When darkness looms, part one

I’ve generally never focused on headlines or current events in this blog but as I was studying the book of 2 Chronicles recently I really felt God leading me to write about some things. We all know what’s going on these days. Racial tensions, terrorist attacks, distrust of the police, the murder of police, unrest overseas, it really seems like the world has gone mad. As much as I wish it didn’t, the state of things can sometimes really get me feeling down. I’m sure that’s true for most people.

Now I don’t know if we’re in the end times, but I do know that mighty men of God that I trust seem to think these are the final days and we’re nearing the return of Jesus. I also know that the Bible gives us clues to look for that will help us recognize the end times.

2 Timothy 3:1-5 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.

Does that explain our modern world? I think it undeniably does. Here’s the real question. How long has that explained the world? Jesus’ disciples thought that Jesus would return in their lifetimes. People have been thinking the same thing in pretty much every era since then. Then there’s Jesus himself that sounds off on it.

Matthew 24:36-44 “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. 37 For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, 39 and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left. 42 Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

So are these the last days? I have no clue. I believe it’s our duty to use the wisdom God gives us, to use the Bible that He’s given us, and to stay aware of where we are in the timeline that He’s laid out. I also know that if we are nearing the time of Jesus’ return, then our zeal for saving souls should be burning white hot within us. We’re in the great age of God’s patience, an era where He is holding back judgment because He desperately wants to save as many people as possible. That era doesn’t last forever, and judgment will eventually be visited upon this world and its people. As believers, that should get us up out of our chairs, out of our houses, and into action as we seek out people who need to accept Jesus as their savior. If there’s even a sliver of a chance that the end times are close, then we should move into a radical and fervent period of ministry and evangelism that hasn’t been seen for thousands of years.

When darkness looms, that’s the time when more lights are needed. It’s not the time when the lights need to huddle up together in the house and bar the windows and lock the doors. What are these lights? It’s us, the followers of Jesus, who are called to go out and spread His love far and wide.

Matthew 5:14-16 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

I believe the world has never been more in need of the love of God than it is in this very moment. We are the instruments of that love, commanded by our King to go and show that love to others. When darkness looms, the children of God need to spring into action.

PRAYER AND CLOSING

Father God, today I ask that you would burden me with something.  Burden me with the knowledge of the lost, break my heart into pieces for people who don’t know you.  I ask that you make me unable to walk past an unsaved person without sharing the gospel with them.  If there’s even a tiny chance that you’re coming back soon, then God, I ask that you do whatever it takes to move your people onto the streets and set us to sharing your love with those who desperately need it.  God, I know that when I pray within your will you hear me, and I know for a fact this is your will.  Your book tells me that you desire that none should perish, that all can find eternal life with you.  So I ask you today, break my heart for the lost.  Grant me your heart towards people, because I know your heart is that all should be saved.  And Lord, in these dark days, I pray your protection over this world.  I pray for peace, in the streets, on the battlefields, wherever violence would erupt I pray you bring peace instead.  And God, I pray right now for those misguided souls who would commit terrorist acts.  I pray that you reveal yourself to them in a way so mighty and undeniable that they will fall on their faces and praise you, that they will turn from people of violence and murder to people of love and life.  No person is beyond your reach, and so I ask you to sweep through the terrorist organizations of this world like a wave of love, that you would leave them all on their knees in repentance for the things they were planning to do.  Finally, Lord, I ask that you would deliver your people from fear.  Don’t let the darkness keep us from leaving our homes, God, but instead let it draw us out.  Let us look into the darkness and see the desperate need for your light, and give us the strength and courage to be the ones to step out and deliver that light.  Be glorified in the darkness, my incredible King, as I know you can and will.  Thank you so much for all that you are and all that you do for me.  I can barely stand the amount of love and favor you show me!  You are my Lord forever and I love you so much my precious Jesus.  In your precious name I pray, amen.

I know it’s just begun but I gotta say that this is a beautiful week.  I’m so excited to share these three blogs with you as I am so encouraged and uplifted by what God showed me in the coming blogs.  It may be dark down here, but if you look up above the clouds the Son is still shining.

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