Some people say that if you do a search on the internet for a particular item then because of the internet algorithm you begin to see items pop up from various places think that you need to purchase because of your search.
A few weeks ago I did a search about a particular song that I use as my ringtone for my cellular phone.
Suddenly, a post on my social media page recently featured Opie and Sheriff Taylor meme with Opie asking about when the world was coming to it in.
I had to look up what a meme was to be honest.
A meme is an idea, behavior, or style that spreads by means of imitation from person to person within a culture and often carries symbolic meaning representing a particular phenomenon or theme.
In the meme, the conversation went like this: Opie: “Pa when is Jesus coming back?”
Andy: “I don’t rightly know Opie. Ya see, we’re not on the planning committee. We’re on the welcoming committee.”
I also received an email from the Rose Publishing Company about Jesus and the scriptures concerning the end times within two days.
One has to wonder if that is just coincidental or on purpose.
Ever since I heard it in Independence Day (1996) the movie, I have liked the song because it speaks of my understanding of theology.
The song is “It’s the end of the world as we know it (and I feel fine) song by R.E.M. in the late 80s.
1987 to be precise.
Over the years many people have predicted when Jesus would return.
Perhaps the most familiar one is found in the Apostle Paul’s letter to the church at Thessalonica when they had quit doing everything waiting for Jesus to return.
Paul calls them to task by saying “In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers and sisters, to keep away from every believer who is idle and disruptive and does not live according to the teaching you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you,”
They had become idle because they believed that Jesus return would be soon in their lifetime and they thus did not need to work.
One of the more famous ones in our American church history is the Millerites in the 1844.
They were followers of William Miller, a man who claimed to know the date of Jesus’s second coming.
Many “Millerites” sold all their possessions to prepare for the day when Christ would return to earth, gather them up to heaven, and purify the rest of the world in an all-consuming fire.
They believe that Jesus would come back on October 22, 1844
As the date approached, a great comet blazed across the Massachusetts sky, and the number of believers grew.
On October 22nd, the Millerites put on white robes and climbed mountains or trees to speed their ascension into heaven.
Many sold all their belongings because they would not need them in the new heaven.
When the prophecy failed, most abandoned Miller’s apocalyptical teachings and returned to their original churches.
When it didn’t happen he changed his understanding and said that he had missed interpreted the scriptures.
He reinterpreted the meaning of the prophecy and came to see October 22, 1844, as the day of Christ’s cleansing of his heavenly, rather than earthly, sanctuary.
By the 1850s the Millerites were considered an unusual fad which had come and gone.
There have been many others since then predicting the return of Jesus.
Some in recent years have even tied it to the election of the president of our country.
I may be wrong but I think that that is theologically unsound.
Some have even had their followers take their life because “the leader” told them to do so.
They would immediately be transported to the New Heaven or New Earth.
But according to the Scriptures it says that even Jesus does not know when the world will come to an end.
Jesus says, “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes.” Matthew 24:7
“You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end.” Matthew 24:6
Jesus also reminds us firmly “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.” Matthew 24:36-37
It’s my understanding of these texts is correct then all we are to do is to be prepared.
We are to make the good confession of faith and then to live our life as best as we can living out the face and our community.
I call that having a “blue jean theology.”
That like blue jeans it will all come out in the wash if we simply follow the directions.
The directions being the scriptures.
If we truly have accepted Jesus as our Savior, then when the world comes to the end we should be okay and we should feel fine.
I believe that God gives us every opportunity to make the good confession of faith but some people will say that there will be those who will be lost.
I will leave that up to God to sort that out.
If Jesus wouldn’t why should I try to sort it out?
Until then I will enjoy this neck of God’s world that we call the Ozarks and feel fine.
Rev. Frank Chlastak began work as senior minister of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Poplar Bluff in 2015. He is a graduate of Northeast Louisiana University and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and has served congregations of the Christian Church in Louisiana, Arkansas, Virginia, Oklahoma and Missouri.