By Jeremy Reynalds, Senior Correspondent, ASSIST News Service (firstname.lastname@example.org)
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (ANS. AUG. 29) You’ve probably heard the doomsday warnings for years, but now the latest one is that the world as we know it is going to end in Sept. 2015.
There’s one Facebook page I found devoted to the topic.
Author Jennifer LeClaire writing for Charisma Magazine said, “With Asia’s richest man losing $3.6 billion in China’s Black Monday, some financial advisers are telling clients to get everything but operating cash out of the bank and exit the stock market before it’s too late.”
She continued, “I’m praying against a widespread panic, as many voices—some responsible and some irresponsible—are trumpeting the end of the world as we know it in September.”
An article asking whether there really is an apocalyptic episode coming on that date reads in part, “… there appears to be a consensus that multiple, world-changing events (natural, man-made and spiritual) will take place in rapid succession both before, during and after the September 23rd date.”
Another statement from the same article, while not necessarily surprising, was sadly distressing.
“Pope Francis (who some suspect to be the False Prophet of Revelation), will be meeting with Barack Obama on September 23 2015. Many are suspecting this meeting will coincide with catastrophic events taking place, allowing these and other leaders to usher in a New World Order and help control the widespread chaos that would ensue from a natural or man-made disaster.”
When will these soothsayers learn that they should just-well-keep quiet? A number of individuals and groups have unsuccessfully predicted calamitous events for years, and they have all been wrong. Their failed prophecies have subjected Christians to (some would say warranted) ridicule and scorn.
Jesus said in Matthew 24:36 that no one knows the date or the hour of His coming other than the Father, and while the events referred to above aren’t specifically predicting that coming, they are nonetheless implicitly linked to it.
So while a number of people believe the world as we know it is going to end, for our guests at Joy Junction – and homeless people in general – their “world” as they know it has already ended.
Lacking everything that most of us take for granted, a place to stay, food and often anyone to call a friend, many homeless men, women and families usually have no mental or physical ability to worry about “end times.” Their biggest concern is successfully navigating the time at hand, which is often only punctuated by being moved on from one place to another when they take a break to rest feet weary from endlessly walking city streets.
Then there’s the other worry of finding a place to stay, a bite to eat and something cool to drink. While Albuquerque admittedly has a variety of places where you can get a meal, you still have to get there, and if your mind is battling depression or other mental health challenges, that’s not quite as easy a task as might first be imagined.
So here’s a plea-directed to all but especially to those of you who might have an above average interest in trying to determine the identity of the Antichrist and when Jesus is going to come.
Live for Jesus and love your neighbor as yourself. Use the energy and time you now spend on worrying about the state of the economy and the day of Jesus’ return to help the homeless and the hungry.
For those whose life is filled with reaching out to others, there’s no time left to vilify the Pope or indulge in speculation about a meeting between him and a president they don’t like, but nonetheless one for whom the Bible tells us to pray.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t think about the second coming, and talk about it – but if we do so it should be in moderation. I firmly believe in Jesus’ physical return to earth at some point in the future. But endless speculation about that day just serves to detract us from the task Jesus has left us to accomplish until He comes back- being a light in a dark and very needy world.
If you’d like to shine your light to the homeless and hungry through Joy Junction, you can find out more at www.joyjunction.org
Photo caption: Jeremy and Elma Reynalds.
About the writer: Jeremy Reynalds is Senior Correspondent for the ASSIST News Service, a freelance writer and also the founder and CEO of Joy Junction, New Mexico’s largest emergency homeless shelter, www.joyjunction.org. He has a master’s degree in communication from the University of New Mexico, and a Ph.D. in intercultural education from Biola University in Los Angeles. His newest book is “From Destitute to Ph.D.” Additional details on “From Destitute to Ph.D.” are available at www.myhomelessjourney.com. Reynalds lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico with his wife, Elma. For more information contact: Jeremy Reynalds at email@example.com.
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