LORD? It is darkness, and not light, as if a man fled from a lion, and a
bear met him, or went into the house and leaned his hand against the wall,
and a serpent bit him. Is not the day of the LORD darkness, and not light,
and gloom with no brightness in it? (Amos 5:18-20 ESV)
We modern Evangelicals have an obsession with end times. Setting dates
(Harold Camping thought it was May 21st ... or no I think that was to be October 21st),
scrutinizing current events, holding conferences, writing books, producing fictional
movies - you name it and we're intrigued. If you're like many in main stream
Evangelicalism, you're ready for the Lord any day now to rapture you right
out of your shoes.Sometimes we even exhibit a carefree or careless attitude
about the end of things ... after all we're out of here.
However, as you read through Scripture you get a very different view on the
Day of the Lord. Amos foretold of the Day of the Lord in his time (which
foreshadows THE coming Day of the Lord) and his take on things is totally
different. Amos correctly saw this event for what it really was--a day of
judgment. The Northern Kingdom was about ready to be drug through their
destroyed city walls, led by hooks and fishhooks, and taken into captivity
because of hard and rebellious hearts toward the Lord.
Yet in this 11th hour, the Lord entreats them with the words, "Seek me and
live" (5:4). He instructs Israel to humble themselves in repentance and turn
from their idols and self-reliance, and trust him.
There is a parallel here for the Church today. Things will continue to get
worse as God winds down history and prepares the Day of the Lord. While it
is appropriate to wait and long for "our blessed hope, the appearing of the
glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13), this is not
the time to just hit the Easy Button. Since judgment begins with the household of
God (1 Peter 4:17), how should we prepare? What should capture our
attention? Time lines, speculations, and fixating on cable news or holy
living and proclaiming God's glory in the gospel to the lost?
The apostle Peter sets us straight as he writes:
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will
pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and
dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.
Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought
you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the
coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire
and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according
to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which
righteousness dwells. (2 Peter 3:10-13 ESV)
Let's not get distracted with lesser things. May our consuming passion be Jesus Christ as we continue in faith and obedience looking for his glorious return.