“And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.”
Matthew 24:4-8 NKJV
I think back to different times in my life when I have awaited some event, some outcome with anticipation. It didn’t matter if it was a good thing or something I dreaded, I looked and sought to steady myself so that I could deal with it when the time came. I guess I thought I could brace myself in the bad times, in the hope that I would be in control come what may.
The most significant things that have happened in my life offered little indication that they were about to occur. I would typically go about my life, and then something would happen.
I remember when cancer came into my life. It started as a back ache, got worse, then ended up being a tumor on my third vertebrae that was crushing through the bone, and attacking my spinal cord.
I had no prior hint as to what was coming. I had only the pain in back that attributed to leaning over my computer at work, and a sense that not much else was wrong in my body.
In that season, eventually bed bound at Mayo, I discovered the faithfulness of God, and the truth that He is truly there for me.
I remember clinging to His word, and reading it as it had become my lifeline. I was in a storm and I knew where my help came from.
This morning I read Matthew 24, and I have to admit I felt a bit uneasy as my eyes glanced at each word. As I read, I could see much of it playing out today in my world.
All of the things in the passage are coming to fruition in the here and now. We are seeing false Christs, drawing people after themselves, there are rumors of war, nations rising against nation and there is a sense that something big is going to happen…soon.
I have been told by so many brothers and sisters that they have a sense of foreboding, that is building, and becoming almost unbearable. It is not uncommon to hear people of all political persuasians talking of “saving the nation” of “great resets”, and many other alarmist concerns. In reality, I believe, something far more cataclysmic is coming: Jesus is going to return soon.
“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!”
II Timothy 3:1-5 NKJV
The passage above reads like a checklist of signs that the end of life as we know is near. All the boxes are checked, and life in this world is becoming untenable.
Our nation is being shaken as we see the division deepening, and ties that bind cut to pieces. What is happening here is happening everywhere. We are seeing the fig tree fully leaved and we know that summer is near.
Brothers and sisters, let us be about the Father’s business as the time is becoming short and the darkness is looming. I believe soon, the world will seek to persecute those of us who are Christians here in the west, as it has everywhere else. We must redeem the time and use it wisely. It will become harder, the closer we get to the coming of the Lord.
““Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”
Matthew 24:9-14 NKJV
Let us be bold and go and proclaim that great Gospel, the Good News of the God/Man come to earth, to die for the sins of humanity. Tell them of your story, how Jesus has transformed your life, how He has made you new. Tell of His boundless love and his faithfulness, even in the hottest trials. Do not fear!
“Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.”
Revelation 2:10 NKJV
“Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.”
Revelation 3:11-12 NKJV
“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”
Ephesians 6:13 NKJV
Stand, my brothers and sisters, stand!
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