The approaching asteroid Apophis has a new timeline that gives us earthlings about 100 years to party, build indestructible caves, or live expectantly of a new world.[1] The impact of an asteroid on the earth makes most people think about the end of life as we know it or the radical change in the quality of life for us on earth.

When I read the headlines and articles about approaching asteroids or comets, I detect an element of fear in them. I cannot say that this is intentional by the writers, but fear can be a great motivator in earthlings when we think about our world changing in a radical way.

Approaching asteroids came to mind when I recently read this description of God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come.”[2] Asteroids coming in our direction led me to focus on God being the one who is coming in our direction, too. To be consistent, John should have written, “who is, who was, and who will be,” but John did not use the ‘be’ verb in the third clause to describe God. He knew that God would exist in the future for his God is eternal. John also knew the promise that God would come to inaugurate a new world.[3] Since John was a follower of Jesus Christ, he certainly remembered Jesus’ promise to come again.[4]

An approaching asteroid is an impending danger for which we should prepare ourselves. If God is real and God has plans to come to us, then God’s coming could be an impending danger. Human history contains evidence of earthlings using religious rituals to appease God or gods. The purpose of God’s coming includes many things according to the Bible, and some of them can be frightening like judgment, and punishment. John’s fellow follower of Jesus, Peter, wrote about one of the purposes of God’s coming. “But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.”[5]

Whether Apophis hits earth or not, God will come for which we should prepare ourselves. Evaluating our lives spiritually in anticipation of God’s coming allows us to work on the BIG questions of life including why I am here; what the purpose of life is; and what kind of life is there after death. Depending on our answers to these questions, a person can choose to live expectantly of the coming God. Parents live expectantly of a new world coming when their baby arrives. They paint the baby room, buy furniture, diapers, car seats, strollers, and a zillion other necessities. In a similar fashion, we can live expectantly of God approaching to inaugurate the new world.

Holding to and teaching a worldview that includes the end of this world can incite fear. Many religious spokespersons have used fear to persuade people to embrace their agendas whether they are right or wrong. Fear can be misused and misinterpreted, but fear can also be a healthy emotion.[1] Believing that God will come to end our present world and inaugurate the new one, means we have some matters to address. One issue is talking about death and dying. At appropriate times we can talk about the reality of death and the possibility of our deaths. I type this article during the week that Christians celebrate Jesus’ last week before dying. The gospels record that he began telling his followers that he was going to die well before that last week of his life.[2] We can follow his example today and talk about death at appropriate times.

Another question to answer is what is God’s purpose for ending our world and inaugurating the new one? Peter’s words quoted above are in the context of the destruction of our world when the Lord Jesus comes. The world will feature scoffers which assumes the larger issue of the evil condition of people’s hearts. All people tend to evil in some way or another—bias, prejudice, hate, anger, and downright meanness. These qualities do not work toward righteousness and justice. We fall short of God’s majestic righteousness and justice.  God’s new world will rectify all the injustices in our present world. If we work for justice and righteousness today, we will be right at home in God’s new world.

If you are fearful of the approaching asteroid or God’s coming, ask yourself why? Are you afraid to die? Are you afraid of pain associated with dying? Are you afraid of the unknown? Are you afraid of God because you know God is holy, righteous, and just? Does guilt afflict your heart? A guilty person does not feel worthy to meet their Creator. The good news is that God is rich in mercy. “In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…[we] through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.”[3] You can resolve your guilt today by recognizing that Jesus Christ died for your sins. Through his shed blood you are freed from your sins. Put your trust in his great mercy for you. Turn from your sins and ask him to give you God’s Spirit to live within you and to give you strength to live in anticipation of God’s coming. Asteroid or no asteroid, God is the “one who is to come.

[1]Much-feared asteroid Apophis won’t hit Earth for at least 100 years, Nasa says | Asteroids | The Guardian Accessed March 30, 2021.
[2] Revelation 1:4, 8; 4:8. “As the one who is to come, he will yet visit men to bring history to its divinely decreed consummation.” George Eldon Ladd, A Commentary on the Revelation of John. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1972, p. 29.
[3] Isaiah 65:17ff.
[4] Mark 13:26.
[5] 2 Peter 3:13.
[6] Fear | Psychology Today Accessed April 1, 2021.
[7] Mark 8:31-32; 9:31; 10:32ff; 14:8.
[8] 1 Peter 1:3-5.

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