Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Fear, Trembling and Hope

I read Matthew 24 and I am filled with Fear, Trembling and Hope.

The disciples wanted Jesus to see how magnificant the temple was, and Jesus' only response to them was
"You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down."
They wanted to know more, so when they came to a quiet place, they asked
"Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?"
And so Jesus answered them.

1. See that no one leads you astray. Many will claim to be Christ. They won't be, so don't let them fool you.
2. Don't be alarmed by these pretend Christs'. This is meant to happen for people, nations and kingdoms will all fight against each other.
3. This is not the end of things, it is just the beginning of labour/birth pains.
4. When these things have occured, do know that as believers you will be hated. You will be persecuted. False prophets will come. Lawlessness will increase, which will cause people will stop loving. BUT endure! Those who endure will be saved.
5. Proclaim the gospel. When the gospel is proclaimed throughout the earth, the end will come.
6. For the sake of the elect, the days of desolation, tribulation and hardship will be shortened. People will flee. They will leave their belongings behind. It will be a hard time for pregnant and nursing mothers.
7. Don't believe people who say that they have found Christ.
8. Know that Christ will come from the east, just as "the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west."
9. Darkness will fall over the earth. Stars will fall from the sky. The very powers of the heavens will be shaken.
10. BUT THEN!!! The sign of the Son of man will be seen. All the tribes of the earth shall mourn. They will see the Son of Man!
11. The Angels will trumpet his return! His Glory will be seen. He will gather in his elect.

Just was the Jewish people used the fig tree as the harbinger of summer, so all these things can show us that the return of Christ is imminent.

We don't know when or where. But we do know that God's words are true. Only God knows, quite literally only God knows when Christ will return.

All we know is that we must be ready. We must! And we must continue to live as though we expect him to come right now. God will reward those who do so.

I read these words and I think...ah, Lord, not right now please... I have an 18 month old boy right now. I don't want to have to take off with him. I don't want to face persecution with him. I really really don't. Having to go through all that just makes me fearful inside. Sometimes I wonder what kind of world he'll have to face.

But at the same time, I want to do my part in spreading his word, for when all nations hear, then he will return. And I do so long for his return. I want for him to return for it means the end of wars, famine, persecution, and of the earth groaning. It means no more death for believing in Christ. It means not having to deal with a Hostile to Christians society. It means no more worries about pollution or sick animals or even having to clean a house that gets messy just by looking at it. It means, life with my Saviour, without the tinge of sin attached to it.

So, these words I read, filled with fear, trembling and hope.

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