Recently I have been having conversations about the future. Listening to leaders and looking to the future, things seem austere. It seems like the world is in awful shape and nearing its end. Mention of financial upheavals, wars, hunger, unemployment, rising prices for fuel along with other staples is causing many to predict a bleak future for this world.
At various times in history we have "circled the wagons" and made passionate statements about the nearing of the end of the world. In recent history, many looked at the dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan as the end of our civilization. Others thought the Six-Day War between Israel and her neighboring countries of Egypt, Jordan and Syria in June 1967 surely was the end of time and Christ's return.
When Henry Kissinger was appointed Secretary of State during the Nixon administration in the early 1970s, I remember many in religious circles tapped him as a possibility of being the Antichrist. Many have looked at world events and been wrong, while many false teachers have made ludicrous prophesies and were exposed.
This fascination with the second coming of Christ has been around for a very, very long time. We seem to forget the biblical injunction that "not even the Son" knows the date and time of His return.
I can sympathize with our anxious feeling of leaving this world, but God has not returned so His followers can continue to be witnesses for Him and bring many more into His Kingdom. God's desire is for sinners to come to Him.
Monthly I have written this column to encourage California Southern Baptists to remain on the mission of reaching California, the United States and the world for Christ. Some in the Southern Baptist Convention are trying to rediscover the Great Commission. Personally, I never lost or diminished my passion for carrying out God's great instruction. Daily, I seek opportunities to share Christ. It is a passion which will last until that day when the "trumpet will sound" and I meet Him face to face.
With the prayer and offering emphasis for California missions just around the corner, let us recommit ourselves to share Christ with our world. Do not despair in the midst of these troubling times, but rejoice in the blessings God has lavished on His people. Now is an opportune time to share the Good News and provide hope for someone who is struggling and doesn't know Jesus.