Tuesday, 31 January 2023

First Lutheran Corner: Is the end near?

After the events of the past few years and especially the recent fires in California, many are saying that the world is about to end!

According to some, the end isn’t just drawing near, it is here. The end is now! Look at all those natural disasters that are making waste to countries and people all over the world: earthquakes, wildfires, tsunamis, floods, drought and hurricanes, just to name a few.

Let us not forget the ongoing wars and rumors of war that flood our senses constantly, almost to the point of completely desensitizing us. We've become so accustomed to hearing of the terrors of war nowadays that many people have all but forgotten that we are a nation at war. War has become our "new normal" apparently and we either get used to it or try to find hope in the ashes, literally!

In 2012, many believed a Mayan calendar that supposedly ended on Dec. 21, 2012, meant it was the end of the world. The Nostradamus predictions apparently coincided with this prediction. Many were convinced the end was going to take place on Dec. 21, 2012. It didn’t. For those who didn’t get gifts at Christmas that year, I am sorry.

Harold Camping, the longtime host of Family Christian Radio, predicted that judgement day was coming on May 21, 2011, and the end of the world on Oct. 21, 2011. He was so successful at convincing his followers that his predictions were true that many sold everything they had and gave it to the church as a way to buy a ticket to heaven. Guess what, Harold is dead, but the world lives on!

What does God have to say about all of this? What exactly was Jesus referring to when He spoke of the very signs of the end of the world in Mark 13:1-13? Was He talking specifically about the end of the world and Judgment Day?

This may surprise you, but Jesus is not speaking here about the end of the world and Judgment Day. He's not! He's talking about the terrible, sinful things that will happen in the days leading up to Judgment Day and make no mistake: He's not referring to any human predictions! He's talking here about "everyday life" as a Christian living in a fallen and sinful world.

That's not to say this conversation doesn't roll into Judgment Day talk. It does.

So, why do you think Jesus told His disciples such terrifying things? Was He teaching them how to have some special apocalyptic foresight? Was He teaching them how to read and interpret these strange and terrible signs so they could prophesy about ominous things to come?

No! He was telling them these things so they wouldn't lose their faith when the going got tough. He was teaching faithfulness, not prophecy. He was giving them a good healthy dose of reality.

"Stay faithful. Trust in Me above all things, not just in the good times when it's easy, but also in the bad times to come – especially in the bad times to come." Stay faithful. Life still went on after the terrifying events of Good Friday, didn't it? Life is still going on now, despite all the calamity and terror we've witnessed in our lives.

The truth is this: Life isn't easy in this world of ours. It's especially difficult when it's a life lived in faith. However, take heart. Nothing has ever overtaken us except that which is common to all people. We have not been singled out. All people are hurting, the same as us. If it seems to us that they have it easy, you are wrong. No one has it easy. The crosses we bear are all custom-made.

Please join us this Sunday, Nov. 18, as we talk further about end times.

As always, lunch will be served following our 11 a.m. worship and for all those in need of nonperishable food items, please join us for our monthly food cupboard from 1 to 2 p.m.

All are welcome so come as you are!

Chris DelCol is pastor of First Lutheran Church in Lucerne, Calif. The church is located at 3863 Country Club Drive, telephone 707-274-5572. Email Pastor Chris at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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