Posted by: Mary Marr on Mar 05, 2014
Today news headlines are all about the situation in the Ukraine with Russian troops invading the sovereign nation, which includes the Crimean Peninsula. This region of the globe has been no stranger to chaos historically. And, then there is Syria, as well as the violence at the borders between Palestine and Israel. The situations are endless. Some people are glued to the TV for the news of such events, while others are yawning saying what else is new? Whether your view is brutal reality or comfortable denial, the situation is the same – our world is in chaos. So what does Christ say about this?
A few years ago, our pastor at the time, preached a sermon on this topic. It is relevant to us today as he pointed out some key principles that are more prevalent than ever. To summarize: Revelation 22:20 highlights the situation for us as believers yet the situation “on the ground” today makes it hard to either yearn or yawn when it comes to this realization. The differing interpretations of this scripture verse; in the trauma of this drama of Christ’s return there is emotional push back on “thief in the night” analogy; the events and creatures of the “second coming” depict a weird type scenario; the topic has become toxic and overdone; and we do not have a sense of God’s timing when he says “coming soon” and we have experienced slow.
The rapid acceleration of the times is unmistakable to those who have studied scripture with an open Spirit filled mind and heart. Sometimes, we can identify with the scripture in Daniel 12:4 that the prophecy will be kept basically secret until the appointed time. But now, the second part of that verse is being fulfilled, travel and education have vastly increased as well as nations rising up against nations, earthquakes, natural disasters are on the increase both in size, frequency and scope of devastation. There is a huge population that now understands intellectual knowledge versus years ago when so many of the populace was in need of literacy. The Internet helped to bridge this gap quickly as four year old's now help grandparents with their computer issues! Military power has shifted as evidenced by recent cuts to the U.S. Defense budget, which now focuses more on technical tactics than troops. And as with the Ukraine, there is almost a shift of attitude when some say “how could Russia still be in the ancient times thinking about territorial acquisition when the 21st century has moved beyond all that?” After all, we are so modern and intellectual we can increase our own immorality without impunity. But, the Gospel says something different in Matthew 24:14, the Gospel will be preached to the whole world. There is even an increase in prophetic teachings as the Bible has told us would happen in the last days.
So, what do all these “signs” mean for us today? Here are a few things to remind ourselves of as believers: The Bible is true; God is still in control; We are living on borrowed time; and the biggest of all…..Israel has been scattered, re-gathered, regained the city of Jerusalem, is now being isolated by other nations, is positioned more today than ever to be invaded from the north bent on her destruction, and Jerusalem is still the center of the news!
Just as the Prophet Ezekiel has spoken “Dry bones, I will make you live again!” (Ezekiel 37:1-6, 11-14) This means for us as believers that God is in the process of waking up the nation of Israel all while her enemies make hast for her mountains. (Ezekiel 39:2) All this will happen until the time of the Gentiles is fulfilled. (Luke 21:24) What has mystified me is about how Israel has appeared to have a hardened heart toward returning to God in vast numbers with the reality looming. But, we learn in Romans 11:25 why this is: “I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of Gentiles has come in.” Yikes, that means we should get on with the main mission - making disciples of all nations, Christians who are ready to give an answer for the hope of Christ within!
The mission of CEN has been to embrace the verse in I Thessalonians to the fullest:
“You know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.” This means for the ReadyChristian, NO emotional push back, NO delay and NO denial. We know that as people say PEACE, within those cries the destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains, and they will not escape. By all means save some!
(I Thessalonians 5: 2-3)
For Christians, our mission is clear, our tactics to pray, care and share are timely, as the call to be ready is upon us!
CEN has produced an eight week study to help you and your family be ready for these uncertain times spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically. Join with others in the CEN, stand ready, go right now to: ReadyChristian