You may or may not be aware of the increasing chatter among Christians about an impending astronomical event that will occur on September 23, 2017. You can easily find information about this event on the internet and YouTube.
Reports have it that for the first time in recorded history – at least in the last several thousand years, two constellations will align themselves with four planets in a unique pattern. Virgo (Latin for Virgin) will appear below the constellation Leo (Latin for Lion). Leo has nine stars that form its pattern. But on September 23, three planets (Mercury, Venus, and Mars) will also appear within that constellation, forming what will appear to be twelve stars.
Also within that constellation alignment, the sun and moon will appear at the feet of Virgo.
Meanwhile, the planet Jupiter (the chief deity of the Roman Empire) has already moved into position within the center (womb?) of Virgo. That happened nine months ago. On September 23, Jupiter will have moved out of Virgo’s womb.
All this, it is said, is in fulfillment of a 2000-year-old prophecy related to the Second Coming of Christ, found in Revelation 12: “A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; 2 and she was with child; and she *cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth . . . . 5 And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne.”
The remainder of the chapter is also of interest to me, but I will leave that reading to those who are curious to read further.
I have not researched this historical accuracy of the claim that this alignment has never occurred before in recorded history. Nor, frankly, do I intend to research that claim. I’ll tell you why a few paragraphs later. But if the claim is true, then one of two things will happen on September 23:
1. Nothing will happen. Like the astronomical events such as the Blood Moon of 2016, and the total Eclipse of last week, the alignment of the two constellations and four planets will simply be an interesting event in the sky. Life on earth will be unchanged.
2. Something cataclysmic will occur. Some call it the ‘rapture’ of Christians – when Jesus comes for His believers and takes them all to heaven with Him. Or, it could be some other catastrophe – man made, or of a natural origin, such as world-wide earthquakes. Whatever it would be, life as we know it would be changed.
So, let me tell you why I will not personally fixate on the September 23 event. It’s the same reason that I’ve told my Bible study group (coincidentally, we started studying the book of Revelation two weeks ago – not because of September 23, but because I thought it would be a fun book to study. But I digress).
I told my Bible study group – and I am telling all who have read my comments this far – it is of little difference if Jesus returns to earth in three weeks, or in three thousand years. Why? Because Jesus could call any one of us to our judgment and reward in the next five minutes.
Please read that again. Jesus could call any one of us to our judgment and reward in the next five minutes.
As I sit here typing this, I am reminded of the Gospel reading for this weekend. It’s from Matthew 16, and the lesson is quite apropos to this question of what (if anything) will happen on September 23:
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. 25 For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds.
Whether Jesus sounds the Trumpet call for His believers on September 23, 2017, or He calls me home through death today on September 2 – either is of little consequence to me. I know in Whom I have placed my life, my trust, my faith, my obedience, my love. And I know I will hear from His lips, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Lord.”
I very much hope you have the same confidence.