Fight for Joy! Blog
Where Jesus Changes Everything
For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs” (Matthew 24:7-8). I’m sure by now everyone has heard about the unusually strong earthquake that struck the East Coast of the United States. The earthquake’s epicenter was located in central Virginia in an area known for seismic activity although it seldom produces a quake with such large magnitude. This quake comes a day after a similar magnitude earthquake struck in Colorado. All this shaken going on brings to mind Jesus words in Matthew 24: “In various places there will be famines and earthquakes.” Colorado and the East Coast definitely qualify as various places.
Even a casual observer would rightly observe strong earthquakes seem to be on the increase. Some prophecy teachers even point to this as evidence we are living in the last days very near the return of Christ. But the question remains: Does today’s earthquake, along with the many newsworthy earthquakes of recent days (Japan, Chili, Haiti) indicate we are nearing the terminus of the present age? When seeking to answer this question we must keep in mind the signs Jesus gave in Matthew 24 are specific to a very narrow window of time—seven years to be exact. This time period is known in Scripture as Daniel’s Seventieth Week. It is also referred to as the Time of Jacob’s Trouble and also as the Great Tribulation. It is the last half of this seven-year period where the earth will experience the severe outpouring of God’s wrath. So by themselves, earthquakes probably don’t mean too much. In fact, the Scoffer says, “For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation” (2 Peter 3:4). But reality leads us to a different conclusion—something is definitely up. When taken together with other global happenings such as the global economic unease, the wave of Islamic nationalism in the Middle East, and the growing threat of wars and rumors of wars, we must conclude things are not continuing the way they always have been. It seems the events of The Tribulation are beginning to cast their shadows into our present time. Perhaps we really are nearing that time when God will once again directly intervene in the affairs of man. The Bible reminds us He has done it before and He’ll do it again.
He will do it again. We got His Word on that! Therefore, the question we need to answer is one posed by the Apostle Peter: “Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat” (2 Peter 3:11-12)? In the words of a modern-day theologian: “How shall we then live?” Peter answers that question for us. We should seek to live lives characterized by “holy conduct and godliness.” In 2 Peter 3:14, he admonishes us to “be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless.” The world isn’t getting any better. In fact, it’s getting worse. We aren’t headed for some cosmic leap in global consciousness but an appointment with the Creator. Therefore, the wise will recognize the days in which we are living and prepare to meet God. That meeting may very well occur today. “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).
You are welcome to leave comments and you don't have to necessarily agree with me. However, I expect a civil tone and charitable spirit. We can disagree with one another without being disagreeable. "Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt." (Colossians 4:6)
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