By Lisa Cherry
"Please God, don't let the world end before I get married and have babies!"
That was my teenage prayer whenever anyone mentioned Jesus coming back. Did anyone else out there have that same reaction?
A strange mixture of fear and anger would cause me to want to run from all end times discussions. So I figured it best to just ignore the concept and surely the world would go on without interruption.
Parents, what do we say to our kids about this most unsettling topic? Is the world as we know it about to end?
Well, I am not wise enough to know for sure. But if you look at Barna's poll on the subject this past summer, apparently 77% of evangelical believers believe that we are now living “in the biblical end times.”
Billy Graham says that the Biblical signs “are converging now for the first time since Jesus made those predictions.”
Bestselling books like The Harbinger and the upcoming remake of the big ticket movie series Left Behind proves the topic has moved to the forefront of our collective minds.
So how do we respond as parents? We know that many of our young ones could be fascinated with the adventure, drama and excitement of apocalyptic discussions.
But many of them could also be overwhelmed with fear, dread, and anxiety if we do not assist them to build a healthy biblical perspective.
Last Sunday at our local church we began a study on this issue. I believe it is one of the most important things we have done in a long time.
No, we did not settle all the hot button controversies related to pre-trib, mid-trib or post-trib. And we do not have the experience to sort through the meaning of the upcoming blood moons.
But here is what we do know.
Angels talked about the second coming just after Jesus ascended. (See Acts 1:11)
So the way I figure it, the 21st-century believer has the opportunity to face the reality of end times discussions in faith and in peace.
Parents, I encourage you to get out in the lead with your kids on this topic. They're hearing doomsday talk. They're feeling the pressures of the ages just as you are. Together you can go to God's word and find hope and comfort in times of increased drama.
Matthew 24-25 is a great place to start. Even as Jesus described many of the dramatic features of what it will look like before His return, He leaves us with the comforting exhortation to stand ready as the wise virgins. (See Matthew 25:1-13)
Comforting? Yes, because we are His precious bride awaiting our Dear One's return. We can stand firm for Him by His grace.
I am very encouraged with the worship music I hear my teenagers most attracted to today. Sounds of passion to the Lord are pouring out through the Body of Christ, wooing young hearts toward an intimate relationship with Him.
Is your family tapped into that intimate place of personal worship where all end times worries can melt in the presence of the King?
Each of us who read this blog may come from different church expressions. That is quite exciting to me! But I'm confident that no matter what your family's style of worship, our Heavenly Father is drawing His children—both young and old—close to His side as we ponder together His soon return.
Dare to talk about His return in your home. Dare to dream of the incredible honor it would be to stand as one of His end times saints.
And let this timely and precious passage soak into your hearts:
1 Thessalonians 4:13 – 5:6
13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.
14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.
15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.
16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.
17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.
18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.
5 Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you,
2 for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.
3 While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.
4 But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.
5 You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.
6 So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober.
Please let me know your thoughts. Click here and scroll down to comment.
Image source: Brent Nelson “Molten Earth” via Flickr Creative Commons