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Saturday, May 25, 2024

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Dear Minister: Are We Headed for the End Times?

By Pastor Steve Rahter

Dear Minister: With all of the ongoing wars and natural disasters around us, my pastor said on Sunday that we are headed for the End Times. Is that possible?

– Concerned in Somers Point

Answer: When we consider Jesus’ prediction in Matthew 24 concerning wars and rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes, false prophets and lawlessness, and the love of people becoming cold, it seems to many people that we might be approaching what are known as the End Times. But keep in mind that people all throughout history have considered the times that they were living in to possibly be the End Times. This included the apostle Paul, who wrote “we who are alive, who remain, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.” The word “we” shows that Paul also expected to see Jesus return during his lifetime. In many ways, the things that Jesus was saying in Matthew chapter 24 were simply a warning to the people who were there right in front of him, listening to his words. He was telling them about the coming judgment and tribulation, including the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple, which would occur in their lifetime. Those very things came to pass in the year 70 AD.

Rather than focusing on, or worrying about the end of the world, I would encourage you to read on further in Matthew 25 where Jesus tells the parable of the wise and foolish virgins and the parable of the talents, both emphasizing preparedness and stewardship. More importantly, read the parable of the sheep and the goats, which is a reminder that we should be caring for the weak, the poor, the sick, and the lonely. In saying that, “Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it for one of the least of these brothers or sisters of mine, you did it for me,” Jesus is giving us a template for living and serving faithfully as we wait for the day when we will see him face-to-face.

I hope this encourages you to wake up each day with hope rather than fear.

Sincerely,

Dr. Steve Rahter

Pastor

Praise Tabernacle

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