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Apocalypse Now! Could 2012 be the Year of Christ’s return?

Picture of Greg Stier
Greg Stier

“Look, I am coming soon!” Revelation 22:7

The Mayans predicted it. Conspiracy theorists have confirmed it. Hollywood even made a movie about it. Could the next twelve months culminate in the end of the world as we know it?

Think about it from the Christian perspective. We’ve never been closer to the technology necessary for every eye to see him as the Bible predicted in Revelation 1:7. There was no way technologically this could have happened one hundred years ago. But today it could be as simple as telling your iPhone, “Siri, record Jesus riding that cloud down from heaven and post it on Youtube.” (If she refuses then maybe she is the antichrist! Aha!!!)

But, on the more serious side, there are true signs of the times on a global scale from economic turmoil to military tensions to religious conflicts. The Eurozone has transformed into a financial roller coaster and the “Arab Spring” has been carried over into Winter. A crazy dictator died and now his unknown son rules the nuclear-enabled roost (AKA “North Korea”). All of this sounds like iron mixed with clay (Daniel 2:43) mixed with the plot from a Left Behind DVD to me.

So will 2012 be the year of Christ’s return?

Drumroll please…

I have no idea and neither do you. Jesus told his disciples in Acts 1:7, “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.”In the Greek this means, “It’s none of your beeswax” or something like that. Nobody knows the time of his return, not the Mayan’s camp or the Harold Camping.

So how should we as Christians respond to 2012? Here are three reminders:

1. Live every moment as if it were your last…because it could be.

From the time Jesus ascended into the clouds Christians have wondered if this could be the year that Jesus descends from them. And rightly so. The whole point of prophecy is to make us live with one eye toward the sky. Somebody once said, “Live like Christ died yesterday, rose again this morning and is coming back again tonight.” If we all did that then we would be ready no matter when Jesus decides to return.

2. Don’t drink the Koolaid.

There are too many Christians who make definitive declarations about issues that are, at best, a mystery. Don’t try to determine the month, day or year of Christ’s return. Why? Because only God knows! We should not be in the date picking business unless, like the prophet Amos, we pick actual dates for a living (Amos 7:14…okay, so he picked figs…close enough.) We have too much kingdom business to do to waste time trying to predict the unpredictable.

3. Get busy sharing the good news!

Right after Jesus told his disciples that trying to determine when his kingdom would come was none of their business he told them what was, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Until Jesus comes back we are to saturate our network of friends, neighbors, co-workers and family with the good news and then we are to reach outside of our social borders to reach anyone and everyone with the gospel! We are to do this with one eye on the clouds and one eye on the crowds that we are to reach before he returns. It is with this cross-eyed perspective that we are to live every moment of everyday.

Could 2012 be the year of Christ’s return? Yes! So let’s get busy!

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