Is today the "End of Days"?
Some say it is. We are witnessing a "Black Moon," which is the second of two new moons in a single month. The phenomenon occurs roughly every thirty-two months, so it's not all that unusual. However, the first day of September brought a "ring of fire" solar eclipse, with the moon aligned with the sun in such a way that the sun appears as a glowing ring around the moon.
Do these events herald the end of the world? Jesus told us that "the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light" before he returns (Matthew 24:29). However, in the same verse he also told us that "the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken." Neither has occurred yet.
When thinking about the Second Coming, it's best to focus on preparing rather than predicting. Some good news in today's news makes that point.
You may have seen the now-viral video of Tim Tebow hitting a home run on the first pitch of his first game as a professional baseball player. Meanwhile, Politico is calling two congressmen "Hill's angels" after they resuscitated a man on Capitol Hill. They found the man lying on the floor of an elevator in the Rayburn House office building and used CPR and a defibrillator to keep him alive until paramedics arrived.
A police detective in Plano, Texas saw a man run out of a convenience store carrying a donation jar full of cash. The detective caught the man and pinned him to the roof of his car. When the man started to break away, the detective yelled for help. A bystander filming the confrontation on his cell phone and another man helped restrain the suspect until the policeman could handcuff him. The detective later treated the men to lunch at a steak restaurant. It cost him almost $100, but he said it was the least he could do.
These stories illustrate what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called "the fierce urgency of now." When the moment comes, we must respond. What we do when we have the chance to make a difference makes all the difference.
We never know when the crisis will come. Those riding the New Jersey Transit train into Hoboken Terminal yesterday morning had no idea their routine commute would end so tragically. The victims of landslides in southeastern China obviously did not anticipate tragedy before it struck.
Today is our only day to be ready for eternity. It is also our only day to serve the God of eternity. Neither "yesterday" nor "tomorrow" exist except as concepts. This moment is the only moment there is.
That's why God calls us to be ready today to serve Jesus and others. We are to be "prepared to make a defense" of our faith (1 Peter 3:15) and to "watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour" of Christ's return (Matthew 25:13).
If you knew that you would meet Jesus today, what would you do to be ready? I cannot promise that you will see your Lord on this "Black Moon" Friday, but I cannot promise that you will not.
Publication date: September 30, 2016
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