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Point of Reference

    by Fred Price

Doomsday Preppers
Date Posted: July 22, 2022

Countless incidents of war, famine and mindless violence at home and abroad have caused uncertainty, trepidation and panic in the minds of many; the end result being a lot of people have been scared witless, a few becoming curious as to what scripture has to say concerning the “end times”, while others have become wealthy peddling guns, ammo and other survival gear to people heeding the incessant cry to “be prepared to keep what you’ve got and fight back!”

Unfortunately, this is nothing new, the “end of days” being repeatedly forecast throughout history. At the fall of Rome’s Western Empire and the subsequent takeover of much of Europe by “barbarians”, then again when the Eastern half of the Empire fell to the Saracens accompanied by the introduction of Mohammedanism into Eastern Europe. The rise and fall of numerous other kingdoms since being the occasion for countless claims of the end as well, sometimes “predicted” by crop failures, comet sightings, outbreaks of disease – particularly the bubonic plague of the Middle Ages – then the swine flu epidemic of the early 1900’s, SARS and AIDS of the late1900’s and now the corona virus of the 2000’s. The year 1000 scared people to death, mirroring the histrionics of 2000. World Wars 1 & 2, the Great Depression, the Great Recession, and more recently the global shutdown causing people to question the meaning of life and our ability to sustain it on a number of levels.

You would expect more of Christians, but many within the church fall prey to the same insecurities due to the unpredictable nature of life; repeatedly predicting the end of the world and/or the return of Christ – which hasn’t happened yet. It all started with the early church, which believed Christ’s return would occur within weeks or months, and certainly no more than a couple of years from his ascension. In fact, Paul may have been addressing some early believers penchant for ridding themselves of the worries of the world by divesting themselves of all property and responsibility and sitting atop the nearest hilltop looking for Jesus to return; declaring “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.” 2 Thessalonians 3:10

Why the confusion concerning this topic and what should we really be doing? Shouldn’t we anticipate Christ’s return? Of course. Can we control it? Absolutely not. Is there something we should be doing until He decides the time is right? Absolutely. (I must admit the numerous times in my lifetime where I thought conditions seemed imminent for Christ’s return – at least to my understanding of things – which is exactly the problem.)

I find it interesting that Mat. 28 and Acts 1record Christ’s ascension into heaven and his instructions for his followers. Acts revealing Jesus’ instructions for them to wait for the gift of the Holy Spirit, Matthew recording the Great Commission given to all believers to, “..go and make disciples of all nations,…”; one offering consolation and assurance, the other rallying to a purpose. The one generating a question, “…are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” The other inspiring obedience to a call of service powered by the reality of that gift.

Crucial to any discussion yet today concerning the possibility of the restoration of Israel and/or Christ’s return at the end of the “age”, is Jesus reply to his original inquisitors; “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power…and you will be my witnesses… to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:7,8 A declaration reinforcing one made in a previous discussion. “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Matthew 24:36 Jesus repeatedly encourages us to, “…keep watch…”, being aware of the times – in a general sense, “…because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.” Matthew 24:42 But that fact should not frighten us but rather inspire us to anticipate his return by keeping busy so as to be found doing what he instructed us to do.

Some signs are ambiguous, having been fulfilled wholly or in part, others awaiting fulfillment at some future date. Some are beyond our comprehension. It’s really difficult to be certain of their unfolding. (For instance, see Mark 9:1 and Matthew 24:34.”) We need to strike a balance between recognizing the evidence of his return through world affairs while accepting the fact that God alone is in control. Many of the particulars of what he chooses to reveal and why is really none of our business. Our “business” being to, “…go and make disciples, baptizing them… and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Matthew 28:18-20

Jesus specifically cautions us against being deceived by false Christ’s ( Matthew 24:4 & 24), to not be overly alarmed by man’s penchant for violence and warfare as it relates to the end of time ( Matthew 24:6-8), and to not fear what might be done to us by them as much as what could by done by Him. ( Matthew 10:28) If we are to understand anything, it is this: Be ready at all times so that whenever our “rapture” occurs – whether by His return, age, illness, or accident – He will find us faithfully continuing His ministry in obedience to His word. “Who then is the faithful and wise servant,…? “The one whose “master” finds him doing what he was instructed to do. Matthew 24:45,46

The linchpin of Jesus’ teaching in Mat. 24is found in verse 14 “…this gospel… will be preached in the whole world… and then the end will come.” We haven’t accomplished that yet. So get up and get busy, not concerning yourself so much with the end of the world but with the Day of the Lord. “For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.” Where every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord. (Either in a too-late recognition of his majesty and glory or in honor and praise of it.). As,”…each of us will give an account of himself to God.” Rom. 14;10-12 Where we will either hear, “I never knew you. Away from me, you evil doers!” Matthew 7:23 Or “Well done, good and faithful servant!... Come and share your master’s happiness!” Matthew 25:21

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Biography Information:

Fred Price - married (49 years), father of two grown children, grandfather of six.

Fred retired earlier this year after 42 years as a factory worker.  He has always had a heart for young people and the challenges they face today.  Over the years Fred has taught Discipleship Groups for High School and college students.  

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