It really is important for us to survey the wild chaos in the world today with our eyes firmly fixed on what this all means.
In Matthew 24: 37 Jesus said, “For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah!” Noah warned that devastation was coming. I imagine his neighbours thought he was some kind of goof ball, building his great ark, while they were absorbed with enjoying their lives.
Did they start to wonder when the rain actually started to fall? I’m sure there were those who shrugged their shoulders, put on their plastics and just continued as normal. While that was going on Noah was busy gathering his family and collecting an ark full of pets.
Many of us study world events and are activated by the precision and accuracy of Bible Scriptures. That connection causes us to pray and to proclaim Noah-like warnings to anyone who will listen.
Jesus said, “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes.” (Matthew 24: 7) Each of these catastrophic events are with us today. Note, they are not small scale events, either.
Reading Isaiah 19: 2 makes it even more specific. “So, I will incite Egyptians against Egyptians, and they will each fight against his brother and each against his neighbour, city against city and kingdom against kingdom.”
Egypt is the largest Arab nation. We have witnessed Egyptian against Egyptian. They continue to fight brother against brother. It has been called ‘Revolution Fever’ and it has flared in Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Yemen and Libya. Right now the struggle surges from city to city. In most countries the significant divide is between Muslim factions.
Even now the UNESCO ‘humanitarian’ attack on Libya, may end the dictatorial authority of Muammar Gaddafi. But after the strongman is removed what passionate tribal clashes will follow? Basically this is why no western leader wants to identify their undivided support for ‘the rebels.’ Who will lead them when Gaddafi is gone. Go he must, but the aftermath promises to be confused and far from peaceful.
Even though I spend my time studying and analysing world events my hope remains in one event, often ignored.
“And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory.” (Matt. 24:30)
Picture yourself as an observer in Libya. Events had turned against you, and the Gaddafi forces for a moment threatened to ‘cleanse’ the people. I wonder what it was like for those under attack when they looked to the skies and saw the friendly planes and missiles. They must have experienced hope once again. We saw vivid pictures of them laughing, cheering and joyfully firing weapons into the skies.
The appearance of the Son of Man will be much brighter and more glorious than that experience. Think of ‘all the tribes of the earth’ mourning because they ignored His wisdom. I think of the time of Noah and all those who thought the boat-builder was weird. Why build an ark so far from the ocean? What does he think he’s doing?
After all their cynicism and derision, sadly they mourned too.
Jesus has great love and affection for His Christians family. “You will be hearing of wars and rumours of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end.” He said. (Matthew 24: 6)
Biblical prophecy says these events will not slow down, but steadily increase. He later spoke a word of wisdom and encouragement that rarely seems to make the preaching roster. “But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.” (Matt.24:13)
The First Christian Primer says ‘Endurance is an evidence of a life changing encounter with Jesus.’ Under stress we have stickability because we trust in the Lord. Titus called this ‘the blessed hope.’ (Titus 2:13)
It is easy to be frustrated if we focus too much on the frailties of world leaders. Some even expect their local pastor to be perfect. They seek the wisdom of their priest over and above any personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Himself.
The extreme tragedy and terror that is shaking our world should drive us further into faith in Christ. He is our Rock and there is no other.
While we observe the news events and pray for the innocent victims of terror and tragedy it is imperative to grasp the closing words in the Bible. The Spirit and the Bride calls on Jesus to come. We must live in this uplifting expectancy.
With what time remains, we have open doors to invite others to find their life in Christ. Maybe just like Noah we take hammer and nails and begin to build despite the tumultuous trials. We are people with purpose and with destiny. Let’s encourage other to journey with us.
“Behold He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen.” (Rev. 1: 7)