Due to the earthquake and subsequent tsunami off the coast of Japan, internet searches for “end of days” and “return of Christ” have increased by over 5000 percent. Some sites claim we are in the final days and we need to stock up on foods and items. Others make the bold assertion as to when the last day will be, whether it is by total annihilation of the world, or a specific day Jesus will return.
What is a Christian to do with this dearth of information? Should Christians run around squawking like chickens, “Repent the end is near!” Should Christians converge and huddle in their churches and homes waiting for Jesus’ return? Should Christians disregard everything and go about living their lives as they always have? The simplistic answer to those questions is no.
Christians should not run around squawking like chickens, they should not huddle in their churches, nor should they disregard everything and go about living their lives as they always have done. Bob Beaty summed it up best, “Christians need to continue to do the Master’s work.”
One day, Jesus stood with his disciples near a field. He pointed to the field and told his disciples that the field was ready for harvest, but there were not enough workers in it. At the same time, there was a crowd of people gathering around. The analogy being that there are many people thirsting and hungering for God’s truth, but not enough people to do the work. “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Luke 10:2 NIV)
Paul warned the Thessalonian church about becoming complacent and idle. They were content in their own salvation, but did not do anything to spread the Gospel of Christ. Idleness is not something Christians should be striving to attain. Too many Christians feel the time for Jesus to return is imminent, so they begin to become complacent in their own salvation. Regardless of the time of day, we must never stop working.
Too often Christians have become complacent. They see the “signs” of Christ’s return. They become more concerned with looking for the “signs” and not looking for the “signs” of the non-believer. God desires that all people come to a saving relationship with Him. It is His desire that all be saved, “This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:3,4 NIV)
While Christians do need to be aware of what is going on in the world. They do not need to be focusing on the “signs” of his return, because we know he will. It is not a Christian’s responsibility to know when Jesus will return, but to be prepared, and to prepare others for when he does return.