BBC Radio Leicester Thought for the Day

© John Denney 12 September 2005


From the effects of the Boxing Day Tsunami, through earthquakes and typhoons, terrorist bombs and hurricanes, war and civil unrest and riots in Northern Ireland[1], droughts and floods in New Orleans[2], to famine and Bird ‘Flu, 2005 has so far been a real annus horribilis, to use the Queen’s vivid phrase.  Some, er, excitable preachers  – mainly in America – have been suggesting that these terrible events are the start of the end of history.  You know, when Jesus returns to the world, and the final battle between Him and Satan: Armageddon and all that.  Frankly, I don’t know if we are entering the End Times or not.  I do know that Jesus warned us not to predict when the End Times will occur.  He said the exact day and hour? No one knows that, not even heaven's angels, not even the Son.  Only the Father.  So keep a sharp lookout, for you don't know the timetable.[3]


At the other end of history, in the Bible story about Adam and Eve[4], God told them they could eat anything they liked except the fruit of one particular tree.  And when God came to the Garden of Eden for a chat and a stroll in the cool of the day, Adam and Eve hid from him, because they had discovered they were naked.  And so God knew that they had disobeyed Him by eating the forbidden fruit, and He was saddened and angry.  Adam and Eve had been caught out. 


Christians may not know when the End Times are going to happen, but it is an article of faith that they will happen some day.  Jesus himself said so.  The point about this is to be ready when the end times do happen.  If you knew that the Queen was going to drop into your humble abode for a cuppa, you’d at least make sure that you had washed the best china and got some biscuits in.  So if we’d do that for the Queen, we ought to be ready for the King of Kings when He arrives.  I guess that means we should make sure we are always doing things He’d be pleased to know about, and not things we’d be ashamed of.


And maybe that’s not a bad way to live our lives in any case, End Times or not.


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[1] The “loyalist” community in Northern Ireland has been rioting for the last two nights (petrol bombs, firearms used against the police, etc)

[2] New Orleans was flooded following hurricane Katrina three weeks ago.

[3] Mark 13:32-33 MSG

[4] Genesis, chapters 2 & 3