hundreds of billboards across the nation warned us that May 21st was God’s set day for judgment, it didn’t happen as predicted.  So…

I joined in with witty bits of sarcasm.  Some of the quips were pretty funny.  Along with the rest of us more mature, learned, and wise Bible believers <tongue in cheek>.   I quoted 1st Thessalonians 5 where Paul counsels the Thessalonian Christians that the end would come like a thief in the night….etc.

Then…I read 1st Thessalonians 5.  There’s many verses in that chapter that most people will recognize.

I discovered that using the Lord’s coming as “a thief in the night” was not an inaccurate argument against the misguided warnings of May 21st.  However, it was incomplete and it helped me understand the following comment of a good friend of mine.  She stated…

“I didn’t agree with the May 21st doomsday prediction, but the light hearted attitude display among many Christians that followed made me sick in the pit of my stomach.”

To tell you the truth, something also made me uneasy as I joined in the “quippery.”

Part of the reason for my qualmsy feelings was confirmed as I read the next verses following, “the thief” passage:

“But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.” (v.4)

I’m encouraged by those, of the faith, that are stirring from their slumber.  They’re hearing the call, “Awake Sleeper!”  But, I also am witness to wide spread sleeping sickness in the household of faith.

Although, I don’t believe we can set a time and date…especially if the Scriptures tell us that only the Father knows it.  However, there is much about the counsel of 1st Thessalonians 5 that demands attention in these times.  The words about encouraging and building each other up (v.11) is extremely important in these days of stress and discouragement.

To encourage in it’s simplest meaning is “to fill with courage.”  When we see anyone attempting to “go big” for God, there is nothing mature, whatsoever, about counseling them “not to expect too much.”  In fact it’s about as spiritual as the exchange between Peter and Jesus when Jesus said, “Get behind me, Satan.” Jesus recognized the source of those words…even if Peter’s words seemed “wise.”

I do believe that the more mature are to help the younger walk out their life of faith with wisdom.  However, our words with each other (whether it be older to younger or among our peers in maturity) must never even begin to deflate or call in to question a desire to “go big” for God.

We must be stirring each other to greatness.  We must be filling each other with the courage to do valiantly.  We must not offer even the suggestion of less than full out, mountain conquering, devil annihilating expectations in God.  We must support and encourage the visions that are bigger than we’ve had the courage to believe and act upon, ourselves!

Well, I just read back over what I’ve written thus far.  This article is not a very good example of articulate, clear, concise writing.  But, I don’t feel like starting over because I have made a couple points that concern me.  <and after all, it is my blog> 🙂

So…

  1. Let’s let’s take heed to the counsel of 1 Thessalonians 5 in it’s “end times” counsel
  2. Let’s also realize the truth in the graphic I’ve posted that says, “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”  And, that being said…let’s be much more conscious of being dispensers of courage with each other.

Gary