The history of the world, specifically as it involves human beings, has seen vastly different cultures with varying levels social, economic and technological abilities, or lack thereof. All these generations, regardless of enormous differences, had one similarity: Each contained countless people who thought the world was going to end in their lifetimes.

That’s millions and millions, if not billions of people. They were all wrong.

Given that, what are the chances that those in our generation who say we’re witnessing the end of days are correct? Those odds are right up there with the chance that Adam Sandler will soon perform Shakespeare, and Amelia Earhart will come in for a smooth landing any second now.

Our generation(s) has our share of these doomsdayers as well. Each generation can point to various things that may seem to spell out an imminent return of Christ: The situation in Israel; pestilence, famine, and hurricanes; Mel Gibson’s anti-Jew tirade, etc.

Newsweek has an interview with Tim LaHaye, author of the apocalyptic “Left Behind” series of novels.

Here’s one Q&A from the article:

Q- Couldn’t almost anything then be taken as a clue that any point in history might be the end times?

A- Down through the years that’s true. But never the accumulation of events as we have today. I have often said that no one knows the day nor the hour that Christ will come, but no generation has had so many signs of the times as our generation. We have more reason to believe that Christ could come in our lifetime than any generation before us.

The generation before you thought that, too.

I’m betting that Mr. LaHaye, in spite of being encouraged by the belief that Jesus could be soon making an appearance here, is still exercising cautious pessimism, and is busy working on another novel or two. When LaHaye’s books cease to be works of fiction, then we’ll know.

This why I’ve always gotten a kick out of televangelist Jack Van Impe’s television show and his doomsday-oriented Revelations-fest. The end of the world is always near, but never so near as to assume that we’ll still be around at least long enough for next week’s broadcast, which is promoted with reckless abandon.

This is where we as Christians must exercise responsibility and stop sensationalizing our religion. Do we believe in Christ? Yes. Do we believe He will return someday? Yes. Will that be in our lifetime? Odds are, no. Sorry. Look at the numbers.

Constant doomsday talk does little to help the real problems we face. Sure, I wish Jesus could return and make it all better — end the wars, defeat poverty, starvation and racism, and cancel all the bad sitcoms – but insisting He is coming, and soon, conveys to people that we should do nothing to fix whatever situation in which we find ourselves, because it will soon be fixed for us. This mindset is nothing more than an ecclesiastical dependency culture.

Thanks to generation after generation after generation of some people being absolutely positive that Jesus was returning in their lifetimes, the welcome mat is a bit worn out from everybody throwing it down each time there’s global strife. Let’s take a short break and get a new mat — one that’s more fitting for The King of kings. I think we have a little more time to properly prepare.


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