In the fairy tale Chicken Little, an acorn falls on Chicken Little’s head. He tells his friends, “The sky is falling.” Mass hysteria ensues as the animals stare fearfully at the sky thinking it’s the end of the world.
I don’t want to cause mass hysteria, but… the sky is falling
This last Saturday, April 25th, an earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter Scale shook Nepal. So far, 5,000 deaths have been confirmed. Experts estimate the death toll will eventually number over 10,000.
On that same day, in Baltimore, Maryland, crowds began to gather to protest the death of Freddie Gray, a 25 year old resident of Baltimore, who died from injuries purportedly suffered at the hands of the police.
The protests soon turned violent. The rioting raged for three days. Thousands of police and National Guardsmen were brought in. Millions of dollars of property were destroyed. Police and civilians alike were injured. Chaos reigned.
Right now, wars rage around the world. Christians are being massacred by ISIS and Boko Haram. People are leaving Christian churches in droves. Sins like homosexuality are not only being tolerated by our society; they are being celebrated.
The sky is falling.
During the last week of his life, Jesus’ disciples asked him, “What will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”
Jesus gave them many: “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars… There will be famines and earthquakes in various places… You will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death… Many will turn away from the faith… Many false prophets will appear… Because of the increase in wickedness, the love of most will grow cold” (Matthew 24:3-14).
All of those signs are happening right now. The end of the world is coming.
When we as Christians say that, however, people roll their eyes. They look at us as if we were Chicken Little shouting, “The sky is falling!” They look at us as if we were that crazy guy in Times Square, wearing poster boards and yelling: “The end is near!”
But the end is near. This is not paranoid hysteria. The world is really coming to an end. Jesus is coming to judge all people and to destroy this world with fire. The signs he gave so that we would be ready are happening right now. In fact, they have been happening to some degree since the day Jesus ascended into heaven.
Jesus’ point is that we should be continually ready – on high alert at all times – because he could come back at any moment. When we see earthquakes and riots, wars and persecution, it should remind us that this world is coming to an end. It could be another 2,000 years. It could be tomorrow. We need to be ready.
Thankfully, if you believe in Jesus, you are ready. When Jesus comes to judge on the Last Day, he will declare all believers to be innocent because he already suffered our punishment in our place. Whoever believes in him will be saved. Whoever does not believe in him, though, will be condemned forever to the death sentence of hell.
So when you see earthquakes and riots and terrorist attacks on CNN, it should sadden you, but it shouldn’t shock you. Jesus said such things would happen. They are a reminder to be ready.
The end is near.