While there are a number of other topics I really want to share with you, I inevitably am drawn to the multitude of things taking place around us as far as the eye technologically can see. The negative so greatly outpaces the good that it is just overwhelming! The Sixth Commandment, e.g., not only has been thrown out the window, but has been trampled underfoot and ground into the dirt! It is amazing the number of people who think they can disobey Almighty God and get away without any consequences. Our Creator Living God is a God of justice and according to His words, He Himself will exact vengeance.
And then I remember that none of these things transpiring in the world today should come as a surprise to us. Jesus says all of these things must take place before the end of the age comes. Jesus told us that all these things were “coming down the pike,” so to speak. (At this point I invite you to review the Gospel of Luke 21:5-31) Jesus’ lists contain many of the things already occurring in our day. Jesus cites wars with nations rising against nations. But note that He encourages us not to be frightened because (1) it is necessary (i.e., they are part of God’s sovereign plan) that these kind of things occur first and (2) even so, the end is not coming right away.
Jesus’ lists earthquakes as a sign of the end. Has anyone lost track of the number and locations of earthquakes shaking the earth here, there, and everywhere? He says we shall see famines. Has the food crisis in Venezuela been resolved yet? And, is the mosquito-borne Zika Virus a pestilence? Are there “fearful events and great signs from heaven” (v. 11) taking place?
Hang on, it gets worse (v. 12): Just because you are a Christian, you will be arrested, persecuted, and put on trial. Don’t you dare say it can’t happen in our democracy because it already is taking place according to various “news” reports! Again Jesus says not to worry because the net result will be your becoming witnesses (faith-sharers) to your persecutors. Wow, look at how God already has things worked out!!
Another awesome thing is that Jesus specifically says we are not to concern ourselves with what to say in our own defense. Jesus says that He Himself will give us unassailable words and wisdom. But, on the heels of that uplifting encouragement comes more seeming downers: (a) some Christians will be betrayed by their own parents; (b) some by fellow Christians; (c) some by relatives and friends; (d) some of us will even be put to death; and, everyone will hate us. Thank God for vv. 18-19: But not a hair on your head will perish (die). By standing firm [we] will live.
Just take Him at His word. It’s called faith—without which we cannot please God. If He said it, that settles it whether we believe it or not. So, do not be surprised at all the “things” that are going on in the world today. They have to happen before Jesus returns. But even so, Jesus said not right away. We have to be ready by staying faithful for whenever.
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