I’m not just saying this for some future generation, but for all of you. This age continues until all these things take place. Sky and earth will wear out; my words won’t wear out. (Matthew 24:35, Message)
As a child born shortly after the mid-century mark, I would think on how neat the millennium would be. I would be forty-five years old. Of all the people ever born, I was one of the fortunate few to experience it.
Instead of the joyful anticipation I expected, the world went into panic mode. The world as we knew it would come to an end because computers weren't originally programmed to change 1999 to 2001. Some people went into full panic mode, stacking up with supplies, buying alternate power sources, collecting water, and the like.
Among Christians. some hoped the occasion would bring the Lord's return. (I was tickled to discover people thought the same thing, back in 999, and if the Lord doesn't return before then, they will expect it in 2999.)
Relief and reality swept the world in the non-event the dates turned out to be.
In Matthew 24, and elsewhere, Jesus gives us a list of signs of His return. They are as true today as the day He first spoke them ("my words won't wear out"). He makes it equally clear that we can best prepare for the His second coming by living for him each day.
I once heard a man say, "I wish I could serve God without family commitments, with an occasional visit with a prostitute." (I may have forgotten some of the words, but no, I'm not making it up.)
That's the attitude that Jesus warns us against.
I have a personal theory: every generation will experience signs that suggest Jesus is coming soon. When I was a child, the establishment of the nation of Israel was one such event.
God doesn't want a generation to think, "It's not going to happen in my lifetime. I don't have to prepare." So He gives each of us the hope, the incentive to live for Him with all our hearts.
Let us live today with an eye on tomorrow.