"Unknown to All"
September 28, 2014
(Jesus said) "But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." Mark 13:32
Shhh. I'm going to tell you a secret.
Ready? Here it is: I don't know when the end of the world is coming. I'd like you to keep this our little secret because people expect you to know such things. Indeed, over the centuries there have been many people who knew when Jesus was going to come again.
* For example, even before the writing of the New Testament was completed, the church in Thessalonica seemed to be concerned they had, somehow, missed the day of Jesus' second coming (see 2 Thessalonians 2). The apostle Paul assured them everything was all right, and they shouldn't get all shaken up with pretend predictions.
* There was a second-century Roman priest who, using calculations based on the size of Noah's ark, said Jesus was coming back around 500 A.D.
* In the year 999, many people in the Christian community thought Jesus would return with the new millennium. They started to behave, gave away their stuff, left their fields unplanted, and headed toward Jerusalem where they thought the Savior would show up.
* In the year 1666, the people of London felt pretty sure Jesus was going to return. Who could blame them? The bubonic plague had killed 100,000 people; the Great Fire of London had incinerated a fair share of the city and, of course, there was that number: one thousand six six six.
You may have guessed these folks, and many others, have been totally and terribly mistaken in their prophecies about Jesus' return. Still, people keep guessing. Everyone has to guess because Jesus never said exactly when Judgment Day was going to occur.
This easily could mean the end of this devotion.
Yes, we could end here, but we aren't going to. That's because even though I don't know when the end of the world is going to come and the moment when Jesus is going to return, I do know a few things.
Well, actually, I know two things. First, I know that Jesus was born into this world so you and I don't have to worry about the end of the world. That's right. Because of Jesus, you don't have to worry about a generic day of judgment, or your own individual day of death.
Allow me to explain: all of us are sinners. Sin is sum and substance of who we are. It is part and parcel of what we do. Yes, I know you may be a good person, a kind person, a gentle, generous and caring person, but you aren't perfect.
That's the bad news. Are you ready for the good news? Here it is: on your own, there isn't any good news. Because we are sinners, unable to fix or mend ourselves, our final destination is hell.
But there is this, the second thing I know: God continues to love sinners and has sent His Son to do all that was necessary to save us. Through Jesus' suffering, sacrifice, crucifixion and resurrection we who have been given faith are forgiven and will ~ someday ~ be taken to be where our Savior is.
And that, my friends, is a wonderful thing to know.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I may not know a great deal, but by Your grace I know my Savior. May He be with me in this world, and may I be with Him in the next. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.
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Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries