“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”
Matthew 24:36 (NIV)
In a “Peanuts” cartoon, Charles Schultz places some very important words in the mouth of resident theologian Linus van Pelt. This is how the comic strip progressed: Lucy and Linus are looking out the window at a steady downpour of rain. “Boy,” said Lucy, “look at it rain. What if it floods the whole world?” “It will never do that,” Linus replies confidently. “In the ninth chapter of Genesis, God promised Noah that it would never happen again, and the sign of the promise is the rainbow.” “You’ve taken a great load off my mind,” says Lucy with a relieved smile. “Sound theology,” states Linus, “has a way of doing that!”
Precisely! Sound theology should take a great weight off our minds. I think this is the case surrounding the timing of Christ’s Second Coming. If I may parody Schulz’s cartoon: Lucy and Linus are looking out the window. “Boy” said Lucy, “I just heard someone on the radio say that he knows when Christ is going to return and we should be very afraid.” “He doesn’t know that,” Linus replies confidently. “In the 24th chapter of Matthew, Jesus said ‘no one knows the day.’” “You’ve taken a great load off my mind,” says Lucy with a relieved smile. “Sound theology,” states Linus, “has a way of doing that!”
Sound theology means we shouldn’t speculate as to the day Christ is to return, nor should we take seriously the statements of those who claim to have knowledge of the date. “The secret things belong to the LORD our God…, says Deuteronomy 29:29, and we should learn to leave them with him. Doing that can release us from wasting precious time trying to figure out something Jesus plainly told us we would not know. Instead we can be free to devote ourselves to spreading the gospel message and showing love to others. Sound theology has a way of doing that.
Father, help me to forget about dates and times, and get on with what really matters. Strengthen me to be about your business and live for Christ as we love one another.
Study by Barry Robinson
Worldwide Church of God Camberwell
The Salvation Army Hall
105 Lomond Grove
Saturday 11 am
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