Signs of the Times — Dad, are we there yet?

This is the end
Beautiful friend
This is the end
My only friend, the end

Of our elaborate plans, the end
Of everything that stands, the end
No safety or surprise, the end
I’ll never look into your eyes…again

Can you picture what will be
So limitless and free
Desperately in need…of some…stranger’s hand
In a…desperate land
The Doors, The Best of the Doors, 1985, Copyright, EMI Music Publishing, Sony ATV Music Publishing.

The end of days is one of the most popular areas of theology for many Christians today.  So many “theories” have developed about the end times, when they will happen, what will happen, how it will happen. Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye have written a wildly popular series about what will supposedly happen at the end when Christ will return to earth to execute the final judgment.   According to this theory, Christians will disappear in the “Rapture” leaving the rest of the world behind to go through a seven year period of tribulation marked by the rule of the anti-Christ.  During this time folks will get another chance to “get it right,” and get saved.  There are those who believe that a restoration of Israel as a nation and a rebuilding of the Temple on the temple mount where the mosque of al-aqsa now stands, the Dome of the Rock, will help to hasten Jesus’ return.  Likewise, there are those who believe that replacing our civil government with the law of God as found in the books of Moses is the first step in inaugurating the reign of Christ on earth.  All of these theories center on the belief that Christ will return to earth as a king to reign and rule over an earthly kingdom in this world.

Inquiring minds want to know.  And some think they have it all figured out.

Signs, signs, everywhere there’s signs
Blocking up the scenery, breaking my mind
Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?
Tesla, Five Man Acoustical Jam, 1990, Copyright, Sony ATV Music Publishing Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

We want a sign.  We have to know.  Yet, not all things are profitable for me, says Paul.  Christ Himself tells us that there are things that we are not permitted to know.  And no one may see the face of God and live.  Just ask Moses who was permitted only to see the backside of God.  Despite our sinful desire to know, to peer into the mind of God and discern His thoughts and ways, to have it all figured out for ourselves, there are many things that remain a mystery for us.  So why is that the case?

In our readings this week, we will look at the 13th chapter of Mark, one of the longest discourses Christ has in Mark with His disciples.  Here, He tells them of the end times, one of the greatest mysteries of Christianity.  We know that this world will end and be replaced, but when?  How?  We can know the answers, right?  What is the purpose of this discourse?  How does the Widow’s offering at the end of Chapter 12 set the context for this discussion?  Who will know when the end is come?  Where does this discussion take place?  What do the fig trees have to do with it?

Watch and Pray.

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