Sometimes I think I’m too simplistic in the way I think about my faith. I am definitely a literalist and take what the Bible says at face value. I find it fascinating that Jesus, when asked to summarize hundreds of commands, simply said, “love God and love people”. There are a handful of these simple summaries of what we are to be about. The Great Commission for example calls us to go and make disciples. Paul and Peter continually remind us we are in a spiritual battle field. They also both remind us of working for the end goal/eternity/2nd Coming etc. And in light of all of this, I find it fascinating how well meaning Christians get distracted in seemingly “spiritual” endeavors that actually hinder the fulfillment of the “main thing(s)”.
In my life as a Christian I’ve found this particularly in discussion of the End Times. And while I know there is much written on the subjects, there is also so much mystery around it. Did God intend for us to try to solve the mystery or let the mystery drive us to worship and life on mission? Did Paul, Peter, Jesus and John provide us with information to peak our curiosity or to bring hope to those who were struggling, persecuted and impatient?
I truly have no desire to judge the motives or behavior of some great Christian brothers or sisters. And yet I wonder if some of us could be using our fascination with the unknown and end times to distract us from doing the things, and being the people we are called to be? Now, to be clear, I know some Christians who know a ton and study a lot about the end who are also actively engaged in evangelism, loving others and serving God’s church. And unfortunately I’ve seen many Christians who attend prophecy conferences, consume book after book on the subject who are disconnected from church life, aren’t serving and aren’t sharing faith. Sure they share about the end times, but not the hope and captivating true story of Jesus death and resurrection for us. And when I think of the hours and hours poured over the end times, the specifics of politics and history etc. I can’t help but wonder what those hours could have been used for to “move the ball down the field” missionally speaking.
Again, my heart in this post is not to condemn, but it is to question. My hope is we will all do some heart searching, assess the way we spend our time, take note of our focus areas and if necessary realign with the heart of God.