CONVERSATIONS WITH JEFFREY # 23 (An imagineered series by Leona Choy for her grandson, Jeffrey D. Choy)
Grandma, people are talking on TV that the world is going to end tomorrow! Is that really true? What does that mean? That sounds so scary! Is it about Jesus coming back to earth again?
Jeffrey, don’t be afraid. You have Jesus in your heart and God is taking care of you. Jesus said that we shouldn’t try to set dates for His coming. You can read about that in the gospel of Mark in your new Bible. Look up chapter 13 and verse 32.
OK. That says, “But of that day or that hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time will come.” Does that mean that even Jesus didn’t know the day He was going to come back from Heaven?
When Jesus said that to His disciples, He hadn’t been crucified yet, or died, or was resurrected. He hadn’t gone up to Heaven yet. After He was there with God, His Father, they would know all things together then. But He was telling His disciples not to set dates or try to figure it out for themselves during the time when He was in heaven.
Then that man who is getting everyone all excited that the world will end tomorrow is doing just what Jesus said not to do?
That’s right. Jesus warned us that there will be false Christs and false prophets. This man is only one of many who tried to figure out some exact date. Several years ago he set another date and the same thing happened.
You mean nothing happened, right? Jesus didn’t come back and the world didn’t end.
Exactly. But it will happen someday. Jesus wants us to be ready anytime either for His coming again or for when He decides for any of us that it is time for our life to end and we go to be with Him in Heaven. We should love Jesus and try to live like He taught us and talk with Him in prayer and let Him guide us. Then we won’t be afraid of whatever is going on in our lives or in the world.
Grandma, you said that Jesus told us about a lot of things that would happen in the world before it would end or before He would come again. Where is that in the Bible? And are those things already happening yet?
In the Gospel of Matthew, the 24th chapter, He told us about such things as wars and famines and earthquakes and Christians being persecuted and some people even saying that Christ has already come back. That was more than two thousand years ago and such things have been happening in every generation.
But Grandma, natural disasters are happening all over the world now. Lots of aweful earthquakes and tornadoes and the big floods and the fires out West and…remember when Daddy and I were visiting Thailand a few years ago and the tsunami came right while we were there?
It does seem that those things are increasing. God may be letting us know that we should be prepared. But Jesus said, “See that you are not alarmed; for this must take place, but the end is not yet...all this is but the beginning of the sufferings.”
Then Jesus’ coming could be close, right? How will we know when He really does come? Won’t we miss Him if we aren’t exactly at the place on earth where He is going to arrive!
Not to worry. Jesus said, “For as lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of man…and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory; …the powers of the heavens will be shaken…and he will send out his angels with a great trumpet call….” There are more details that you can read for yourself. You won’t miss Him, Jeffrey!
Whew! That’s a relief! Does that mean that everyone in the world will see Him instantly all at the same time? Like the live news on TV?
Probably better than that! Only God knows the timeline when all these things will happen or exactly what it will be like. We just have to leave the details to Him. That’s why Jesus told us not to set dates.
Is that the time when those who are dead will be raised first and they will get their new bodies that won’t die anymore? And we who are still living will get new bodies too? Where are the verses about all that?
Saint Paul explains more about that for us in 1 Thessalonians chapters 4 and 5. Remember this: for sure Jesus is coming back again. He promised. At Mass we say "Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again!"
And in the Apostles' Creed I just memorized last week, "...He will come again to judge the living and the dead." It's exciting! I can't wait! I wish Jesus would really come back today. But…ok…I know, I know…no date setting, right?
Yes, it could be today--or any day. We should just be ready!