Things in the world seem to be getting crazy lately. We have the corona virus and the panic because of it in the stores, in the stock market and our retirement investments. Within the past year, there has been conflict with North Korea, and Russia and China, not to mention the Middle East. There have been several uprisings, protests and riots in many countries. We had fires in the west and Australia and the Amazon jungles and elsewhere. A plague of locusts is sweeping through Africa. We had hurricanes and earthquakes and other natural disasters. Just yesterday in Eastern Washington where we used to live, there was an earthquake, a tornado, hail and snow. People seem to get offended much more easily than they used to and it seems like there is more bickering going on in our government (as well as many of us with each other on social media) than working on solutions. Things that were never accepted before are now being accepted that should not be, even in some churches. Living our faith and talking about God is often being met with tension or hostility (this has been the case for a long time in many countries, but it is beginning to happen here in the U.S.). Many who profess faith in God do not live it, or we are either complacent or judgmental or unloving, or perceived to be. Are we entering into the end times? Perhaps. Is our country in for a fall? Perhaps. Is it all gloom and doom? No. There will be hard times ahead. There are hard times now. But, there will also be glorious times ahead for those who trust in Jesus (we will talk more of this in the next post).
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. “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.”
Do any of these things sound familiar? We don’t know when the time will come but the scriptures say that we should watch and be ready. Jesus will return some day. It could be soon. Let us live as if it were tomorrow (or today!). I want to live in such a way that when He does come, he says, “well done, good and faithful servant.” I am not there yet, but I hope that the Spirit works in me in a way that would glorify God.
Whether this is that day or not, let us turn our hearts back to God, ask forgiveness for our people and our nation so that He would heal us, heal our country, heal our land. Perhaps all that is going on is not a sign of the times, but a warning (or maybe it is both).
Consecrate a fast, call a sacred assembly; Gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the LORD your God, and cry out to the LORD. Alas for the day! For the day of the LORD is at hand; It shall come as destruction from the Almighty.
O LORD, to You I cry out; For fire has devoured the open pastures, and a flame has burned all the trees of the field. The beasts of the field also cry out to You, for the water brooks are dried up, and fire has devoured the open pastures.
“Now, therefore,” says the LORD, “Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.” So rend your heart, and not your garments; Return to the LORD your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness; And He relents from doing harm.
2 Chronicles 7:13-14
When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
We don’t know why things are happening. But we do know that sin is prevalent in this world. In the last decade or so, things have been changing rapidly. People are turning away from God. They are not listening to God’s word. It has become a “me” society. This world has become darker. But there is hope. God still wants us to repent and become His children. That is why Jesus came to this world and gave His life. That is why He took all of our sins on His shoulders and died on the cross. It is never too late to accept His grace and mercy. We need to share that hope and share God’s love.
2 Timothy 4:1-5
I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
Jesus said to watch and be ready. How do we do that? Know the scriptures. Believe in Jesus Christ, trust in Him only, and become children of God. Pray in earnest. Allow the Holy Spirit to work in your life. Do what is right. Share the truth of the gospel with those around you. Watch for the signs. Do not fear, but be ready and look forward to that glorious day of Jesus’ return.
“Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.”