The End Is Near!
Don’t get me wrong I long for the return of Jesus and if he is to come this year the better. I have no strong attachments to this life. That doesn’t mean I am not enjoying myself now, on the contrary, I make every effort to live life to the full and enjoy all the blessings God has given me in this life. I just know that what comes next is so much better. I am also beholding to my brothers and sisters in Christ who keep us abreast of all the latest potential fulfillment of prophecy. However, I am a cynic at heart and when Jesus warns us not to believe people who say that Christ is here or there (Matt 24:23) I tend to question absolute predictions about things hidden.
Yet, Jesus also gave us indications of the end. He called them birth pangs. Matt. 24:6-8 says, “You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. 7 “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. 8 “But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.”
As I sat watching the news this morning it was this verse that kept rolling around in my head. All across the south terrible, ferocious tornadoes have devastated towns. This morning upward to 195 people had already died and many more missing. And this was nothing in comparison to the tsunami in Japan where the death count was in the 10’s of thousands. Wars and rumors of wars abound everywhere. These are the birth pangs. Our response to these events should be to mobilize relief efforts, but more important to keep in front of us the greatest task of all – the preaching of the gospel. Jesus said in the same context, “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” (Matt 24:14).
As my nephew and niece tromp across the mountains of Nepal translating the Scriptures into exotic dialects let’s keep them (and many others) in prayer, for their efforts, as well as ours, are instrumental in bringing about the end, and the coming of our Lord and Savior.
We are not to fear the events of our time, nor despair over what may come, for we know that these things must first take place. As we pray how to impact our communities and the world let’s do it with an eye to the sky. I am just saying …….