Talking about the end times has to be one of the weirdest of all paradoxes in the Christian faith to me. While on one side we all want to know all we can about the last days, so many people quickly head for the church doors when the pastor starts preaching about the day Jesus finally comes.
If there's one conversation that can quickly turn off anyone, it's the talk about tribulation, the four horsemen and the Antichrist finally rising to power. As a generation, we are slowly starting to see less and less people who want to get into the conversation and more and more Christians staying away from the Book of Revelations.
Should we be talking about the end times less then? Definitely not. People need to know that there is a ticking clock, and we are running out of time. But we can make some changes to the way we talk about the last days.
Don't Talk About When, But About How We Can Prepare
There's so much ruckus about trying to predict when Jesus will come. I finally gave up being flustered by any of them by the time Dec. 21, 2012 passed. So many Christians are worried about "when?" when Jesus explicitly told us that it's not for us to know the times that God has in store for us (Acts 1:7).
Instead of focusing so much on when, we should instead be talking about how we are to prepare for it and what we are to do while God's still waiting for that day. Jesus has commissioned us with power through the Holy Spirit to be witnesses, and that's where our focus should be (Acts 1:8).
Talk About It in Expectation, Not in Fear
Too many times, we've heard a street preacher talk about the end times as a judgment day when fire and brimstone will burn all sinners for all eternity. That's half of the truth, yes.
But there's also another side we need to talk about: the arrival of our King who will liberate us once and for all from sin and the powers of darkness.
The day Jesus finally comes is not something that we should fear if we know that our hope is in Christ. And I know how it feels to worry about all the things we won't be able to do if Christ comes tomorrow (or even today) like get married, have kids, go to France, or get your pension. But none of that will ever compare to the glory of what we will have when we live fully in the glory and presence of Christ forever.
We can and should talk about the return of Christ, but not about the fear of Tribulation but of the glorious hope that awaits Christ's followers and the glory of worshipping Him for all eternity instead. It's going to be a good day when that day finally comes.