It seems today there is terror everywhere…
War, famine, pestilence, disease, natural disasters, terrorism…
Hurt, suffering, affliction, persecution…
And what do we hear the most of?
Statements like, ‘I’m with this side…and the rest of you are stupid idiots.’
‘We MUST fight.’
‘Those people are barbaric!’
‘What else do you expect?’
‘Keep them out of our country!’
Social media seems to be bombarded at the moment with fear raising propaganda, fueling one side’s purposes, creating a ‘justification’ while ignoring the cries of many, and it seems we are bring forced into choosing sides...even as Christians. There seems to be a pressure to stand with a particular political party these days, over standing with the oppressed and proclaiming the Gospel which is TRUE hope to our desperate world.
I do believe that we are in the end times which Jesus spoke of.
As to how long these last days will go on for, only God knows.
I have heard people say, ‘life has always been this way…it’s just we never used to hear about it before. There have always been natural disasters and wars and so forth.’
And while I understand this reasoning, I also am confronted with Jesus’ words He spoke in relation to the end days…for He said ‘You will hear’…and indeed I do hear. Here I sit in my rural Australian town, with a population of less than 2,000 people, and yet I hear day after day, of terrible events happening all over the world via the internet. I DO HEAR.
These days are difficult.
These difficult days lead to questions like, ‘Why isn’t God intervening? Why hasn’t Jesus returned yet? Does God care? What should our Christian response be? Whose side am I on anyway?’
The only true place I find comfort these days, is with God, in His Holy Scriptures.
It is by pressing deep into scripture that I see God’s heart, and the grand narrative of our history and I find my response. For if I solely focus on the propaganda and the fearful ‘warnings’, I become frail, and can lose sight of the one immoveable truth – which is our HOPE through Jesus Christ – THE GOSPEL – or the 4 R’s – Repentance, Re-birth, Reconciliation and Resurrection to eternity.
A scripture which has come to mind recently, is Luke 9:60:
‘Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God."’
We are not to be insensitive, we are to let people mourn and bury their dead, but our PURPOSE is to proclaim the Gospel. As Christians we all have been given our commission, to proclaim repentance and forgiveness in Jesus’ name, by the power of the Holy Spirit, then to baptise and make disciples! We are commissioned to go forth and do this everywhere in the world…no matter what persecution we may face, and to take courage from the fact the Jesus goes with us, always.
The truth is GOD does CARE.
He is patiently waiting for the full number of His children to hear His good news and respond. Then He will return, and deal with our world, so that He can re-establish it without sin and corruption for His children. God promises to wipe every tear from our eyes, and He never breaks a promise.
Yet we know how hard it can be to wait.
God does know how difficult it is for us to wait ~ this is why we are allowed to pray like the psalmists, ‘How long Lord?’ and we are encouraged to pray ‘Come Lord Jesus!’, as in Revelation.
It is difficult to wait when we don’t see as God does. It helps me to remember, His thoughts are not the same as mine, and that He sees all of time, unlike me. So I choose to NOT be swayed by fear, anger and lies, and I choose to TRUST Him.
I trust Him and His word. For He is UNFAILING!
I also know that He trusts us! Amazing, I know…but He does trust us, to follow His command to proclaim the Gospel in His LOVE…for He said this is how we will be known as His disciples, by our love. We are called to love the un-loveable and asked to pray for those who persecute us.
So we must not lose sight of the fact that when we become God’s children, we partner with our Father in His ministry of reconciliation. Like the eldest son of the land owner who runs his dad’s business…We become God’s voice, smile, arms, hands and feet. We ARE His representatives.
So as for me…I know whose side I’m on and it’s simply, Jesus’.
Jesus died for all people and truly wants all people to be saved…and yes, this includes the Muslims and terrorists, ANY person in fact. I am forced to ask myself, what makes another person’s sin any worse than mine, from which I have been forgiven? And remember that if He can save me, He can save anyone.
Who am I to exclude people in my own mind, deciding if someone is ‘fit’ to hear the Gospel? We must REMEMBER Peter’s words that God does not play favourites…He is not a respecter or persons…in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him (Acts 10:34-35).
So if someone was to ask you, ‘Whose side are you on anyway?’ What would you say?
Let me leave you with these words from Jesus,
from Matthew 24:3-14.
‘3 When he was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” 4 Jesus answered them, “Beware that no one leads you astray. 5 For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Messiah!’ and they will lead many astray. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumours of wars; see that you are not alarmed; for this must take place, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places: 8 all this is but the beginning of the birth pangs.
9 “Then they will hand you over to be tortured and will put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of my name. 10 Then many will fall away, and they will betray one another and hate one another. 11 And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12 And because of the increase of lawlessness, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 And this good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the world, as a testimony to all the nations; and then the end will come.’
HIS KINGDOM COME!