7 October 2015, Oxfordshire – Well, it’s the end of the world…again. (Here is the official soundtrack, if you’d like some background ambiance.) Last week I published the post below, noting a beastly number of proposed prophetic fulfillments I’ve endured throughout my Christian life. If only it could end!
Another Christian group has announced that Earth will be destroyed . . . today! I mean, before the clock strikes midnight . . . in some time zone or another . . . the end. How frustrating is that?! We haven’t even spent our tax return yet. Our weekend plans. And I was just beginning to drop some pounds (both in terms of health . . . and wealth, given that we live here in the U.K. and the exchange rate can feel like a second death).
I mean, what if you were finishing preparations for a sermon, hoping to help your congregation distinguish between biblical eschatology and the more popular escapology? Yep, escapology, defined as “the distinct desire that everyone’s life would end at the same time, so no one could continue to grow in holiness or guide others toward the grace of Jesus Christ” (see First Impressions 6:66; Second Opinions 7:77; and c.f., Hesitations 3:2 . . . 3:2 . . . 3:21).
What strikes me, honestly, is that one might hope that our prayers would be aligned with those of our Lord Jesus when he prayed, “I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one” (John 17:15). Or perhaps we could align our prayers with the apostle Paul in Philippians 1:19-26, where he wrote in vv.24ff, “But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.”
In light of all the failed predictions of prophetic fulfillment, such desired and practiced fidelity would be so very refreshing.
What I’d like to do is point you to the material below, if you have the time. Ha! What else are you going to do in our final hours? Then again, if Earth is incinerated later today (or if it already happened before you read this), then what I’ve written here will be so very passé. Then again, I find these current prognostications distinctly dubious. So dubious do I find them –and given that I found the announcement online – I could be persuaded to classify this nonsense not only a version of escapology but as e-scatology (see Philippians 3:8). But perhaps that can wait until tomorrow . . . if there is one.