The End of the World

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For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as [Christians].  And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.  It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.

2 Corinthians 11:13-15

Today is December 21, 2012 or 12/21/12.  It is a day that has been discussed, written about, tweeted, Facebooked, and Youtubed for several years.  The Mayan calendar predicting the end of one era and the beginning of a new era.

The news’ headlines include Mid-west snow storms across U.S., the nomination of John Kerry to Secretary of State, remembering the Newtown tragedy of seven days ago, and our “fiscal cliff”.  None of these seem to be of doomsday category, although I have my own opinions of John Kerry.  Even at the global level, the headlines read pretty much the same as in recent times.  Not much has changed.

Yet, life experience has shown me that the most seemingly simple moments can erupt into the unexpected.  The subtle comment to a friend plants the seed of a future argument.  The shower that took too long caused you to be late on the day they were making decisions about lay-offs.  And the phone call you let go to voice mail was a friend who had fallen and needed your help.

Our global age has trained us to look at the big picture, and we have forgotten to pay attention to the details.  Someone once said “the devil is in the details”.  The devil has many tricks.  One of his best ones is to masquerade as a “good guy”, an angel of light.  He has learned to imitate the goodness of God just enough to fool even the wisest of people.

Almost 2000 years ago, in the quiet town of Bethlehem, a child was born on the outskirts of town.  It went nearly unnoticed except for a few shepherds tending their flock by night.  It was a small town with little notoriety. It belonged to the small clan of the small tribe of Benjamin.  And it became the birthplace of a small baby boy born to save His people from their sins.

I wonder if the devil will try to imitate the goodness of God once again.  Could it be that today in a small town somewhere the “anti-Christ” was born? Could it be that today is the end of an era and the beginning of a new one?  Does the thought start to make your hair stand on end? Does the idea of subtle evil make your nervous?

Our world gets upset at big displays of evil and wickedness.  We react in extreme measures to counter the affects of moments like Sandy Hook or Waco, Texas.  But it is the subtle evil that does the most harm.  It goes down deep into the soul and spirit of a person.  It brews and stirs until it spews over into the pages of CNN.

I hope today really is the “end of the world”.  The scriptures say that in the “end days” the evil one will be revealed.  Evil will be revealed and acknowledged as evil.  And there will once again be a distinction between good and evil, right and wrong, the righteous and the unrighteous.

We, as the ones who call on the Name of the Lord, must guard our hearts.  It is the wellspring of life.  It does not mean we shut ourselves off to the rest of the world.  No.  God has called us to be a light in the darkness.  But we must continue to put into our hearts and minds the things of God so that we will not be deceived.  And we must commit ourselves to the details of God’s Kingdom as well as the big picture.  If subtle evil can eventually uproot a small town in Connecticut, then how much more can subtle holiness affect a small community in Wayne County, Michigan?

Therefore, on this Mayan doomsday…“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.  Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.  Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers”.

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