"I am coming soon." - Jesus
There has been much buzz about four consecutive total lunar eclipses, each happening on the Jewish feast days, and the last being a "supermoon" eclipse on September 27-28. Some say that it is a sign of the end times, others that it's just a natural phenomenon that means nothing. It is true that a moon turned to blood is mentioned in the Bible both in the Book of Joel (a personal favorite) and in the Book of Revelation. What should Christians make of these prophecies?
The Book of Revelation is often misunderstood as though it were a movie script giving us a blow-by-blow account of the end of the world. This is not the case. Rather, Revelation is telling us how the story ends: with the great triumph of the Lamb (Jesus) and his faithful ones over the Devil and his followers and with them all the sin, evil, and death in the world. "God Wins" -- that's how the story ends. But it won't come without suffering and struggle. There will be natural disasters, wars, and persecutions that must be endured. But we should not lose heart because it is all part of God's plan. In the end, Christ will be revealed as the true and lasting King. All who have chosen Him will enter his Kingdom of peace and love; all who have rejected Him will find themselves outside that Kingdom. And there's not much time left. This is the impression the Book of Revelation wants to leave with its readers:
He who testifies to these things says, "Surely I am coming soon." Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints. Amen. (Rev 22:20-21)
The fact that Jesus is coming soon is meant to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. Think of it this way:
- To the weak and the powerless: "I am coming soon."
- To those who use your might and power for yourselves: "I am coming soon."
- To the Syrian refugees: "I am coming soon."
- To the government of Syria: "I am coming soon."
- To Christians persecuted by ISIS: "I am coming soon."
- To the fighters of ISIS: "I am coming soon."
Four blood moons in a row calls to mind the prophecies of the Bible. God wants to encourage us. Every day we wake up and the world seems to be worse. Don't worry; God is in charge and Jesus is coming soon. How should Christians respond to this? Two thoughts:
- Aslan in the Chronicles of Narnia says, "I call all times soon." There may be a lot of disaster, war, and suffering between now and then. Come what may, we must remain faithful to Jesus and be ready for his coming always. "Soon" for most of us will probably mean our death rather than the Second Coming.
- Far from making us sit back and wait for Jesus, this should encourage us to do as much good as possible in the short time remaining. Stephen Curtis Chapman's song, "A Little More Time to Love" shows the right Christian attitude. And remember, Jesus is coming soon.