I love the picture above. But I would lift up a different sign at this “let’s make a difference” rally. My sign would say, Pray today for a better tomorrow–the new Kingdom.
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, you were chosen to live where you live at this unprecedented hour when there are famines, multiple pestilences, deadly diseases, wars, rumors of more 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 (Matthew 24:5-28). Is there a reason?
From what I understand through Scripture, His motives have a grand and unique purpose.
What the Word Has To Say
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] come to 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. Also, in Romans, Paul 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 and what 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 thousands of language groups without Holy Scripture.
The Grafting of You and Me
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 take place: the Word will make its way into the entire world and the body of Christ will grow. That, I believe, is our purpose; our call. Kingdom Building has been and will be God’s purpose for the world He made. We’re His agents, called to prepare a thousand-year kingdom where Christ reigns.
He Warns Us
In the midst of these objectives, Christ reveals world conditions will deteriorate as we grow closer to the culmination of 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. In doing so, we have opportunity to point to Him and demonstrate our faith and trust.
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 takes 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.
My objective here is to raise this question: As a specifically selected generation, are we doing what we’ve been chosen to do?
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 partnership in the works 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 eleven 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.
Chew on this revelation. We are witnesses to the climax of generations of God-fearing people seeking Him. For God so loved the world. We, the church, are sharing Him with the world He so loves.
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!
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