Taken By Surprise
Chan Gin Kai
Whether atheist or religious, non-believer or Christian, everyone has wondered when the world will end. Will humanity be wiped out by an asteroid on steroids? Or a trigger-happy dictator with a nuclear arsenal? Or freaky storms and rising oceans? Or A.I. realising that we are all pests?
This topic provides entertaining plots for blockbuster movies, but it quickly becomes sobering when we meditate on it seriously.
When No One Knows
“Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all. It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed.” (Luke 17:26-30)
Many have ominously proclaimed, “The End is nigh!”
Whether they’re doomsday prophets who claim a spiritual revelation, conspiracy theorists who think they’ve decoded Nostradamus, or astrologers who say they’ve read the stars, none of them have managed to predict a correct date. Indeed, they’ve only made a laughing stock of themselves.
But that’s not because the End isn’t coming; it’s simply because they’re all wrong. The Bible has already said that the world will end on a day when no one expects… but the world will certainly end.
Jesus compared his Second Coming with the Great Flood and the destruction of Sodom. It was life as usual for these people. They didn’t know, or refused to believe, that their end was approaching. They kept to their normal routines of life. They worked and they enjoyed, they loved and they fought, they lived and they sinned without accountability to God. They forgot that there would be Judgement.
That’s what many of us do today too.
Many live without compunction, sin without remorse. We’re wary of the dangers around us, but ignore the menace within. We fear our death, but ignore what happens after. The End is coming, but are we prepared?
Jesus will come again and the world will end. No one knows when that will happen and we will be taken by surprise. Depending on how we’ve lived our lives, it can be the most pleasant surprise or a shocking horror.
What will it be for us?
When Nothing Else Matters
On that day no one who is on the housetop, with possessions inside, should go down to get them. Likewise, no one in the field should go back for anything. Remember Lot’s wife! Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it. I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left.” (Luke 17:31-36)
Jesus explained that nothing else matters when he finally comes again.
How about our most precious possessions? There’s no use running back for them as they’ll all be gone. How about our beloved spouses sleeping beside us? We will be judged separately them. How about our families, friends and the colleagues who work beside us? We will each be individually accountable to God too.
The possessions we’ve laboriously accumulated, the accomplishments we’ve painstakingly made, the relationships we’ve lovingly built… they will all be gone. When we stand before God in Judgement, the only thing that matters is our relationship with Him.
Jesus warned of a shocking irony, that those who try to keep their life will lose it, and those who aren’t afraid to lose their life will preserve it. No, he wasn't condoning a careless attitude towards life; so please wear your seatbelts when you’re driving and put on your masks while the pandemic is still raging. Jesus addressed our excessive focus on protecting and providing for our life on earth, when we should focus on preparing for our life after.
What occupies most of our time and thought reflects where our focus lies. Are we overly engrossed with life on earth?
When The Time Is Ripe
“Where, Lord?” they asked. He replied, “Where there is a dead body, there the vultures will gather.” (Luke 17:37)
Curious, intrigued or concerned, the disciples asked what any of us would if we were there with Jesus. Where? When? How?
Jesus didn’t name a specific time or place. Instead, he talked about carcasses and vultures. Carrion feeders appear wherever and whenever there’s a dead body. Jesus will come again when the time is ripe. God has His plans, and it will happen according to His timing.
Jesus didn’t provide an answer to satisfy our curiosity. And if we’re wondering because we’re concerned, then the time to repent is now. We do not need to know when the End is for us to start getting ourselves right with God.
Jesus will come again and the world will end. Will it be the most pleasant surprise or a shocking horror for us?
Chan Gin Kai
Gin Kai is a film producer who believes in the power of media to inspire positive changes. He has spearheaded disaster relief and capacity building projects in impoverished communities across Asia. He serves actively in the Central Christian Church and describes himself as “just a sinner who wants to get right with God”.