How much time do we have?

It seems to me that Christians have always viewed the future as limited. Not in the sense of eternity. We view that with hope, but in the sense of this present world. We look at it as coming to a close.

We see the bible in general as teaching a coming end of all things and Jesus’ pronouncements specifically regarding the end and regarding His soon return as a being just that, soon.

What does soon mean?

I tend to joke about soon. I tend to ask people who refer to things as soon pending whether they mean soon like Jesus did. People don’t tend to respond positively to such humor. Oh well.

Historically, at least superficially, Christians have looked at this pending end to be tempered by the promise that the good news of Christ’s redeeming work will be proclaimed throughout the earth. That there must be sufficient time for those who will be saved to be saved.

Where is that argument now? Is it not accomplished? Where can I go and find that no missionary has gone before? Where do broadcasts not now reach? Is this still a valid argument? It seems to me this argument began to lose force about a century ago. Can it still be made at all?

What then? What of urgency regarding the end?

The signs have all happened before.

Earthquakes? When have there not been earthquakes?

The other signs of the bible and Jesus? I emphasize that these have all ebbed and flowed before. The signs peaked with the rise of World War II, and we are all still here. We endured and defeated that evil. We took strength, then settled into complacency. A cycle that has repeated throughout history, always.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. As says the preacher, there is no new thing under the sun.

So, how long?

I’ve pointed out in a prior post here that a literal understanding of God’s promise to Abraham to make his descendants as numerous as the stars will take several thousand years. Long before then, we will travel to the stars.

Perhaps we should consider deliberate efforts to take a longer and larger view, especially with regard to our comprehension and internalization of the past.