November 1, 2007
Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. Matthew 24:44
“The sky is falling! The sky is falling!” If memory serves, that’s what Chicken Little said to his friends. Nothing happened.
“All computers are going to shut down at midnight on January 1, 2000.” That’s what some experts said a number of years ago. Nothing happened.
Now we’re being told there is a possibility that millions of televisions might go black on February 12, 2009. Those of us who lived through the Y2,000 scare can be forgiven if we ask, “Thanks for the warning, but is something really going to happen this time?”
The answer is: Quite possibly.
The government has determined that by February 12, 2009 every television station will switch its method of broadcasting. If your television isn’t ready to receive the signal, it’s just going to show you a lot of snow, or black, or something. It’s not going to show you a picture.
So, should we panic? Should we run into the streets yelling, “It’s the end of civilization and life as we know it?” No, that’s just not necessary. Before then everybody will be told on how to avoid the difficulty. Before then most people will take the steps necessary to avoid blackout. Before then you will be told what to do so your TV signal might be saved. Which is a nifty way of leading into the text for this devotion.
When Jesus was with us, He told us the day was coming when He would return to judge the world. On that day, for those who aren’t prepared, it will be lights out: eternal death, damnation, destruction –the end of life as they know it.
How’s that for a bleak prediction?
Thankfully, the Bible doesn’t scare us without also sharing how we can escape the scenario. Scripture spends a lot of time telling us how to be ready for the unknown day of judgment. On Pentecost, Peter said, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38) Repentance, Baptism, Faith, Forgiveness, the Holy Spirit. Those are the gifts God wants us to have before the lights go out.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, for giving Yourself so that I can be saved, my deepest thanks. Because of Your sacrifice, I will not be afraid when the unknown hour of judgment arrives. Because I live in Your light, I will be safe when the lights go out. In Your Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries