There’s a lot of people these days insisting that Christians shouldn’t talk about the end times. In light of the fact that a large portion of the Bible (both Old and New Testament) discusses the eventual return of Jesus and the end of the world, it seems silly to insist on avoiding this topic. It is certainly true that we should not be date setters because no one knows when he will make his Glorious Appearance. But it is also fundamentally true that as each day passes his return is drawing nearer.
As Christians, our number one priority is to proclaim the good news of salvation through Jesus to a lost world. We must do this while we help the sick and poor. We must do this while we go to work. We must do this while we enjoy time with our family and friends. Proclaiming Christ must be interwoven into every aspect of our life.
The message of the end times is important because it clearly shows us that someday it will be too late. Someday will be the day before his return and the last chance for followers of Jesus to share the good news. Someday tomorrow will be of infinite importance, and you never know if today is that day. And someday will be the day after, when so many people who did not choose to follow Jesus will see clearly that they were wrong.
When Jesus told his disciples that nobody knows the hour he will return, he didn’t say it to convey the message that we shouldn’t worry about it. What he said is actually quite the opposite. He said we should “keep watch”. We should be “ready at all times”. He said he would come when we least expected it. (Matthew 24:42-44). If the topic of end times is suddenly something we should not discuss then how will Christians remain ready? If truthfully proclaiming the inevitable return of Christ is considered too “gloom and doom” to talk about, then how will unbelievers get ready?
Thousands of years ago the Apostle Peter warned that this would happen.
…I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires.
But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment.
2 Peter 3:3, 8-10 NLT
When weather forecasters warn of a coming storm, no one knows exactly when it will reach their home. But the assurance that it is coming will likely lead to immediate preparations. Much the same way, whether we want to talk about it or not, Jesus is coming back. Because we don’t know when, we must live as though it will be tomorrow. We must make sure everyone understands the urgency. And we must do all that we can to ensure that everyone we know is prepared.