I woke up this morning to the news of 3 terrorist attacks on 3 continents in the span of 7 hours yesterday. ISIS related attacks killed 37 people on a beach in Tunisia, 25 at a mosque in Kuwait, and a factory explosion in France.
I sit here stunned, wanting... wanting for this violence and terror to end, and wanting words to express my sorrow, anger, and mourning over the condition of this world that we live in. As I cry out to God in anguish, am reminded of Jesus words in Matthew 24:
"4 And Jesus answered them, "See that no one leads you astray. 5 For many will come in my name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and they will lead many astray. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are but the beginning of the birth pains. 9 "Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake. 10 And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. 11 And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12 And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come." [Matthew 24:4-14 ESV]
Nearly 2000 years ago, Jesus foretold the direction that the world would go, as well as the atmosphere of society. We live in a global community that is filled with selfishness, isolationism, greed, corruption darkness and evil. Where love and concern for our fellow human beings has grown cold as people seek success at the expense and exploitation of others. A world where evil men strive to create terror and fear. And in the midst of this darkness, the bright hope of Jesus shines forth. For we are promised that there is a time coming where
"...the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away." [Rev 21:3-4 ESV]
This miracle will take place when Jesus Christ comes back to the earth to eradicate evil and sin. Because of this, today I pray, “Come quickly Lord Jesus.” And because of the increasing darkness of our world, I become increasingly resolved to share the great hope of have in the grace filled Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The world we live in is spinning out of control because those living in it are placing their trust and security in either themselves and in their own constructs of morality. We must find our hope and security in something outside of humanity. Humans have failed, will always fail. We are destructive to ourselves. We must find our hope, identity, security and trust outside of humanity and in something perfect and eternal. That hope and trust is found in God alone through Jesus Christ. We need to repent of our efforts to trust in ourselves, and creating our own morality and security. And we only find the ability to repent and trust in Jesus through the gracious, merciful, forgiveness of God, purchased by the sacrificial death of Christ.
This is the hope and light of the Gospel that must be shone forth in this world to provide an answer to those that are asking “when will this ever end?”
The end is coming. We may not know when, and while we pray for Jesus to come quickly, we proclaim the grace filled hope of Jesus wherever and whenever we can, despite any persecution, opposition or discomfort. We do this because the hope of Christ is the perfect and eternal solution to ending the evil in this world. And because we want to share the hope that we have been lovingly and mercifully given.
I am in prayer for the family and friends of those who lost their lives in yesterday’s terror attacks. And because these are only the latest events in a marathon of evil and oppression, I pray for those in despair over the darkness of this world. And because evil will continue until Jesus returns, I pray that many will come to know and trust Christ, and that he will come quickly.