Scott on April 5, 2008 at 2:21 pm
The following insightful commentary was sent to me by Harold Watkins. Harold is a the father of one of my closest friends and is also, I am honored to say, a friend of mine as well. His knowledge, patience and wisdom has been an example for many of us who have come to know and love him over the years. He is a man who loves to study God’s Word and who loves to engage, not just his heart but his mind as well in his times of study. John and I have been privileged to host one of his studies on the “end times” titled THE SOON RETURN on our V Sources pages.
He was prompted to send me this commentary after reading the post I put up yesterday Global Warming NOT an Absolute Certainty? Who Knew?!? I hope that we can feature more of his commentaries in the future!
THE END IS NEAR!!! (again)
Years ago Mark Twain said something to the effect: “I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.” No truer statement could be expressed about life today. It seems every few years something appears on the scene that tends to scare people half to death. And then religious leaders are quick to pronounce that the end is near. In fact, for as long as anyone can remember the end has been near. But this is not an exclusively religious routine. Even those outside the religious circle preach the same message.
I well remember during the first 30-40 years of my life that we were reminded often with the ominous forecast that the earth was getting cooler and that this would soon have a devastating effect upon life on earth. Scientists had irrefutable proof that world temperatures were rapidly decreasing. In fact, we were told, we were on the edge of entering another ice age. Oh, and yes, the end was near. We were all going to freeze to death!
During the last 30 years of my life the message has been slightly modified. Today we are warned by knowledgeable scientists that global warming is more than a serious problem. Again, these experts have irrefutable proof. Above the earth, there’s a growing hole in the ozone layer. On the earth, the snow packs at the poles are melting at an alarming rate, and world temperatures are rising sharply. Once again, the end is near. We’re all going to burn to death!
Back in the late 50s and early 60s, we were confronted with the news that a world famine was inevitable in the 70s. This warning was based upon shorter growing seasons, which were resulting from global cooling, and upon an increase in the world’s population rate, which was soaring. I can well remember preaching a sermon in the mid-60s in which I included some of the statistics so prevalent in those days. Within ten years there would simply not be enough food to feed everyone. With less food being produced and more people to feed, the end was near. We were all going to starve to death!
Can you remember how the alarmist back in early 1980 warned us what might happen as a result of a coming unusual alignment of the planets? We were told that Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn would all line up with the sun and that this alignment would have such a strong gravitational influence that the earth might even be pulled apart or that it would cause the earth’s rotation to switch directions! At the very least, it would instigate devastating earthquakes, furious storms, destructive floods, and other apocalyptic type catastrophes all over the earth; in fact, it might even trigger the scenes described in the book of Revelation! The end was near. We were all going to shake to death!
Remember, not long ago, the alarming news that a strain of super aggressive honey bees had escaped the laboratories of some Brazilian scientists and were headed northward toward the U.S. at a speed of 200 miles per year? These bees were supposed to be 100 times more deadly than normal bees. In fact, they were called killer bees and supposedly would attack humans just for the fun of it. The news was that they had already stung to death upwards of a 1000 people. The end was near. We were all going to be stung to death!
Enough said; you get the picture. To paraphrase Mark Twain, “We’ve known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.” We never froze to death, we never burned to death, we never starved to death, we never shook to death, and we never were stung to death. Most of the troubles we’ve known never really happened. I recall some old writer, I think it was Matthew Henry, saying something like this: “Some people die a thousand deaths worrying about one.” You see, the end is always near in the minds of a lot of people, including both the religious and the not so religious. They always see the dark side of life and always predict the worst. It’s like the proverbial glass containing water. Although some say it’s half full, these people always say it’s half empty. They’re full of pessimism, cynicism, doubt, suspicion, worry, and mistrust.
What attitude should the Christian express toward life’s adversities and tragedies? How many times do the Scriptures say to trust God? How many times do the Scriptures indicate that our future is bright? Do the Scriptures ever exhort us to be fearful, to be anxious, to be worried, to be downcast, to be fretful, to be troubled, to be sad, to be discouraged, to be depressed? If any one should see the glass as half full, it’s the Christian!
Let’s reorient our the-end-is-near thinking to one that is positive about the world and its future. The future is too bright and our God is too great to cower in fear to that recurrent but false message that the end is near.
Hey! .. Let’s stop scaring ourselves .!!!
[Note: some of the ideas presented here were triggered by writer Michael Crichton in an article entitled "Let's Stop Scaring Ourselves" printed in the December 5, 2004, issue of Parade, an insert in the Orange County Register].
Category: Climate Change & Environment |