But know this, that in the last days
perilous times will come...
2 Timothy 3:1 NKJV
One evening this past week, I was listening to a favorite radio program (their App is on the iPad) when the economist being interviewed said something that startled me. He said that just in the last week to ten days, there were six areas of the world where circumstances could have led to war breaking out at any moment.
That doesn't even include places like Syria where war continues to send refugees throughout the world. The first thought that came to me was different than what one might expect. For instead of that fact being worrisome, I marveled at how God has kept this most fallen of planets together for all of these years.
I am more amazed each and every day as I see the world looking more and more what Jesus said it would look like before He returned and walked again on the very sod of the planet. Not as a lamb this time but as the roaring Lion of Judah.
Now, as one who became a Christian long ago... I have been expecting His return for decades. Ever since reading Hal Lindsey's Late Great Planet Earth. It saddens me to hear young people talking against him, going so far as to call him a "false prophet" because he believed the return of Christ was imminent in the 60's and 70's.
Not only because thousands upon thousands became a Christian from reading his book (I have heard the actual number worldwide is in the millions). But young people must remember that one does not "know what they do not know" at their time in history. Everything looked like it was lining up in the 1970s. Christians took the facts at hand and formed a picture of what they thought the world would look like... for that is the world they knew.
I have come to realize it is scriptural that our eyes will be opened over time as to His coming. Daniel was told to write down what he saw and it would not be opened until the end of the age (so to speak). I can look around the world now and see everything lining up as the Bible has said for thousands of years.
Here. At this time. In this Century. Amazing. Absolutely amazing.
How anyone can study Bible prophecy and not know Jesus is real and the Bible is Truth is beyond me. But what does all of this mean to you and to me? Well, it is fulfilled in our life in at least a couple of ways.
First, we must keep an eternal perspective on our life. I do believe this is one area in which the modern Church fails desperately. If one reads a lot of the works by pastors and theologians of past generations, an alarming difference is in how they viewed a "successful" Christian life.
For in the old books, much was written about being faithful to Christ each day but even more was written about our hope in Eternity. Contrary to what is taught in modern pulpits, it is not about what He can give us here. It is about what we do for Him here and the rewards in Eternity.
They taught that God provides our needs as we pray and that our life is truly in His hands. But they did not preach earthly success. For in those years, life was hard for pretty much everyone except the extremely rich. Even then, the poor in America live far better than the Kings did in previous centuries.
I have learned to thank God for the suffering endured (and there were many days when life seemed... just. too. hard.). He has taught me to see His love in the arrival of a financial gift or a gift card. I see Jesus when my son asks me to lunch or my daughter and her family pays our way to visit them.
For if one has never been in need... they don't know the amazing feeling that happens when a need is met!
I know it was Jesus who brought Victoria to us when I said I didn't want another pet after our two elderly kitties died. He knew what laughter she would bring. And beauty. And kitty snuggles on cold mornings.
No... He doesn't promise riches or power to everyone here on this earth but He promises us His presence. Sometimes it comes in the form of a Maine Coon or a lovely morning at Brimfield or (don't tell Victoria) sharing string cheese with Sir Charles the Stout. I'm not a "dog person" but I bonded with that hound.
Having turned sixty-one on my last birthday, I can assure you that Eternal Rewards are on my mind a whole lot more than those that can "become rusted or eaten by moths". Life is fleeting. Our days are but a breath... a mist... a wisp of fog and we are no more. Not here, anyway.
But There... Forever and Ever, Amen. Do you really believe in Heaven? Does the thought of the New Earth make you tingle with anticipation? It should.
Second, Jesus told us that we are to "occupy until I come". We don't discourage our children from building houses or seeking an education. Let us do each day that for which He has called us with the attitude that He won't return for a thousand years as we make plans for tomorrow... balanced with knowing He might return tonight.
I would also add a Third truth I've come to realize through the years. Don't get hung up on eschatology. I find great sadness when I listen to Christian TV (if one can call it that) where there is the calling of names between people because they do not "do church" the same as the speaker.
There is a reason God does not set dates about The Return of the Real King. He wants us to be doing that for which He created us to do. He doesn't want us to keep looking up so much that we can't look ahead. Now, He does tell us we can know the season of His return and I believe many of us are getting that sense in our spirits. Maranatha!
Personally, I believe we are in the Birth Pains but the jury is still out about pre-Trib, mid-Trib, and Post-Trib. Having once been adamant about the timing at one time, I see now that it doesn't matter.
We are, my precious friends, simply to be faithful. To do what He tells us that we are to do. Individually. As a family. As a church. As a community. Each of us can hear the whisper of the Holy Spirit as we are to do our part in this time and place. For His Kingdom.
For me that is to write. To encourage the deepening of the pantry as one can afford. To remind you (and me) of the necessity to read His Word and pray throughout the day... realizing what a privilege it is to follow a God who wants to have tea with me. With you.
To wake up each day, not with fear but with anticipation. We are one day closer to that day... whenever it may be... to the coming of the King... when all will be made perfect.