End of the world? Find faith as a foreigner

| September 28, 2017 | 0 Comments

Chaplain (Capt.) Mark Lee

Chaplain (Capt.) Mark Lee
U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii

An article making national news this month states, “Biblical prophecy claims the world will end on September 23, (according to) a Christian numerologist.”

If you are reading this, then the “prophecy” did not come true, which may be good or bad news for you. Yet, this is one of many false prophecies that I have witnessed over 40 years. It raises the question about God’s kingdom coming.
In the Christian Scripture, Jesus stated, “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only” (Matthew 24:36).

I suggest that if Jesus in his humanity did not know the day or hour of the end of the world, then I can’t expect that any man will figure it out. What I find more compelling on this topic than modern “prophets” is the Lord’s Prayer.

The third sentence of the Lord’s Prayer states, “Thy kingdom come.” Isn’t it interesting that in Jesus’ prayer his followers are instructed to pray for his kingdom to come? I may not know when it is coming, but I pray for and look forward to it.

Being a person of faith means viewing oneself as a foreigner living on earth who is journeying to another kingdom.

Being a foreigner
Have you ever lived in a foreign country? Think back on that time. Did you care much about its politics? Did you follow all of its culture practices?

It is more likely than not that you felt quite out of place in a foreign country. People of faith are to feel this way, too. Their king is real, but the kingdom is not of this world.

The great reality of this life is that the road to heaven begins on earth. I want to enter God’s kingdom when I die, so I am part of his kingdom now on earth that I call the church.

That means that the Supreme Court does not decide my values; my king does. It matters little to me how politics turn out. People of faith follow the rules and values of God’s kingdom.

Today, Sept. 20 (as I write this), I do not believe that the world will end on Sept. 23, but I did pray the Lord’s Prayer, today.

Some who will be disappointed on Sept. 23 may feel that things are as they will always be and that what they want will never come.

If you think this way, then life stands still. Spiritually, one may be dead. Yet, there is life when you no longer accept things as they are, but look ahead toward that which has yet to occur.

I look forward to the day in which the king of heaven is coming to receive his subjects.
My advice to you is to be there.

Dispelling fear
In a culture where desires transform values, I challenge people of faith to let your values transform your desires.

One value I have today is faith. That faith dispels my fear of the end of this world. As I read the news, I simply pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

(Lee is assigned to USAG-HI as the chaplain pastoral coordinator.)  

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Category: Footsteps in Faith, Standing Columns

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