Almost every day we hear news that makes us wonder how long the world can last. And with very little effort we can find doomsday prophets who will predict with certainty that the end is near. Not that long ago we all went through the Y2K hysteria. A few friends of mine were even stock-piling supplies for the global blackout which they expected. I saw books at the local bookstore telling us how to prepare for the coming disaster. But it never happened. And at the other end of the spectrum there are those who point out the fact that these messages have been around at least since the cold war began heating up in the 1950’s. Some even believe that we can solve the problems we face as a society, and that things will gradually get better over time. So how urgent is our situation? Should Christians prepare for a potentially catastrophic future? Or should we live as if life will continue indefinitely in roughly the same manner as it is now?
First, I want to say that our primary preparation for any future (whatever it might be) needs to be spiritual, not material. We Christians in the West are for the most part far too complacent about our great need to grow up. Many of us do not even know how to articulate what that means. Nor do we grasp how far we might actually be able to go in our life with God. The truth is, whether the world brings us prosperity or desperation, we need to live as if how we live matters. We learn from Deuteronomy that there is as much danger in a life of ease as there is in a time of war, spiritually speaking. The latter draws us into a life of fear; the former toward a life of self-indulgence. Both are destructive to our soul. To live well in a broken world requires that we grow up. That takes time and effort as we engage with God for transformation, so we can become the kind of people He can partner with in order to accomplish the sorts of Kingdom work He longs to do in this world.
There is tremendous urgency for us to grow up in Christ. Not so much because we think we might be nearing the end of Western civilization. But because of the huge gap that exists between who we are today and the wonderful things God would like to do in us and in the people around us!