This billboard has caused so much ruckus for the past few months. I'll admit the first time I saw it I practically swerved off the turnpike trying to figure out if it was some kind of joke. Unfortunately, it isn't. I don't want to spend too much time focusing on the actual idea that Jesus is returning this Saturday night. As my Pastor says, we'll talk about that this Sunday at church.
However, I do want to discuss the buzz that this whole thing has created. I find it absolutely fascinating that one dude with a billboard can get people so frenzied about the end of the world. He isn't the first. We've all heard different doomsday predictions and have lived through them enough to realize they were empty. Hey, I was born in '88 the year Jesus was supposed to return!
Why is it that people suddenly freak out when they have a date for the end? I think it's the same reason that students don't touch their school work until the night before it is due. Deadlines have a way of forcing us to do what we've been putting off. The thought that Jesus is coming back on Saturday is striking fear into people's hearts the way that a pop quiz terrifies the unprepared student. The buzz and frenzy over all of this is rising from the fact that people are having the scary realization that they are not ready to meet their Maker
But if we make it past Saturday, the buzz will die down and people will realize there was nothing to worry about. They will settle right back in to the way of life they lived before they thought the end was nigh. Unfortunately, that is something to worry about. It is sad that people reconsider their own lives due to a hokey billboard more than Holy Bible. The certaintiy of Jesus return someday should motivate us to holiness more than the possibility of His return on Saturday. No one knows when He will return, but we all know in our hearts what changes we need to make before that day comes. So why do we wait? Why do we put it off? Are we really willing to run the risk just to get one more day enjoying our own sinfulness?
I don't think, friends, that I need to deal with the question of when all this is going to happen. You know as well as I that the day of the Master's coming can't be posted on our calendars. He won't call ahead and make an appointment any more than a burglar would. About the time everybody's walking around complacently, congratulating each other—"We've sure got it made! Now we can take it easy!"—suddenly everything will fall apart. It's going to come as suddenly and inescapably as birth pangs to a pregnant woman. But friends, you're not in the dark, so how could you be taken off guard by any of this? You're sons of Light, daughters of Day. We live under wide open skies and know where we stand. So let's not sleepwalk through life like those others. Let's keep our eyes open and be smart. People sleep at night and get drunk at night. But not us! Since we're creatures of Day, let's act like it. Walk out into the daylight sober, dressed up in faith, love, and the hope of salvation. (1 Thessalonians 5:1-8 TM)
Paul says it plainly, we don't know when it's coming, but we should live like it is coming right now. Don't wait until the last moment to try and get your life in order. Even if some prophet has the ability to tell us it'd all be over this Saturday, would you really be able to get everything in your life and heart pleasing unto God? And even if you could, how would you answer for the fact that you waited so long to do it? Just because Jesus hasn't come back doesn't mean He's blind to the fact that you're stalling.
So is Jesus coming back on Saturday? I don't know. I don't think so. But I don't have any more reason to say no than I do to say yes. But whether He is or isn't returning this weekend doesn't relieve us from the responsibility to get our lives in line with His will now! It would probably be more beneficial, biblical, and pleasing to Him for us to live like He's coming EVERY weekend, not just this one. Live each day in His light and when He comes, you'll be as ready as the teacher's pet on pop quiz day.
Have a great weekend:)