The Daily News

“But when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be troubled; for such things must happen, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines and troubles. These are the beginnings of sorrows.” 

– Mark 13:7-8 (NKJV)

One aspect of Christian television that I’ve found interesting (to say the least) is the number of people who attempt to accurately predict the end times, even to the day. I read recently that someone is predicting that May 21 of this year will be the day the world we know it ends (which is an amendment of their earlier prediction of a date in 1994). I’ve found these types of predictions to be odd for someone who claims to adhere to the Word of God, since Jesus Himself stated in Mark 13:32, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” I would ask someone how they would reconcile Jesus’ statement here with their own predictions that point to a certain date. What is this based on?

I will say though that I can’t remember a time when the daily news seemed so troubling. The conflicts and uprising in Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Syria are difficult to get a handle on. Recent earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand have left a trail of sorrow and unimaginable loss. Many Americans kept a watchful eye on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill last year (which now in light of recent events looks like a blip on the radar) and are now worrying about the effects of radiation from the disaster in Japan. On a much smaller scale, the recession here in the U.S., which many experts believed should have ended by now, still seems to lag on, with many folks struggling to find good jobs or out of work entirely. It’s hard to determine what really is ‘breaking news’ these days with events happening so quickly.

Since becoming a Christian I haven’t spent a great deal of time thinking about prophecy and end times. Reading Revelation actually gets harder each time I read it, not easier. I am wondering now though if we are really entering the latter stages of this world as we know it. I’m sure it’s possible that other generations may have thought this as well – the Civil War here in the U.S. 150 years ago could well have triggered the same kind of thinking, especially being so close to home.

So what are we clinging to and where are we placing our trust? When we look at our day-to-day activity and how we plan what we do, is the basis of our trust really here? “And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” (1 John 2:17). Through all of the sadness and trouble that seems to surround us these days, we would all do well to take a step back and evaluate what our foundation is. If it is not on the Lord Jesus, we are all in great danger and sadly deceived.

“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”

– Luke 6:46-49 (ESV)

7 thoughts on “The Daily News

  1. Kurt Michaelson

    I’ve heard a few people talk about May 21st being the date of the end of the world too and have repeated the same verse from Scripture too (Mark 13:32). No one knows, but we must be ready.

    I had heard Pastor Carter Conlon often say from the pulpit at Times Square Church that he believed we were living in the last of the last days before Christ returns. For a while, I thought he might have been a little too confident in saying that, but with everything that has happened in the world that is mentioned in Scripture, I agree with him even more.

    The signs are there, there will be more signs to follow and probably more severe than what we have already seen, but we must be ready and we must continue to warn those apart from Christ, to repent and turn to Him quickly before it’s too late.

  2. Barbara

    I wonder if it’s really time for the return, because I look in Revelation 5 where it says,

    and by your blood you ransomed people for God
    from every tribe and language and people and nation,

    …and yet there are still an awful lot of unevangelized people groups out there. Which means we still have a lot of work yet to do before that blessed hope is realized. What will it take for us to take that calling seriously? And could it be that what surrounds us will spur action?

    As to all that surrounds us, very early after becoming a real Christian (as opposed to the one I grew up thinking myself to be) with open eyes and a heart to know God in truth, I read a little book that was very hard for me to read – Spectacular Sins and their Global Purpose in the Glory of Christ by John Piper. It took going slowly with an open Bible and a lot of prayer to accept the degree of absolute sovereignty that I was reading about there. But coming to know THAT God and THAT Jesus through the Scriptural truth expounded in that book has more than served its purpose when it comes to having real, lasting, deep-rooted comfort in times such as these. Which is, incidentally, Piper’s stated purpose in his introduction to that book when he says,

    I have shepherded too many Christians through death in the best of times to think that any times are easy. But hard times are coming. Times are coming that have already been. Times when we will speak again the way John spoke on the island of Patmos. We will write to one another and, with no sense of melodrama, sign our letters, “Your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus” (Rev. 1:9). Few write like this now in the West. But we will.
    Times are coming when shepherds will say again to their flock, as they have done in days gone by, “Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Rev. 2:10). I am deeply thankful for Christian counseling to make my marriage better. But in addition, I need a shepherd who will tell me: “The devil may kill you, but that’s okay. Jesus will give you the crown of life.”
    Along with the tender words of daily blessings, I need the tough warning that the Beast will win. For a season. “[The Beast] was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them . . . and . . . cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain” (Rev. 13:7, 15). I need the warning that the great Babylonian whore will one day be “drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus” (Rev. 17:6).
    These horrors are in the Bible. God’s word. Where is the shepherd who is preparing the saints for this kind of future? What answer could he give to our questions?What answer would fit with the upbeat entertainment mood? Where in the West do we hear the answer: “They have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death” (Rev. 12:11)?

  3. Reine Gnade

    Yes, hard perilous times are coming!
    Yes, true believers conquer Satan by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they love not their lives even unto death. (See Rev. 12:11)
    I personally believe that what John Piper writes there is right. Christians will will come under persecution- not just in Islamic countries but worldwide!
    Yes, and I believe that we will also desire to be faithful unto death. (See Rev. 2:10).
    I think, also, that we are in the final phase before our beloved LORD triumphantly returns!
    Worldwide gross evil will be mercilessly perpetrated, so that the whole world would be destroyed and all its citizens, if God didn’t graciously intervene!
    Perceptive people would have noticed that since the toppling of Mubarak the intensitivity of uncontrolled anger especially in Arab countries has esculated.
    Let’s be of good cheer, strong and courageous and focus on Jesus Christ, His finished perfect work, His resurrection, and recall reverentially His holy words and deeds and pray fervently for God’s will to be done and the soon glorious return of Our LORD !
    We have much to do, for the risen Jesus is still knocking at the door of human hearts inviting them to a new exciting life submitted to God Triune!
    May God continue to bless all sincere, loyal students of the Holy Bible body, soul and spirit!

  4. Joe Post author

    Barbara, I agree that we all have a lot of work to do yet. I’m no prophecy student, but there seems to be a certain ‘feel’ to what’s been happening lately. I’m also thinking about your mention of Revelation 5 and went back to the passages that got me thinking about this to begin with in Matthew 24. Jesus relates His coming to the days before the flood and how “one will be taken and one left.” What do you think Jesus is particularly referring to here? Does this relate in some way to what you’re referring to in Revelation 5?

  5. Joe Post author

    Thanks for visiting Kurt. I’m a little wary of tying specific events to specific dates and wonder about the folks who seem to have these fixed dates that we should all be focused on. In Matthew 24:44, Jesus explains that, “Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” On the other hand, the events of late in the world seem to be a little outside the norm and hopefully will cause us all to sit up straight. As you mention, the hourglass continues on and we all must be ready and warn others, as Barbara mentioned also.

  6. Barbara

    Joe, Revelation 5 at least suggests that there will be those from each and every tribe and tongue and nation but of course not everyone from each tribe and tongue and nation. I hold to the post-trib/pre-wrath amil sort of a position – I believe Christ will rescue His Bride not from tribulation, but from the outpouring of His wrath. And we know from Revelation 5 something of a picture of His Bride. The Gospel will be preached to all the ends of the earth – and then the end will come. I believe that when the last elect soul is brought into the Kingdom, then we will be carried home.

    As to the Matthew passage, that could be that time, but I do not see biblical warrant for a “silent rapture” and then a third return of Christ with His Bride. I don’t know how it’s going to play out. Notice in the parallel passage in Luke 17 when Jesus makes reference to one being taken and one left, the disciples ask him, “Where, Lord?” which would be a natural question. Where are they being taken to? And Jesus answers them in v. 37, “Where the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.” So I’m not really sure that being “left behind” is really a bad thing. That may well mean the chaff is being taken away to the fire but the wheat then being gathered to the barn. I really don’t know. But I know that we need to keep an eye on history in humility and realize that as bad as it is to us right now, it had always been bad. I wonder if we don’t think it’s worse because we’re l00king at it with tunnel vision. Hard times are coming, but we have been greatly spoiled. This may be what it takes to mobilize the church militant into seeking the Kingdom once again instead of vain earthly pleasures. And then, once complete, the end will come and eternal joy in the presence of God can begin.

  7. Yedija

    we must keep our intimacy with God and sensitive to His voice, the point here is our daily relationship with Him, in John 14:6. Jesus Answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

    whatever happens is still endure in hope, because no one will know, when, where. and how and what kind of Judgement Day or the Day of Resurrection. keep watch and pray always.

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