Signs of the times (2)
Matthew 24:6-8 NIV
Jesus said: ‘You…hear of wars and rumours of wars…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. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.’ Those who suffered through two world wars have no difficulty comprehending the word ‘wars’. But for the next six decades or so, their children and grandchildren had a more limited concept of what war meant. To them, wars were mostly regional and overseas but not on the homeland. Then came 9/11, and Americans began to understand the words, ‘Men’s hearts failing them for fear…’ (Luke 21:26 NKJV)). Some dates will forever stand out in our memory. Like the day President Kennedy was assassinated, and the day three thousand people perished in the World Trade Centre. Today the political rationale is if we fight terrorism ‘over there’ we won’t have to fight it here at home. But don’t be deceived. Borders will always need checkpoints. War correspondents will always have jobs. The world will never see lasting peace this side of heaven. Jesus said, ‘…All these are the beginning of birth pains.’ Rejoice! God is still on the throne. His plan is still being worked out. The death throes of the old order we live in are the ‘birth pains’ of a new and glorious order, when Christ will return to set up His kingdom. An old Prudential Insurance Company slogan says, ‘Get a piece of the rock.’ But when you’re trusting in Jesus for your security, you have the whole rock!
Soul food: Ps 87; Jer 30-31; Heb 8