Look at the bigger picture

Ethan Sacket

Student Columnist

 

Just a month back, people were gazing into the heavens to witness a most amazing solar eclipse. This week some are discussing the signs in the skies and its link to another event. What if all the hype of the end of the age possibly passing this week actually comes to fruition? While entrenched in the business of learning and finding a niche in life, college students might also take a few moments to ponder the current state around them, within them and the bigger picture. There is a world beyond the Ranger campus, extending farther than some can fathom and beyond whatever the latest science fiction movies provide.

 

I am presenting this week some musings about chatter of possible proportions beyond this galaxy. This week in the Jewish calendar, many faithful celebrate the Feast of Trumpets. Meanwhile, there are those not of Jewish upbringing also focusing on surrounding events that may lead to the end of the age as we know it. Certainly, it is almost impossible to avoid news surrounding the earthquakes and devastation of recent hurricanes of cataclysmic proportions. Are there really signs that may lead us beyond the upcoming tests and projects and assignments to a bigger assignment for eternity.

Even Evangelist Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham, has commented that events in the world point to possibility of Christ’s return soon. He noted wildfires on the West Coast, violent hurricanes, a recent 8.1 earthquake in Mexico, the rare solar eclipse and many wars reflecting nation against nation in so many places. We have these reminders to cause us to seek God, confess sin and to ask forgiveness, both personally and collectively as our nation could face clear humbling if Christ chooses to stall. The signs do not call for fretting but rather for seeking and acknowledging God’s comfort, peace and hope in whatever comes our way.

The rare alignment of sun, stars, moon and planets, with the sun in the constellation of Virgo, may be what is referred to in Revelations 12. It puts Christians in full throttle to be sure that no friends, neighbors or loved ones be left behind. It is not the first time God has given advance warning. He clearly reminded Noah before the flood, Abraham before the Israeli captivity in Egypt, before Elijah’s rapture, Jeremiah before the Babylonian exile, and the first coming of the Messiah to Daniel first amongst others. God is one who does reveal His plans to his faithful ones. The clues are out there and in the Bible. We need to be watchful, ready and about the Father’s work. Even Sir Isaac Newton believed that the passages in Daniel and Jeremiah revealed the exact span of time from the rebirth of Israel in 1948 to the recapture of Jerusalem in 1967.

The final words I leave you to ponder are the fact that the imminent return of Christ has been a hot topic for millennia. If not now, then when?  If not now, what are you up to in the meantime? No matter what happens this week, there is nothing wrong with considering the immediate, the future and our current state of our souls. There’s something to be said for events to spur us on to the concern of others. There is much consistency in the message of the New Testament that Christ could return at any time. There are scoffers and there are deniers and there are those trying to predict the hour and the time, but as recent events have pointed to the possibility being a reality, I am tackling this tough question with my best freshman gloves on. Clearly, some prevalent questions arise amongst those who will stop and listen to any messages about the return for the Church, Christ’s Bride. Most ask whether His return will precede the Tribulation. The clear answer is of course as no one looks forward to the Tribulation but instead longs for His return. Another question that lingers in the minds of some is how the early church dealt with the question of the imminence of Christ’s return. Well, they, too, had to play the waiting game and continue to be faithful and ready. The third question that may cross the minds of some is, “So what?” Why is Christ’s return so very important. A quick answer lies in the motivation for believers as they realize even more urgently the need to carry and work out their salvation by seeking to live Christ-like lives. So no matter your stance, there is a wakeup call to all to put aside works of darkness, to clothe in the garments of holy living and to stop hitting the snooze button.