Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? 2 Thessalonians 2:5 (NIV).
Awhile ago, a minister friend of mine told me he doesn’t think we’re near the end of time because the Gospel hasn’t yet been preached to the entire world. That’s one of the conditions Jesus established before He returned to heaven: that His Gospel would be preached to the entire world, to the ends of the earth, so that all might hear of Him before He returns to reclaim His followers. My friend said that there were still millions of people who haven’t heard about this Jesus. Knowing that, he said it can’t possibly be time just yet. I hadn’t ever considered this, but his point was simple and compelling.
And then there are the family members I’ve mentioned over the last month or two. They don’t know much about Jesus, and what they do know they have rejected. To them, Jesus is just some mumbo jumbo myth that a bunch of weak-minded dupes with a daddy complex put their misbegotten faith in. To them, Jesus is just a psychological let-down. Yet whether it’s by ignorance or rejection (itself a form of stark ignorance), they don’t know Jesus and are, well, out in the cold if the world ends today.
Wouldn’t you like to have sat around the hearth with Paul and just listened? Or maybe not? I mean, it sounds like his conversations were deep, weighty stuff. Paul made tents for a living and instead of talking about his latest Eddie Bauer creation, he would talk with his friends about the end of the world. From the sound of this verse, he talked a lot about it, about how the man of lawlessness would come and set himself against the Lord. To Paul, it was deadly serious business.
What would the Thessalonians do if they didn’t know about Jesus, about the peace and hope only He can offer? What WILL you or I do?
Fact is, most of their world didn’t know about Jesus. And that is still a fact today. Most of our world hasn’t heard about Him, or they don’t know much about Him, or they have heard about HIm but our behaviors and attitudes turned them off. But whether it’s conscious or ignorant, if someone doesn’t know then they don’t know.
What will we do to change that situation? Will we do what we can to be good witnesses, to use our talents to be kind, to help others? Will our lives point to Him or away from Him? If you’ve heard about Jesus and rejected Him (or are apathetic), you’re playing Russian roulette with your soul. You’re living in damning ignorance. What will you believe today? It’s a heavy topic, and we may or may not be near the end, but will you take that chance?
For further reading: 1 Thessalonians 3:4, 2 Thessalonians 2:6
Lord, help me to believe and share this belief!