There are a lot of things going on in the world right now, many of them scary and destructive. Over the course of this week I’ve seen a lot of people of the Christian faith talk about the need to repent, for in their estimation all these recent events mean that the return of Jesus draws near. There is a great need to repent, I’m not contradicting them or saying they’re wrong, and every day since Jesus left IS a day closer to his return. Before I say anything else I will echo the fact that many of the things have come to pass that the Bible says must happen before Jesus returns and sets in motion the end of the age. I’m glad that there are Christians out there who care enough to reach out to those around them with the encouragement to turn to Jesus, but if I’m being honest, that kind of thing didn’t work on me when I wasn’t right with God. I felt yelled at by it, I felt condemned. I felt like I was being given some dark ultimatum; death and eternal damnation my reward for not immediately bowing down to their cries of “repent! repent!” (a word I didn’t even fully understand). Ultimatums don’t work on me. They never have, I feel like they probably never will. And if that’s true for me, surely it’s true for others out there. So, in the interest of maybe speaking for just a few minutes to someone out there who is unmoved by the Christians around them who are looking at the perilous state of the world and shouting “REPENT!”, I’d like to just share my heart on the matter.
Is it fair to say that things aren’t exactly okay right now? The north western section of our country is burning, south Texas is underwater (or was until very recently), the south eastern coast is about to get slammed by possibly two hurricanes, Mexico was shaken by an earthquake, North Korea is making the possibility of nuclear war seem frighteningly real, and political and societal unrest is rampant.
And yet I have complete peace in my heart, mind, and soul.
This is a new sensation for me. I told a good friend mine last night that “If I was without Jesus I think the current state of things would have me scared to my core.” Up until two years ago, I suffered from a crippling fear of the future, especially when it came to things like war, the return of Jesus, Armageddon, and all those other massive and world ending events we hear so much about. Even after rededicating my life to God in 2015, it took a little time before God gave me deliverance from this fear that was so great in me that it would often times keep me up at night.
When someone sees the world falling apart and starts yelling “It’s all coming to an end and Jesus will be here soon! Repent while you still can!” (repent means to have sincere regret and remorse about your wrongdoings and to turn away from your sinful and bad behaviors and set your life on a new path, in case you’re wondering), when someone starts yelling that, they’re telling you what you are soon to lose. They’re telling you that you are soon to lose your opportunity to accept Jesus, and you are soon to lose your soul to eternal damnation.
I want to tell you what you are soon to gain. For me, the greatest gift that I think I have today is that peace I mentioned. It’s supernatural; it is a gift from God. I know this because He spoke it into me on a day when I was nearing a panic attack from thoughts about the end of the world. In that moment He asked if I trusted Him, and I sheepishly said yes, and then the fear was gone in an instant and it has never once returned. For the first time in my life, I can stand before the storm that seems to be overtaking our world and feel nothing but calm. The Bible calls it a peace that passes all understanding, and I couldn’t imagine a better way to describe it.
Honestly, I just wanted to tell all of you that I love you. If you don’t know Jesus, or maybe even if you do, and the state of the planet right now has you frightened and unnerved, I just want you to know that my heart goes out to you. I love you, and I’m with you, and even though I may not physically be there to do it, I want you to know that I’m holding your hand and I’m right by your side and I’m telling you that it’s all going to be okay. God is not vengefully aiming hurricanes and wildfires and earthquakes and nuclear missiles at you in order to hurry you off to hell where you belong. In fact, the Bible tells us in more than one place that God desires that ALL are saved and that NONE shall perish. I believe that hell grieves God, and the thought of His precious creations ending up there brings Him no joy whatsoever. The world may be on fire, but the everlasting love and overwhelming goodness of God cannot be consumed. There is truth to the fact that if you meet your end (may it be peacefully and many long years from now) without accepting Jesus as your savior, you do stand to lose things. I don’t care about that today, you’ve got enough people telling you all about what you stand to lose. I just want you to know that if you’re scared, if you’re not feeling fulfilled, if you’re weary, the loving God who created you has some gifts for you. He’s got peace and purpose and rest, and He’s been waiting a long time to give them to you. I want to encourage you to take your eyes off the state of the world for just a minute, and instead look above to the one who made it. Reach out to Him in prayer, talk as if you’re talking to someone who’s in the room, let Him know how you’re feeling. If you don’t believe in God, then what’s the absolute worse that could happen? You talk to the air for a moment? You stand to lose nothing and gain everything.
I love you guys and gals with all of my heart. If anyone’s struggling with fear or maybe wants to talk more about what you stand to gain with God, please feel free to reach out to me either through Facebook or through email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I would love to just talk with you and say a prayer for you.