I saw a headline today that said, “The world is going to end, guess we can all stop flossing.” The article started in this way, “The world will come to an end in just four days, and that’s a huge relief because it means we can all finally stop flossing. I doubt your dental health is going to dramatically change before 12/21/12. You can also stop taking out the trash and paying all your bills.”
Of course this is based upon an interpretation of the Mayan Calendar that says the world will end this Friday (if you are reading this later you know this was wrong). This interpretation is not like the Y2K days where much of the world was afraid of some catastrophe on January 1, 2000. Those who anticipated that happening, prepared for the worst, while those who believe in the Mayan Calendar just want to stop doing anything.
Why pay bills, why send Christmas cards, why be nice to co-workers when (and if) the world ends on Friday? People stop living for the future because they don’t think they have one!
This is not a new problem, we see something quite similar in the city of Thessalonica, (located in modern day Greece) somewhere around 60 AC. The Apostle Paul had been there and introduced them to Christ. He made a tremendous impression upon the people and many became Christians. They took to heart the message of the death, burial and resurrection of our Savior as well as the message that he is coming again gather the faithful to him. In the first letter to the Thessalonians (4:13f) Paul specifically teaching about what will happen when Christ returns. He encouraged them to keep looking for Christ’s return as if it could happen at anytime in Chapter 5.
Those who read this believed it and began to prepare for it… somewhat. It appears though that some believed the teaching of Christ’s imminent return so strongly, that they just quit living their daily lives or even going to work. They just wanted to set around a pray or read the scriptures because Christ was coming back at anytime and nothing else mattered. That is one of the reasons I believe that Paul penned 2 Thesalonians 3:10-12 where he writes: “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you: that if any would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some among you who walk disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now those who are such, we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ that they work with quietness and eat their own bread.”
Here is the problem for us today. We need to live our lives as if Christ is going to return today, but live everyday as servants of God, doing our work the best we can do it (as unto the Lord). Yes, God is coming back some time to claim his own. When? No one knows when, except for God himself, (Matthew 24:36-37).
So, Keep on flossing, keep on going to work, keep on paying your bills, keep on being nice to folks and in general living your life like you will live forever! Because, if you are right with God, you will! . Philippians 3:20 tells us, “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ
Russ Lawson is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves Daily Advocate readers weekly with his column Today’s Challenges. He is the Director of World Christian Literature Outreach and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in these opinion pieces are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.