Do you find yourself avoiding news reports? They are usually bad news . . . and more bad news. Some days it would be easy to let fear take control.
Do you ever wonder where God is in all this? Good news! He is right here. And he is in control.
In control! How can that be? The world looks like chaos to us. Frightening chaos. But his perspective is different. He told us this was coming. Here are just a few of the multitude of scriptures drawing a picture of the world in the last days.
Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires. (2 Peter 3:3 NLT)
You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that! (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
Jesus told them, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.
“Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers. And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:4-14 NLT)
“There will be great earthquakes, and there will be famines and plagues in many lands, and there will be terrifying things and great miraculous signs from heaven.” (Luke 21:11 NLT)
Several years ago I tuned into Rev. Allan Lockerman’s message (First Baptist Church Cleveland). He preached from Habakkuk. Such a timely message. The world then was in a mess too–and Habakkuk wondered where God had gone. He started out this way:
How long, O Lord, must I call for help?
But you do not listen!
“Violence is everywhere!” I cry,
but you do not come to save.
Must I forever see these evil deeds?
Why must I watch all this misery?
Wherever I look,
I see destruction and violence.
I am surrounded by people
who love to argue and fight.
The law has become paralyzed,
and there is no justice in the courts.
The wicked far outnumber the righteous,
so that justice has become perverted. (Habakkuk 1:2-4 NLT)
Ever feel that way?
Habakkuk continued with more complaints and God responded to each one. Bottom line? Yes, God is here. God told Habakkuk, “Look around at the nations; look and be amazed! For I am doing something in your own day, something you wouldn’t believe even if someone told you about it.” Yes, he knows what’s going on. In fact, he is in what is going on. His perspective is so different from ours. He’s working out his plan–and his plan is perfect. The scene is being prepared for Christ’s return!
So what should our response be as we watch the horrors going on around us? Faith in our Lord. Faith that he will indeed work all things together for good. Faith that no matter how senseless and chaotic things appear, he is still on his throne. Faith that he will never, never leave us alone. No matter what we have to face here on earth, he will be with us. And if we have received Jesus as Lord and Savior, we have the promise of heaven. A perfect eternity with him.
Another response should be to take Jesus’s Great Commission seriously and personally. Share the love of Jesus with others. Lead them to his saving power! God has a job for each of us. We need to carry out our assignments! The time is short.
We also need to stay informed. To understand the last day prophecies and how they are being fulfilled daily. The violence and anger. The deception. The immorality. The turning away from God’s marriage plan. The indoctrination of our school children. The persecution of believers. The shifting of world powers. The increased natural disasters. And on and on. One way to do that, of course, is to study the scriptures and stay up on world news. Another way is to follow blogs and tweets and newsletters of Christian teachers on the subject. Please visit this page on Find Christian Links. It will give you some ideas about where to get started. I’ve recently updated the page. Please send me any input you may have about websites or ministries that should be added by commenting on this post.
“And since you don’t know when that time will come, be on guard! Stay alert! The coming of the Son of Man can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. When he left home, he gave each of his slaves instructions about the work they were to do, and he told the gatekeeper to watch for his return. You, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know when the master of the household will return—in the evening, at midnight, before dawn, or at daybreak. Don’t let him find you sleeping when he arrives without warning. I say to you what I say to everyone: Watch for him!” (Words of Jesus in Mark 13:33-37 NLT)