We’ve now survived the (non-) economic collapse of September 13 and the lack of destruction on September 23. If we’re still here reading this, then the rapture has not yet occurred and Jesus has yet to return. Aliens didn’t arrive to conquer Earth, tsunamis didn’t destroy the east coast, and while we continue to complain about the weather, it still supports life. In fact, everything still looks pretty much the same.
But wait, the month isn’t over! Let’s not forget about those blood moons. (The term “blood moon” sounds dramatic, but it’s simply another name for a full lunar eclipse. The “blood” part comes from the reddish color of Earth’s shadow.) The last blood moon of the current series, which started in April, 2014, will fall on September 28, which is Sukkot—the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles.
As a result, some believers are predicting that the world will end on that day—September 28. Should we be concerned?
Having lunar eclipses fall on Jewish holidays isn’t very surprising, as all the Jewish holidays intentionally coincide with full moons, and eclipses can only happen on full moons. However, having four in a row like this is a bit unusual. A number of books on this topic have reached best-seller status. My only question is, is this what we’re supposed to be focused on?
First of all, we should realize that it’s easy to find coincidences no matter what date you pick. There are significant historical events happening every day and some of them are bound to fall on or near one another. But even if this is a rare alignment of events, should we pay attention?
It’s true that God uses the heavenly bodies to communicate with us. Genesis 1:14-15 reads,
And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.
While astrology is forbidden (God wants us to turn to Him, not to an arrangement of stars and planets), it’s perfectly fine to look for signs in the heavens. The Jewish holidays are based on a lunar calendar, with new moons and full moons being significant. God used a star to bring the wise men to Bethlehem. The Bible is full of passages about significant events being foretold in the heavens.
In Matthew 24 and 25, Jesus addresses the end times. He gives us a series of events which must happen first, and tells us to be aware of the seasons. We can look around and see that we’re on track, and the end is getting near. In fact, we can hasten it! The one remaining unfulfilled criteria for Jesus’ return is that “this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations…” (Matthew 24:14). If you want Jesus to come back, obey his commandment to go into the world and make disciples!
There are an amazing number of websites predicting Jesus’ return for September 28. They’re preying on people’s ignorance of scripture, trying to frighten us into buying their books, subscribing to their websites, or just joining them in their paranoia.
Jesus made it clear, however, that no one but the Father, not even the angels in heaven—not even Jesus himself!—knows when He is coming back (Matthew 24:36-41). If Jesus doesn’t know, and the Holy Spirit doesn’t know, how can we claim to know what the Father has in mind?
So, we know the times—the seasons—but not the exact day or hour. What does God want us to do with that knowledge?
The remaining verses of Matthew 24 and all of Matthew 25 tell us what our attitude should be (italics mine):
- “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.”
- “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time?It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns.”
- The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.
- “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’”
- “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”
Our awareness that we are reaching the end of the age shouldn’t cause fear or panic. Our focus shouldn’t be on hiding money under our mattress, looking for a place of escape, or stockpiling of food and other supplies so we can hide from the coming destruction. Remember that God loves us perfectly, and perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18).
Rather, we need to be about our Father’s business.
What are you being faithful in?