First Baptist Church of Rahway, 177 Elm Ave., Rahway, New Jersey 07065 is a multi-cultural congregation that has a Blended English Service on Sunday Mornings, a Latino Service at 12:00, and a Service in Telugu at 3:30PM. For more information, call (732) 388-8626. Or click here to send an email. If you wish to help the Mission and Ministry of First Baptist financially click the Donate Button.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

It’s the End of the World!

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The Christian Church roots for the end of the world. It’s true, just look at this passage from Revelation 22:20; “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes I am coming soon’. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.” These words, “Come Lord Jesus”, are said by Christians all of the time, including me. We say them as a response to the problems of the world. We say them as a final solution to life’s challenges. We say them as a benediction; a way of saying, “goodbye and have a nice day”. This is because for believers in Jesus Christ the coming of the end of the world is not a bad thing. For us it marks the start of a new and better world.
However, for people who do not proclaim Jesus as Lord, the end of the world is a strangely complicated concept. One would think that something so unpleasant would not be discussed in polite company as often as it is. A quick scan of today’s headlines shows that the end of the world is an enormously popular subject. Every day I see a headline that suggests something terrible is either happening now, or about to happen that is threatening the very fabric of the universe. Or, at the very least, might possibly ruin the perfectly nice day I am having. Below are some examples of recent end of the world headlines. I wish to take a moment with each of them and consider what the author is trying to accomplish by suggesting to us that we are all about to die in a horrible way. I have a sneaky feeling that there is more to the end of the world than meets the eye.
The day Air Conditioning Ended the World

This article from the New York Times talks about the increase in the use of air conditioning in third world countries. This is good news for people suffering in sweltering heat, bad news for those afraid of global warming. The most popular coolant causes more greenhouse emissions (there is a certain irony here because my air conditioning is on as I write this). Thus, as third world countries increase their overall prosperity (good) they use more items which cause more greenhouse gases (bad). Which means we are all going to die horribly (very bad).
As you peruse the article I hope that you take a look at the motivation behind the statements being made in it. The people who prosper from the sale of the existing coolant want to downplay the bad effects of it. The people who manufacture newer coolants which do not produce as much greenhouse emissions are happy to point out the end of the world scenario. So, after looking at this article are we all ready to build a bunker and eat franks and beans for eternity? It depends which company you have money invested in.
The day the European Union Ended the World

“Somewhere in Toledo, Spain there is a middle-class family that holds Barack Obama‘s political fate in its hands.” Really? Is the writer aware that he/she is speaking of the man who currently holds the most powerful office in the world? Putting the hyperbole aside, this article from Time Magazine is talking about the financial problems in Europe and their affect upon our little country. For the last several months hundreds of articles have been published suggesting imminent worldwide financial collapse. It’s a good thing I had all of teeth covered in gold caps!
While informative the article also has a certain air about it. How shall I say it? “I know the solution to the world’s problems, so pay attention to me!!!” I would argue that all of the articles I have read about this current dilemma could be categorized in the same way. A significant portion of the people who claim the world is ending also claim that they have the solution. If only people would listen to them. I have a solution to this problem as well. I have to stop reading these articles.
No School Prayer, No Soup for You

“But today, America has amnesia, and I believe the school prayer case was part of that forgetfulness. We have turned out back on God, and we are reaping the natural consequences.” Wow, I’m going to find a rock and crawl under it. The wrath of God is coming upon us any day now. On the other hand, wasn’t the school prayer case back in the 1960’s? That is what this article is about, the 50th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court case. The writer says that this case started a movement of people in the USA away from faith in God. That point is arguable. And though I agree that prayer in schools would be a good thing, I’m not sold on the wrath of God scenario. After all Jesus said; “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” Matthew 7:21. This strongly suggests that public prayer does not guarantee spiritual righteousness. If God is going to bring down fire from heaven and zap us, it will be because of what is happening inside of us, not what is happening on the outside.
It’s the End of the Word, and I Feel Fine

“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and He will dwell with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God” Revelation 21:3.
We believers in Jesus Christ don’t have a problem with the end of the world. For us, it’s a going to be a great day when Jesus returns in his glory. On that day everything will be made right and existence on this world will become heaven on earth.
For those who don’t believe in Jesus, it’s time to start building that emergency shelter. After all, franks and beans don’t grow underground.
God bless you,

Pastor Bill

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