I don’t know about you but it seems like you can’t turn on the news at the moment without reading or hearing about despair. Mass killings, countries threatening countries with annihilation, Presidents using rhetoric designed to inflame rather bring peace. Then there is the sickness and famine, the apparent moral decline –even Christians and the Church are now seen as something for derision, at best being out of touch and at worst being responsible for the worst kind of abuse against children.
What should be our response when we are faced with this kind of barrage?
Firstly, we shouldn’t be surprised – Matthew 24 is quite explicit in telling us that there will be wars, famines, earthquakes, rampant sin, love growing cold and Christians being persecuted –sounds great doesn’t it!!
Secondly, keep watch – Matthew is full of examples of how to do this but most of it is to do with us being prepared for the return of Jesus. How am I responding? Is it with fear or with faith? With prayer or with gossip? Am I looking for answers in the world or from the God I serve?
Finally, Keep our eyes fixed on the prize –along with the words of warning, Matthew 24 –26 is littered with statements like:
•The one who endures to the end will be saved. And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world
•They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with the mighty blast of a trumpet, and they will gather his chosen ones from all over
the world—from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven.
•When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered in his presence
•The King will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world”
We cannot ignore what we see around us, however we can choose our response – let’s constantly remind ourselves and each other that Our hope is Jesus, the one who saves, the One who has already overcome death and all the works of the evil one –our faith and hope is in Him, not in the world, we need not be afraid, He is coming soon to bring an end and new beginning to everything that is not of Him.