Many search the scriptures comparing current events with biblical prophecy and come to the conclusion that with all that’s going on in this world, the second coming can’t be far off.
What Happened to Claire (a modern parable).
It had been a no-go zone, but things have changed. Gone are the drug users and the paraphernalia that littered the park only a few months ago. People have returned to this once forbidden tract of land. Children now play where the addicts once shot up, while others sit on the benches that had been beds for those who had finally got their fix.
It was a beautiful day; too beautiful for Claire to remain indoors so she packed up her current creation, all her supplies and tools, and headed to the park. She had never been there before, as a matter of fact she had never so much as glanced in that direction when she passed by. Like most in her community she would lower her head and walk quickly, hoping to avoid eye contact with the residents of the park for fear they may ask for spare change or worse, forgo the asking and take it by force. Even when accompanied by her ex-roommate she still felt terrified walking by the park.
Claire selected a spot under a beautiful pine tree. Supporting her weight by placing her palms on the ground she slowly lowered herself. Suddenly Claire screamed as she pulled her hands out and dropped the rest of the way. Something had poked deep into her hand. She surveyed her left hand and found a needle embedded deep in her palm. She quickly pulled it out screaming again as blood began dripping out. Suddenly she felt dizzy, she broke out into a cold sweat and then everything went black…
So what happened to Claire?
Here are the facts. In a park once overrun with drug users, Claire sat down to work on her latest creation and was stabbed by a needle. Based on what we know we should be able to come up with a hypotheses for what happened to Claire.
My guess is most of you assumed a syringe somehow was missed by the cleanup crews and pierced Claire’s open hand. The contents were consequently injected into her blood stream causing her to overdose thus explaining her loss of consciousness.
Another possibility is that she was stabbed by a pine needle from the tree she was sitting under that was contaminated by a fungus known to cause humans to pass out once in the blood steam.
It is also possible that the creation Claire was working on was a needlepoint. The needle that lodged into her hand was her sewing needle that had been dipped in poison by her angry ex-roommate who hoped that Claire would one day stab herself and she could get her revenge.
It is also possible that Claire’s reaction was not to a poison, a fungus or a drug.
Maybe Claire passes out at the sign of blood meaning no matter what stabbed her hand, once she saw the blood it was night, night. Even with what appears to be all the facts, our interpretation of these facts can be wrong. What could be a weakness when it comes to the sight of blood could be misinterpreted completely wrong. The treatments for poison, fungus or drugs differ considerably and none would have helped if all she needed was a Band-Aid and a couple of minutes to wake up.
Caution – God at work over 2000 years ago.
The Jews waited for their saviour. They had all the prophesies and based on what they read and the bias the Jews brought, they came up with a hypotheses. The messiah, their saviour, would come and free them from the rule of their oppressors. The problem was the oppressor in the prophesy was sin, the ruler Satan and their freedom came from death on a Roman cross not from the political solutions they came up with based on their interpretations of scripture.
Caution – God at work now.
Last week the USA announced it would be moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem declaring it as the capital of Israel as far as America is concerned. It wasn’t long before some Christian groups proclaimed this as the fulfillment of end of time prophecy.
I am neither smart enough nor stupid enough to claim that this is or isn’t a fulfillment of prophesy. I will however, say this, “God is at work.” Whether this event is the fulfillment of promises in the Bible or the act of a leader courting votes from the evangelical Christian community, it doesn’t change the fact that the oppressor is still sin, the ruler in many people’s lives is still Satan and that God is still at work in this world.
Every generation from the Apostles until now has believed that Jesus would return in their lifetime based on their interpretations of current events. Like those who thought the messiah would free them from earthly rulers, every generation has been wrong. We need to be cautious, all we know is that God is at work.
Instead of trying to figure out how close we are to the end, why don’t we spend our time preparing people for their end by introducing them to the one whose return will signal the end.
But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:8-9 (NIV)