The last days
I really enjoy reading the news. Maybe more so than I should, but with all that’s happening now, it’s getting harder to resist the binge.
I mean, our government is pursuing everyday parents and Catholics as potential terrorists, while others criticize those who say anything negative or even misgender the transvestite Nashville school shooter who murdered six Christians. A judge has awarded $300,000 in legal fees against two teachers who sued to oppose DEI training, and some university is claiming that all male, CIS-gender Christians are automatically oppressors.
You can’t even make this stuff up.
You’d have to agree that the news cycle has been nothing short of thrilling. Sure, there were exciting events in the past, but nothing compared to the speed and amazement of what’s now being delivered almost constantly.
A close parallel may be the beginning of George Bush and the Iraq invasion with a phenomenon known as “shock and awe.” Shock and awe, technically called “rapid dominance,” is defined as a military strategy that uses overwhelming power and spectacular displays of force to both paralyze the enemy’s perception of the battlefield and destroy their will to fight.
Now, to avoid being paralyzed and having the will to fight destroyed, Christians should understand what is going on and how they might respond.
How, then, should we live?
The last days
Paul in 2 Timothy 3:1-5 describes the last days as follows: “But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, slanderers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness although they have denied its power; avoid such people as these.”
We need to recognize that we are indeed in the last days. How much more difficult can the world get? Christ Himself speaks of the dreadfulness in Matthew 24:21-22 “ For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will again. And if those days had not been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.”
With reference to Christians, John 15:18 warns, “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.” Hostility, specifically towards believers, will be evident everywhere. During Covid, it was the Christian Churches that were closed while Mosques remained untouched. It’s really unnecessary to cite additional examples; Christians and Jews will bear growing enmity from the world.
Philippians 3:20 claims that believers are “citizens of heaven,” and verse after verse warns, “Do not trust in nobles, in merely a son of man, in whom there is no salvation. His spirit departs, he returns to the earth; In that very day his plans perish,” Psalm 146:3-4.
Although we certainly can’t abandon this world, it is essential to recognize that God is in total control. Paul contends this in Ephesians 1:11 “In Him, we also have been made an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will.”
Could we elect a new administration, possibly one that puts America first? Maybe, however, to trust in that as “the solution” is misguided. God is in control, and it is Him whom we should trust.
Issues of Sovereignty
It is meaningful to understand that three core issues dominate all the conflicts we see today: race, gender, and climate. In reality, these are all sovereignty issues.
When God stated in Genesis 5:2, “He created them male and female, and He blessed them and named them “mankind” on the day when they were created.” He essentially addressed both race and gender. We are but one race, descendants of Adam and Eve. Since He only created males and females, He likewise rules gender.
God also addresses His sovereignty over the climate. Genesis 8:22 states, “While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, Cold and heat, Summer and winter, And day and night Shall not cease.” The caveat here is “while the earth remains.” If you read the summary of the Book of Revelation, you will recognize that we are fast approaching God’s remake of the earth.
So, the real conflict is, who is sovereign, man or God?
Hmm, I wonder who wins that battle?
The Christian Response
With this in mind, here are four verses on how believers should respond in the last days:
- 1 Corinthians 1:23 “… preach Christ crucified….”
- Matthew 28:19 “…make disciples….”
- 1 Thessalonians 5:17 “…pray without ceasing….”
- 1 Thessalonians 5:18 “…in everything give thanks….”
Simply stated, believers are to share the gospel, train others to share the gospel and grow in the Lord, and pray without ceasing with an attitude of thankfulness.
Oddly, nothing has changed. This is how we were to respond all along.