“Later as he was sitting on Mount Olives, his disciples approached and asked him, “Tell us, when are these things going to happen? What will be the sign of your coming, that the time’s up?”
4-8 Jesus said, “Watch out for doomsday deceivers. Many leaders are going to show up with forged identities, claiming, ‘I am Christ, the Messiah.’ They will deceive a lot of people. When reports come in of wars and rumored wars, keep your head and don’t panic. This is routine history; this is no sign of the end. Nation will fight nation and ruler fight ruler, over and over. Famines and earthquakes will occur in various places. This is nothing compared to what is coming.
9-10 “They are going to throw you to the wolves and kill you, everyone hating you because you carry my name. And then, going from bad to worse, it will be dog-eat-dog, everyone at each other’s throat, everyone hating each other.
11-12 “In the confusion, lying preachers will come forward and deceive a lot of people. For many others, the overwhelming spread of evil will do them in—nothing left of their love but a mound of ashes.
13-14 “Staying with it—that’s what God requires. Stay with it to the end. You won’t be sorry, and you’ll be saved. All during this time, the good news—the Message of the kingdom—will be preached all over the world, a witness staked out in every country. And then the end will come.”
Matthew 24:3-14, The Message
The world is asking a lot of questions these past few weeks, a lot of prayers are going up. Prayers for Paris, and family members, attacks across the globe that have proceeded Paris. Questions too- lots of questions about religion and violence, and fear. What’s happening in this world and is anyone safe? Why- why the surge in attack and hate, why does everything seem to be crumbling.. disintegrating. Why?
I think we are coming to the realization that something has quickened here on Earth in the past years. The frequencies of sickness, natural disasters, violence, and murder, theft, terrorism, and religious war, attacks on innocent people in college, in malls, in soccer stadiums and concert halls.
“Somebody give me an answer!” you might say. Well, along time ago man chose sin and darkness. Man, by nature, does not have a heart to glorify God, but craves to be like God himself. In our free will we have chosen to sin, and God in His graciousness has not created a world of pre-programmed robots. Love is a choice. God has created mankind to chose to walk in light or walk in darkness. Man perverted perfection by chosing sin in the Garden of Eden, and now we are living in the repercussions. Now, the nations “are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in him. due to their hardness of heart.” (Eph. 4:18).
The Earth is groaning with birth pains as we ebb and flow in the direction of an end. We are living in the last days and in the repercussions of disbelief, of rejection of God, of losing every sense of right and wrong or black and white but creating a sloshy shade of grey where ultimate truth is nullified and heaven and hell are just apart of children’s stories. “The infinite horrors of hell are intended by God to be a vivid demonstration of the infinite value of the glory of God.” John Piper.
If you refuse to believe ISIS and other terrorist organizations don’t have hate being fueled by devout belief and the insatiable desire for a very spiritual war, you are deceived. In order to begin to understand on a deeper level what is happening- you must come to terms with the fact that it is based on deeply routed spiritual belief. If you believe that all the infidels against Islam must in fact die- you will act on it. If you believe that Jesus Christ, the Son of God is in fact the only way, and to be Christian is to be saved- you will act on it. All you who stand on the fence- your fence will soon be knocked down and you will come back to the realities on Earth where real people are dying for their beliefs, and what you belief effects your behavior. So what do you believe?
For many people God, He is very much a reality, and still in control, and still our past, present and future. The God of Israel, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob who’s desire is to fill the Earth with the knowledge of His glory (Hab. 2:14). The first and the last, the Alpha and Omega, the Great I am. The one who knows the end from the beginning and is from everlasting to everlasting. All-knowing, All-powerful, who spoke by the holy spirit in Isaiah 40:22 that ‘He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth’. He let Isaiah know the Earth was round awhile back before that became a big deal… because He made it.
The Lord desires all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Tim. 2:4). Jesus says he is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). He is drawing all men unto himself (John 12:32). He said he would be coming back, and that our world is in fact moving to an end point, and end point where Jesus comes and takes the believers in the blink of an eye, and all those who rejected Him would be left behind. He desires that we be united with Him in paradise one day, and that comes in faith and belief that His son Jesus was sent to be murdered by His own people, and tortured and humiliated that all of mankind might have the opportunity to look to Him and be saved, the lamb of God sacrificed for our sin. Sacrificed for you and me, God came down in flesh, healed, loved, discipled, served, and died for me. For you. Then rose on the 3rd day from the tomb, resurrected.
I read on DesiringGod.com,
“Marc Coupris, a survivor of Le Bataclan (the theatre), said, “It was carnage. . . . They shot from the balcony. I saw my final hour unfurl before me, I thought this was the end. I thought I am finished, I am finished.” But you were not finished, Marc. We are thankful. Would that all could say the same. For many, life was over. They were finished.
To all of France, the hands of Jesus are extended. The risen Savior stretches out his bloody hands and says, “Come to me, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). “Let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price” (Revelation 22:17).
Vengeance will come. It need not come from private individuals. “Leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord’” (Romans 12:19). There is a time for everything under heaven. Now is a time for France — and all of us — to hear the words of Jesus, “Do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem [or Paris]? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:4–5).
And if we do? Sins forgiven. God reconciled. Hell shut. Heaven opened. Spirit given. Love abounding. ”
France is hurting, However this is only the beginning. But the good news is that knowing Christ and him crucified, we have Him to hope for, to hope in. A God who loves justice and mercy, who will pour out his wrath one day on our behalf. “Therefore, we will magnify the mercy of God by praying for our enemies to be saved and reconciled to God. At the personal level we will be willing to suffer for their everlasting good, and we will give them food and drink. We will put away malicious hatred and private vengeance. But at the public level we will also magnify the justice of God by praying and working for justice to be done on the earth, if necessary through wise and measured force from God-ordained authority.” -John Piper. We are not those who take up the sword here on Earth, because we can trust that God Almighty is in fact in control of vengeance, and quite frankly that’s a little more scary. We can trust Him who loves justice and mercy, especially when searching for answers at such a time as this.
Friends, hope in God. Today is the day.
“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.
John 3:16, The Message