How Stupid Do We Look (waiting for God to return)?

How stupid do we look waiting for Jesus to return?

Who cares?

Well, I care sometimes but that’s a huge mistake.

We’re all so smart, aren’t we?

We weren’t fooled for a minute by all that rapture nonsense. None of us were looking up at the sky at 5:59 on Saturday, were we? That’s because we’re so smart.

Modern humans really value smart, don’t we? We won’t be fooled by imitations, snake oil, door-to-door salesman, or pyramid schemes. We’re above all that. We don’t fall for anything.

Probably because we refuse to fully believe in anything.

Wait. That’s not good.

When Jesus tells us that we must become like little children to receive the kingdom of God, He isn’t saying we must immature or uninformed. He’s telling us we must return to a stage where we still had our capacity for wonder and for belief.

Even adults had this capacity once upon a time but we traded it in for a tasty piece of fruit.

“He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” * Genesis 3:1-5

Boy, we really wanted to be “in the know.” “Knowing things” seemed to be more important at that moment than trusting God. We didn’t want to have faith, we wanted to be smart, in the loop, informed on all levels, having received the inside scoop, true cosmic insiders.

The trouble was, it wasn’t really about being informed or smart. The enemy knew that death was waiting for us at the end of that clever choice as surely as he knows that destruction will be his end, too. It’s all he has in his future – death – and he’s eager to bring as many of us with him as he can.

Our enemy is not creative. In fact, while he is beautiful and smart (because God created Him that way), he does not have the capacity to create – only to destroy. Even his methods of temptation aren’t creative. He really just uses the same trick over and over because every human who comes along succumbs to it. You’ll find his trick right up front in that passage from Genesis:

“He said to the woman, ‘Did God actually say –‘”

“Did God actually say” – that’s the bullet in the chamber aimed at the head of our faith all the time. Did God actually say people will go to hell? Did God actually say there is only one way to be saved? Did God actually say He’s coming again? Did God actually say that other faiths are idolatry?

Those words scream at us from the headlines and they whisper in our ears late at night. They are designed to make us feel the way Eve felt – maybe we’re being gullible to trust God. Maybe He’s withholding information from us that others have figured out. Maybe we’re just being set up to look stupid by trusting in Him. Maybe God isn’t good.

And we get so worked up that we do what Eve did – we panic and we choose to be what looks savvy, knowing, and self-serving rather than to risk trusting the One with the powers of creativity and life. We allow ourselves to be intimidated and bullied by the one who only has the power to destroy.

But, loved ones, God is good. The smartest thing we can ever do is to trust Him.

Here is our take-away from all the end of the world prediction fiasco:

First, the power behind that whole debacle is the same one who was at work in the garden. It was a giant replay of “Did God really say?” Our enemy wants us to doubt what we know and he wants others to doubt it as well. He was poking fun at those of us who know that day is coming and trying to make it look stupid to wait for Jesus’ return by staging a “fool’s rapture.”

Second, this “false alarm” was a strategic tactic to discredit any of us who teach that one day He will come again. It makes us think twice before we open our mouths and reveal ourselves as trusting in what looks like a spiritual shell game. It’s a maneuver designed to erode our confidence and boldness in speaking truth.


But third, just as in the garden, the enemy lays his trap for humans but God has the last word on how things will end up! Many of us were able to point to scriptures – what God actually said – about His return and speak of them freely with people who would normally be closed to such a discussion. We were able to point to the Bible as the source of authority on what God actually says. Even secular news programs were quoting God’s word as authoritative on the matter. God can turn Satan’s tactics back on him and use them to glorify Himself and to bring others to the truth despite the enemies efforts otherwise.

Being smart isn’t bad. My IQ would impress a lot of people and I use my mind to understand God as well as my heart.

But I know the tactics of the enemy and he knows how much I hate looking stupid so I know he sets traps for me to tempt me to choose looking smart over standing on faith in God. To avoid those traps, I need the power of the Holy Spirit because I reallllllllyyyyyyy hate looking stupid or gullible or anything but savvy.

Here’s the smart truth though, loved ones. Choosing life is smart. Choosing death is stupid.

Want to be “in the know”? Choose to know God.

And keep watching the skies because He is coming again.

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*Crossway Bibles (2011). The Holy Bible English Standard Version (ESV) (Kindle Locations 270-275). Good News Publishers/Crossway Books. Kindle Edition.


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14 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. Maurie says:

    Lori, Thanks for a fresh look at the coming again on this specific date fiasco. I can’t understand why a man who knows God’s Word would claim to know what Scripture says even Jesus doesn’t know. Maybe Harold Camping fell for the same desire…to be “in the know”. Now I hear that he has set a date in the fall. Wouldn’t it be wonderful, if the Lord surprised us by coming today instead?

  2. Carmen says:

    I couldn’t have said it better! I felt concerned, only because it would look bad…but it is an opportunity to share the truth. I believe this pastor has set a date before. I don’t understand why he would continue to do this when the bible clearly states that no man knows the day or the hour.

  3. Karin says:

    We had so many more opportunities to discuss with others what the Bible really says, how to distinguish real prophets from false prophets, and to express our trust and belief in God! Loved how you’ve expressed this post!

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