Man oh man… There is a lot of talk on the internet about September 23, 2017, being the end of the world, the date of the rapture, the start of the great tribulation, and so on… And I’ll be honest with you… I kinda got sucked into all the theories…briefly…
Some of them sound super convincing. Well…the weather phenomena being the fulfillment of Luke 21 and Matthew 24 was a bit of a stretch. Though this year has been devastating, and continues to be, 2004 was really bad too… And there have been severe natural disasters happening for as long as I could remember.
But the Revelation 12 sign… That grabbed my attention.
Revelation 12:1-2 says this…
And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head, a crown of twelve stars. 2 She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth. (ESV)
It turns out that on September 23rd, the constellations Virgo and Leo will be a part of a celestial spectacle that day. Virgo, which is a constellation depicted as a woman, will have the sun on her shoulder and the moon at her feet. At her head will be the constellation Leo which is made up of 9 stars. The remaining 3 stars will be three planets that just so happen to align in a row that day right beside Leo, making it a total of 12 stars. The interesting thing about this is that the planet Jupiter has been inside the constellation Virgo, right around where the womb would be, and it’s been there for 9 months. On September 23, Jupiter will exit the womb.
So WOW! That sounds crazy!!! I was hooked man… It grabbed my attention. After all, God did say that the sun, moon, and stars were created to be for “signs and for seasons, and for days and years” (Gen 1:14)
But then I remembered the blood moon tetrad that took place a couple of years ago. I was intrigued then too. The rapture didn’t happen then. The world didn’t end then.
Then I remembered the Mayan calendar fiasco for December 21, 2012. The rapture didn’t happen then. The world didn’t end then.
There have been many failed predictions over the years, and actually… if we look into church history, these types of predictions have been miscalculated for centuries.
After remembering those miscalculated dates, I was brought back to the most important passage regarding this sort of date setting.
Matthew 24:36 says,
“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.”
Date setting is clearly not on the agenda for us. No one, not even Jesus, knows when that day will be.
I read a great article this morning written by Dr. Brian Irwin who is an Associate Professor of Old Testament/Hebrew Scriptures at Knox College in Toronto. I would encourage you to read it.
A bit of a spoiler alert… He had a great line in that article for the church. Dr. Irwin wrote,
“As the church, we’re not so much to be watching and waiting as watching and doing.”
I love that. We’re not called to sit on the sidelines and provide commentaries on the troubles of this world while we wait for the “rapture” bus. Sure the signs seem somewhat conspicuous, but that doesn’t change what we are called to do.
We are called to be salt.
We are called to be light.
We are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
Let’s not forget Matthew 25:31-46.
(Mic Drop) (Shameless walk off stage)