Later, as he was sitting on Mount Olives in full view of the Temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew got him off by himself and asked, “Tell us, when is this going to happen? What sign will we get that things are coming to a head?”
Jesus began, “Watch out for doomsday deceivers. Many leaders are going to show up with forged identities claiming, ‘I’m the One.’ They will deceive a lot of people. When you hear of wars and rumored wars, keep your head and don’t panic. This is routine history, and no sign of the end. Nation will fight nation and ruler fight ruler, over and over. Earthquakes will occur in various places. There will be famines. But these things are nothing compared to what’s coming. (THE MESSAGE)
There are some in the Christian church who are obsessed with speculation about the last days and the return of Jesus. Perhaps this unwise obsession has led to a reaction, meaning that some others in the church pay no attention at all to it.
When Jesus’ disciples were curious about it, Jesus avoided both extremes. Those who saw signs of his coming in many events of history were mistaken. There have been and always will be natural disasters and human-induced wars and catastrophes. Those in our day who reckon things are getting worse need to read a bit more history!
Whenever we read of people making precise or confident predictions about Jesus’ return, we can quote Jesus to refute them.
Then again, we can’t ignore Jesus’ return and regard the world’s history as of no consequence or meaning. We are truly in the last days and have been since New Testament times when Paul said he was living in such an era. It is just that our time scale and that of our God are rather different.
In these last days we are to keep our heads and not panic. We are to be up and about loving God and others. We are to be sure we have our faith in the goodness of Jesus and not our own goodness. We focus on these clear and vital matters and leave feverish speculation aside.