After Jesus ascended the believers lived in immediate anticipation of the Return. That meant something.

They spread over the known world with Good News. They became fishing experts, for souls, not water creatures. Nothing stopped them, not distances, not budgets, not martyrdom or torture. Even from jail cells they encouraged one another and aimed at saving souls.

No money or effort was wasted building cathedrals. That started with Emperor Constantine 300 years after Jesus rose from the dead. They met in homes and caves and beside rivers.

The imminent return drove the believers do live discipleship, to do the work of Jesus in the Spirit. When questions came up they did not develop creeds or catechisms or long documents. They didn’t spend decades debating interpretations. The rules they decided on simply stated in a letter: “The Holy Spirit and we have agreed not to place any additional burdens on you. Do only what is necessary by keeping away from food sacrificed to false gods, from eating bloody meat, from eating the meat of strangled animals, and from sexual sins. If you avoid these things, you will be doing what’s right. Farewell!” (Acts 15:20, 28-29, 21:25). Even if modern Christians only obeyed even the last of the four rules we would have a better world.

They didn’t write hundreds of books dating the return. No radio or TV shows spending all their time on dating the end of the world, arguing about what that will look like or preaching money-giving to keep such enterprises going wafted over the airwaves.

Looking for the end of the World?

Looking for the end of the World? (Photo credit: elycefeliz)

Modern Christians have been deceived into thinking about thinking about the end of the world. It doesn’t drive them to evangelism, whatever the cost. Church committees meet to debate budgets, furnace repairs, new roofs, carpet colour…

All this end of the world talk has paralyzed the church into obsessive focus on the things of this world that will be destroyed! Jesus’ prayer for unity (John 17) becomes a theological treatise, not a demand for right living in the institutions of church. Denominations multiply. Disciples don’t.

The last book of the Bible, Revelation, repeats over and over again to stand firm and never give up. John didn’t care about history in a thousand years, but about Christians who lived on stony ground, were choked by the weeds or stolen away by birds (Matthew 13:1-23, //Mark 4:1-20, //Luke 8:4-15).

Beat the devil and hellish deceptions. Stop debating the end of the world, its time and process. Instead, feed, clothe and visit the poor (Matthew 25:31-46), demand justice (Micah 6:8), and live a Calvary love (John 13:34-35) that would rather die than embarrass Jesus by “lukewarm” loyalty (Revelation 3:15-16).

I can guarantee this, the world will end.

Choose what you will do about it, then, the paralysis of uncertainty, following end of the world gurus, or live for JESUS CHRIST who orders us to go, convert and teach (Matthew 28:18-20).