DON’T BE SURPRISED
Every family that has ever owned a station wagon or minivan has heard the cry from the third row, “Are we there yet?” Dad grinds his teeth and says as patiently as he can, “No, not yet. We’ve got a ways to go.”
Some Christians grimly track the strings of natural disasters, crime statistics, and disease epidemics in recent years and are convinced that the end of the world must be at hand because “things are getting so bad.”
Well, it’s good to be ready for Jesus’ return at any time. But we should not read too much into natural and societal breakdown. No less a prophetic authority than Jesus himself gave the believers some wise advice on stamina and patience for the long haul. Want to hear what he had to say? Read on . . .
There Will Be Wars and Rumors of War
Christians must not grow careless or sleepy, lest Jesus’ return catch them unprepared to give an account for their lives. But you know, the opposite is just as bad—that we get so jumpy and certain that the world will end any minute that we stop planning and building and sharing the Word.
Jesus wanted his followers to know how to read the times. Three days before his death he helped them plan for what to expect in their (and our) lives: “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom” (Matthew 24:67).
There is a strong Utopian urge in people to want to believe in human progress and a coming age of peace. Actually, the natural state of sinful man is warfare, only occasionally broken by small stretches of civility and cooperation. Violence is a permanent part of life on earth. It will touch you. Heads up.