Ebola, Russian antics, Mideast unrest, North Korean craziness, Isis on the rampage, economies dancing on a knife’s edge, earthquakes in strange locations, and multiple weather anomalies. The list could go on. These are the subjects of newsfeeds in 2014.
As a follower of Jesus Christ, many passages from the Bible come to mind when reading world events. Consider the following:
As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.
Now I watched when the Lamb opened one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures say with a voice like thunder, “Come!” And I looked, and behold, a white horse! And its rider had a bow, and a crown was given to him, and he came out conquering, and to conquer.
When he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword.
When he opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” And I looked, and behold, a black horse! And its rider had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard what seemed to be a voice in the midst of the four living creatures, saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius, and do not harm the oil and wine!”
When he opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” And I looked, and behold, a pale horse! And its rider's name was Death, and Hades followed him. And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth.
Regardless of our end times convictions*, we can’t ignore that it seems like Jesus’ return is soon approaching when comparing our world state with Scripture. This begs the question for Christ followers- do we care?
Are we living as if everything will continue on as it always has for the last two thousand years, or are we living with an urgency- truly believing that Jesus could return at any time? How is it affecting our money choices, schedules, church focuses, relationships, pursuit of holiness, etc.? Even if Jesus Christ delays His return by another 1,000 years, we must remember that every person we encounter is potentially only one heartbeat away from standing before Him, either as Savior or as Judge. I know that my priorities need to be adjusted, how about yours?
Let us not grow fearful when reading today’s headlines, but let us grow more purposeful, remembering that we are ambassadors of our coming King, and charged to make His Name and the glorious Gospel message known.
Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace.
2 Peter 3:11-14
* I personally am premillennial in my theology, and split between historical premillennial or dispensational/pre-trib rapture positions.