So what is God doing while the world spins out of control?
We live in a unique period of time. Acts 17:26 tells us that God has appointed the people of every nation’s time and geographical boundary. This means each of us has been born to be citizens of our collective nations in precise cultural eras. In other words, I was chosen to live in America at this unprecedented hour when there are famines, multiple pestilences, deadly diseases, wars, rumors of wars, and when the hearts of many grow colder by the minute. God has placed you and me smack-dab in the middle of chaos of all kinds: a morphing global economy, calls for one-world order, riots throughout major cities, political extremes, religious persecution, and uncertain tomorrows (Matthew 24:5-28).
From what I understand through Scripture, His motives are intentional.
This is all hair-raising, nail biting stuff. And communal anxiety is peaking. The evidence of our flesh reactions do not just dot—but engulf—the feeds of my FB pages.
I hope we can flatten our emotional-response curve with the truth that God has a purpose in these times.
In the book of Matthew we find a very compelling conversation between Christ and his disciples. In chapter 24, we’re told the disciples asked Christ two specific questions about the future: 1. When will these things [the destruction of the temple] be and 2. what will be the sign of Christ’s coming and the signs of end of the age? (My translation: When is it going to happen and what will be happening when it does?)
His answers outline imminent world conditions and give a clue about the timing of it all. In Romans, Paul also reveals a clue as to the timing of future events when he addresses the salvation of the Jews in chapter eleven.
Of great interest to me is that the two timing verses mentioned above (Matthew 24: 14 and Romans 11:25) are not just about the when of events, but are indicators to the ongoing purpose of the Christians living in the generations between the birth of the church and today. In the Matthew verse, Christ proclaims that before the end of the age comes, His Word will go into the whole world and be a witness of truth. That, by the way, has not happened yet. Not every nation has access to God’s holy Word at this moment. There are still several thousand language groups without Holy Scripture. In the Romans chapter, Paul explains that gentiles are being grafted to a tree whose roots and branches are Israel. At verse 25, he tells his audience that he doesn’t want them to be uninformed about a mystery—that the current and partial hardening of Israel’s hearts to the Gospel will continue until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. There seems to be a measurement associated with the “fullness of the Gentiles” taking place as we Gentiles are being brought into the family of God.
In essence, we’re told that in the space of time between Christ’s ascension and today, two distinct acts will be taking place: the Word will be making its way into the entire world and the body of Christ will grow. That, I believe, is our purpose.
In the midst of these objectives, Christ reveals world conditions will deteriorate towards the culmination of the Word reaching into every nation. The world-condition list in Matthew 24 (and mentioned in the first paragraph here) is extensive and hard to wrap my head around. But it is also, currently, recognizable. Much of what Christ revealed then, is happening today. If I line up the indicators with other biblical prophecy not yet fulfilled, I get a sense that we are in the very moments Christ spoke of in Matthew 24. He tells us that the prophesied destruction, wars, and hatred must take place before the end. It seems God has ordained that we live through these trials while we persevere in sharing the good news of Christ with the world.
No one knows the exact hour or specific day of Christ’s return, but He has given us great insight into the season we’ll find ourselves in when this long-awaited event happens. More than once, Christ and the New Testament writers warn us to be watchful and alert, not letting the foretold times catch us unaware of what is taking place (1 Corinthians 16:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:4-8; Luke 12:35-47).
I believe the Lord intends us to be fully engaged in accomplishing our Gospel-sharing purpose and not overwhelmed with the traumas happening around us.
From the news and my FB feed, it appears that many are consumed with current trials and not focused on God’s intentional agenda. Someone once told me that anger is a powerful and drug-like addicting emotion—much easier to evoke than humility. Daily, I see and read evidence of this.
My objective here is to raise this question: As a specifically selected generation, are we doing what we’ve been chosen to do? Or, are we, through heightened emotions, creating our own objectives in order to fight what seems to be out-of-control circumstances?
We’ve already established that conditions are actually not out of control, but in the hand of God. We’ve been told these difficult events must take place and we are called to place ourselves in a position of trust and prayer. But it seems many have been caught off guard and are somehow placing trust in government, their national rights, and/or their own lofty opinions.
And meanwhile a miracle takes place.
Did you know? There are worldwide Christian alliances now working to give every nation God’s Word in their various heart languages and in multiple access formats to ensure cultural understanding. This is historic and the plans are to finish the Gospel-sharing task by the year 2033. You are living in the generation that will see the completion of the Great Commission in thirteen short years when every tribe, nation, and tongue will have access to the Word of God. Christ’s prophecy in Matthew 24:14 will be fulfilled. And you and I may see it happen.
As His own, selected to live during these uncertain days, we can be certain that God is using all of this, you and I included, to His glory. This does not mean we shouldn’t be riveted by the riots, the political battles, the famines, the deaths, the fires, the earthquakes in various places, and the hate raging in our streets today. Like the Apostle Paul, I am hard pressed on every side, but I am not crushed; I am perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but I am not destroyed.
Knowing we live in prophetic times, I press on.
From Scripture, I’ve come to understand that in this life, I will have many troubles, but I am to take heart, for He has overcome each and every one of them. The true King is coming back to hold the government on his own shoulders, ushering in a thousand years of blessed, earthly existence that will look quite different from what we know today.
I long for this radical change.
Until then, I work at sharing God’s Word with the world.
Let us look up for our redemption draws near!