Saturday, June 7, 2008

What in the World is Going On?

Recent events have led people to ask, what is happening to the world we live in? Tornadoes in the Midwest, hurricanes (cyclones), tsunamis, earthquakes, disasters that kill thousands. Is it getting worse, or even more, are these the birth pangs of the end of this age and the Second Coming of Christ? A few truths that we must acknowledge are this:

1) Each day that we live is a day closer to the end. Plain and simple, the church age will not last forever. Prophecy will come true, and the time is drawing nigh. It is closer now than ever before, and may soon be around the corner. So we wait in anticipation and serve the Lord with a sense of urgency.

2) The earth is decaying. The older it gets, the more the effects of the fall from the book of Genesis will take hold. Don't expect the earth to renew itself on its own. Like us, it is suffering the results of living in a sinful world, and according to the book of Romans, it waits in eager anticipation for God to make the next dynamic move in history (Romans 8:19-22). Oh sure, the earth may go through different cycles where it has seasons of rest verses seasons of destruction or unrest, but it is getting worse, and will not be progressively getting better. So don't be surprised if these disasters seem to be more intense and more frequent. Jesus did say that things like this will increase towards the end (Matthew 24:7).

3) The effect of the split second ability to have breaking news from around the globe has increased our information in major ways. No wonder it seems like these things are happening more and more. Truth be told, these things have been happening for centuries. We just have the capacity to learn about them quicker and more often. Yet still, the earth seems to be really active, don't you think?

So now, with all of that being said, is there still a greater sense that the earth is communicating to us that Christ is coming soon? For me, I sense in my spirit that things are indeed moving much closer to His Coming. Jesus did criticize the unbelieving Jews for their utter inability to discern the times in Matthew 16:1-4 (as if He expected that they should be able to). We who are filled with the Spirit ought to have much more discernment capabilities than them. And you cannot help but look at the world situation (national disasters, wars, political posturing, unrest in the Middle East, etc.) and not "feel" in your heart that things are more intense than ever before in history. There is a lot of satanically inspired hatred for the truth of God that is much more widespread. And the earth is telling us something too.

Therefore, we should get ready. The Return of Christ, or the "Blessed Hope" as it is called, is indeed on its way... soon. Paul told us in Titus 2:11-14 that in light of His coming, and in view of our salvation (that is speeding towards its consummation in a deeper sense), we ought to be very careful and attentive to how we live. We should rid ourselves of ungodly and worldly passions, to live with profound self-control, so that we are blameless and godly before the world's eyes. Our lives ought to be a powerful testimony to the truth of God that we have believed in. As Christians living in the end days, we have a corporate witness to maintain before the world that is perishing. Therefore, we ought to be intentional and purposeful, committed to purity, and "eager to do what is good."

He is coming soon, so I say to you Christian, live hard after God's will. Pursue it passionately. Eagerly plead with others to turn to Christ. Watch your life closely. Guard your heart from the stains of the world that desensitizes our ability to have spiritual discernment. Pray regularly, and obey when conviction comes. God is speaking. He is speaking through nature, He is speaking through His Word, and He is speaking into the hearts of those who have the Spirit who are listening.

The Lord is near... are you ready? Does your life show it? Does your heart long for it? Birth pangs are happening. All I have to say is "come quickly Lord," not because I am discontent and unhappy with my life today, but because I long to see the face of the One who died for me, and I desire to see His justice, righteousness, and glory to fill the face of the earth in the fullest sense. So let's get busy...

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