Besides its use as Sunday morning sermon humor, the joke is used to suggest it really doesn’t matter what you believe about the end times. Nothing could be further from the truth.
If the weatherman says its going to rain tomorrow would you plan a picnic? If you knew it didn’t matter how hard you worked at your job, that you would never be promoted or receive a raise and would ultimately be terminated, how hard would you work?
What you believe about tomorrow affects how you act today. This is no less true with eschatology. If you believe the culture is destined for darkness you will not attempt to change it. If you think God has determined his kingdom will fail on the earth before Jesus’ return you won’t waste your time attempting to advance it.
With the stakes so high, are you comfortable you have sufficiently studied the different Christian beliefs about the end times, or have you just blindly accepted what you were taught? GS