Today more than ever, the world is in chaos. Total, absolute, complete chaos.
Imperious, corrupt, self-centered leaders, wars and rumors of wars, economies teetering on the brink of collapse, brother against brother. Civility and decorum left long ago.
Watching a newscast to get a snapshot of our society is not only shocking or appalling, it’s downright alarming and disheartening.
Can we dig out? Should we even try? Where is that easy button anyway?
Now before you go start blaming Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, you must realize this didn’t happen overnight. It’s not the result of an election, it’s not the product of either political party, and it’s not the outcome of a global takeover by ISIS, ISIL, tyrannical leaders in Russia, Iran, Syria or North Korea.
Nope. All of these, however, are signs of the times and the people are merely characters in God’s story. Just like others in the Bible. And this chaos is likely to get worse before it gets better. In fact, “better” wouldn’t mean a return to the civil good times many of us grew up with anyway, since we will like never go “back” there. This wild ride we’re on will take us down an inevitable path.
If you’ve been around the church any length of time, you know the signs of the end times. Moreover, those prophetic signs have been fulfilling for many years, beginning in 1948 when Israel became a nation.
In the gospels of Matthew and Mark, Jesus gives stern warnings about these things we are encountering in this generation. Yes, you can see the signs easily, but the admonitions and the cautions he provides are actually the points of those chapters. Sure, the signs are important observations, but what should we do, how should we respond?
See to it that no one misleads you.
- It’s easy to be misled today. There are so many voices coming at us from every direction and that’s why it’s imperative to be still, seek out, hear and listen to the still, small voice in the surrounding storms. Just because it sounds good or looks good doesn’t mean it is good. Even the devil includes some truth in his distorted version of the facts. “Bad company corrupts good morals.” (1 Corinthians 15:33).
Do not be frightened.
- Jesus reminds over and over in scripture that we should take heart and not be afraid. In fact, he tells us that these things must take place before He returns. God is not caught off guard by the turmoil, the craziness and the ludicrousness that we see on the television today. Neither should we. But seek Him continually and He will keep you in perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3).
Be on your guard.
- Just as the authorities of the day led Jesus away and he was betrayed, so too will you be. Maybe not in the same manner, but betrayed and abandoned nonetheless. Remember, if you are a Christian, this is not your home. Be aware. Be prepared. And allow God to battle for you. “The LORD will fight for you while you keep silent.” (Exodus 14:14)
- Both Matthew and Mark extol us to “take heed”. We live in a day of deception and hypocrisy. This isn’t your mama’s generation. “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8). You should be a warrior whom the enemy may not devour.
Yes, there is chaos in the world. But, once again, Jesus has prepared us in Matthew 16:33: “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
Take heed. Be on your guard. Do not be misled. And constantly be on your guard.