It has been a challenge lately for me to keep my best focus on tasks at hand. For several weeks, in the periphery of my thought life has been this tugging, and it has been hard to suppress. Praying to the King about this, I told Him that I needed to hear from, Him because I was struggling with His command to not allow my heart to be troubled. You see, I do not know what to do with my constant sense that we are on the edge of the end of this age. It is serving as a soul-nag more often than I have ever experienced. It seems to me that a climax to the chaos is near.
“But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come.” – Mark 13:32-33
The clear teaching of Scripture is that no person will be able to know beforehand the exact day nor hour when Christ returns, yet we cannot deny that Jesus Christ and the Apostles taught us all to live in anticipation of this event. As a matter of fact, the Lord Jesus gave us some indicators that were meant to alert us that the consummation was drawing near. Jesus spoke of the increasing frequency of things like wars, earthly kingdoms fighting against earthly kingdoms, false prophets, earthquakes, famines, and persecutions against Christians. He described these events taking place in a fashion similar to labor pains during the process of childbirth. All you ladies who have given birth could take over for me right here and describe how those labor pains have a certain beginning which could be described as discomfort. Once the discomfort begins it moves towards a deeper sensation which can only be described as pain. The intervals between those pains are measured and, the shorter the intervals, the closer to the time of the actual birth you are. Pain often becomes agony and many women will testify that there is no other pain like it to be experienced. As the frequency of contractions increases, so does the intensity until, finally, the most severe of labor pains occur shortly before the actual birth. Jesus taught that the aforementioned signs of the end of the age will occur in a similar fashion – increasing in frequency and intensity until the birth occurs. It occurs to me that we are seeing a seemingly unprecedented level of chaos on the earth from the realms of both nature and humanity. Though some level of chaos has always been with the inhabitants of planet earth, I am unsettled in my spirit, and I discern that something beyond the normal flow of events is occurring. There is a shaking taking place in these days. There is an unholy global intensity that is building. So I have to confess that I am thinking more and more about what is coming next… and when it might come.
Some of you reading might protest that I am sounding like an alarmist. Maybe the more pessimistic among you might even wonder if I am seeking to utilize current events as some tool of religious manipulation. I can assure that I am not doing so because, truthfully, if the end is near I would not really have any new & improved counsel to offer any of us. The calling of the Lord is always for us to be pressing in closer to Him, to seek Him with all the heart, to serve Him with all the strength and to know Him with all the mind. This is the essence of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus and a worshiper of God. Perhaps the only thing that our consideration of the end being near might offer to us is a sense of urgency to inspect our lives and to learn this one thing: are we ready? Are you and I prepared for the end which must come and will come…and may be coming soon.
Jesus Christ promised to return some day to earth. He promised it. If that were not to occur then it would have been a lie from Him and He could not be the Savior. If He does not fulfill this promise, then we are all doomed because we have lost Him and, consequently, lost our hope for eternity. Yet He will be returning. He spoke much about it, and copious amounts of biblical prophecy focus on what we refer to as the Second Coming. There will be a day in which the mighty King returns to this planet. He will put down forever all that opposes Him, as He embraces forever all that glorifies Him. The events commonly referred to as signs of the times are not fickle fodder for a few fanatics – Jesus Christ is the One who cataloged those signs and left them for us to watch for. To dismiss them altogether would be a hazardous error. To fixate on them to the extent where we might be seeking to predict the hour of His return would be a waste of time and effort. To strike a balance, let us understand what the Lord said, and then let us look at the current global events around us. Ask yourself if the prophesied upheavals seem to be consistent with the increased frequency and intensity of current chaos. Ask yourself if you can give your discerning mind to the possibility that we may be living in the final pages of the last chapter. Then, with utmost integrity, ask yourself if you are prepared to meet Him. He said He would return. He said He would complete what He began. He said He would keep His promises. Could it be that the time is arriving sooner than we might have thought?
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