28 August 2020 |
Dear Aunt Sevvy,
As I look around at what’s happening in the world, I can’t escape the conviction that we are at the very cusp of the Second Coming of Christ. Even though I’m retired and on a very small income, I’ve been giving all of my money to the church, including the $1,200 stimulus check that I got from Donald Trump. I even skipped paying a few bills. When my daughter heard about that, she was furious. She says the world is going to go on after COVID-19, and I should just give my tithes and offerings, not all of my money. What do you think?
Signed, Ready for Jesus
Your faith is admirable. You are not the only one who feels that the world has become a very scary place. Many, like you, believe this is a sign of the end times.
Still, I believe your daughter is right. Neither you, nor she, nor I, know whether the world is about to end. Your certainty that the second coming is imminent has been felt by hundreds of thousands of people before you, going all the way back to Jesus’ time—and so far they’ve all been wrong.
A familiar story in the founding of the Adventist church is that a few people gave away all their possessions, and on October 22, 1844, were faced not only with disappointment that Jesus didn’t return, but poverty as well. In hindsight would it not have been wiser for them to have shared their means with the movement, but not at the expense of their families’ health and well-being?
Planning for the future is not a lack of faith. It is simply an acknowledgement that we don’t know when Jesus will return—and he explicitly told us that when he said to be always ready, but keep on living in the meantime. In a parable Jesus told about his return, the master in going away tells his servants to “Occupy till I come.” So preparing for the future is not only wise, but biblically sound.
Keep your faith strong. But do as your daughter suggests: prepare for your future, too. You may live a long time yet. You can always leave something extra in your will, as many do, to carry on the work after you’re gone.
You can write to Aunt Sevvy at DearAuntSevvy@gmail.com. Please keep questions or comments short. What you send us at this address won’t necessarily be, but could be, published—always without identities. Aunt Sevvy writes her own column, and neither her opinions nor those of her correspondents are necessarily those of Adventist Today’s editors.