Falling Apart or Falling Together?
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! As this New Year begins I want to begin it by saying, maranatha! For those of you who are not familiar with this word, it means, “O Lord, come!” in Aramaic. It was a phrase that was used by the early church – and was used by Paul in the New Testament. The word or phrase was used to speak of a strong desire for the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. I mention this because like never before I want to pray daily, maranatha!
Next Sunday I will be sharing the 2016 Prophecy/News Update message. This year has been filled with events that involve Israel, and that possibly foreshadow the fulfillment of biblical prophecy. World events are definitely heating up and many, even in the secular world, are predicting that we may be on the verge of World War III. It was also a year in which the United States Supreme Court legalized homosexual marriage. This decision has set up a monumental battle between the newly fashioned erotic rights of our age with the constitutional right to religious liberty. That battle will be fought right before our eyes in the courts of our land and the court of public opinion. In light of how scary this can be – I want to begin this week with an encouraging word to the saints.
Things that are going in our world can be very frightening. We are definitely watching our world become more and more volatile before our very eyes. Things in the Middle East continue to degenerate almost daily. The ongoing Syrian civil war is a flashpoint for the entire world as superpowers like Russia, China, and the United States get involved in that conflict. The rise of ISIS (The Islamic State in Iran and Syria) and the ongoing fight to remove them from large portions of Syria and Iraq are causing a destabilization of the entire region. The daily rocket fire on Israel continues (those it is a situation almost completely ignored by the mainstream news media) – as does the daily threat to Israel from Hezbollah, ISIS, Hamas, and Iran. Add to this the uptick in terrorist activity in Europe, Africa, and the United States – and we have a world that is ready to blow up in a worldwide war between various factions and nations. In the midst of all this it would be easy to want to throw your hands up and say, “The world is falling apart!”
Things are also scary when it comes to the changes in our nation. The battle between religious liberty and erotic liberty is heating up every day. It is no surprise that the world system is standing firmly behind erotic liberty. What we were told was a quest for tolerance has become a very intolerant attack on the church for holding to a biblical view of sexuality and marriage. Close on the heels of the recent victories for gay marriage we watched as the next battle began concerning gender confusion. The speed at which the sexual revolution is happening is dizzying – and frightening. It is as if nothing is either sacred or stable in our culture any longer. On top of all this there is a growing racial tension in our nation as we watch police shootings being questioned and riots erupting that engulf entire cities in flames and lawlessness. In light of all that is happening around us it would be easy to say, “Our nation is falling apart!”
Those with a Christian/Biblical worldview understand this differently. First of all we know that the world has been falling apart ever since the “fall.” When man chose to sin against the Lord – everything began to fall apart. The descent into chaos and destruction began in that moment – and for those who forget the narrative of Genesis – resulted in the whole earth being flooded to address the wickedness of man just 10 chapters later. Shortly after Noah and his family departed from the ark – Noah got drunk – and the whole process started all over again. Our current situation is not any more wicked than others in history – it is just that we are given vastly more information about the results of godlessness in our day. Sin has always been destructive – wars and devastation have always either been ongoing – or on the horizon as mankind continues to reject God and live according to their own sinful nature and inclinations.
A Biblical understanding of the chaos that happens as a nation turns away from God is also nothing radically new. The history of nations recorded for us in Scripture makes it clear that when a nation rejects God and godly principles bad things happen. The history of Israel and Judah’s kings as recorded by the historical record as well as the prophecies spoken against them for their rejection of God is clear. Just as a nation is blessed when it submits to God – it will be under a curse when it rejects and turns from Him. Our nation is rejecting not only godly principles – but God Himself as it rebels against what the Scriptures say.
When we take a few minutes to refocus our thinking with Scripture, we may come to a different realization about the current state of affairs in the world. Things have always been falling apart due to sin – but God is working so that things are falling together for the return of Christ. Mark chapter 13 and Luke chapter 21 are accounts of Jesus’ teaching about the last days. In this teaching Jesus presents the things that will be happening before His second coming. Many of these things match events that are taking place in our time. Jesus closes this section of both gospels with the following words, “Even so, you too, when you see these things happening, recognize that He is near, right at the door.” (Mark 13:29, NASB) When you read through the previous verses to this one, you will see that what is happening in our day was foretold by our Lord Jesus. He spoke of wars and rumors of wars – earthquakes – famines – and a wholesale rejection of God by humanity. What is equally fascinating is that passages that speak of future prophetic events, which require a certain aligning of the nations against Israel, are being fulfilled before our eyes. Truly things are falling together just as God said – even as they fall apart because of mankind’s rejection of Him. The more they fight against Him – the more they are unwitting accomplices to do what He said would be done.
Take courage saints, none of what has happened has taken God by surprise. All of it was foretold 2000 or more years ago. Anyone even remotely aware of what the Bible says about the last days knows that the return of our Lord Jesus Christ will be at a time when the world is falling apart. You cannot read of what the prophets foretold and imagine a world getting better and better. You cannot be familiar with the seal judgments of Revelation 6, the trumpet judgments of Revelation 8 and 9, and the bowl judgments of Revelation 16 and think that things will be at an all time best at the second coming of Christ. All the nations, all the prophetic predictions, all the things necessary to see all thing fulfilled just as God spoke – are falling together as if God were sovereign over the affairs of men (which, by the way, He is). Based on this knowledge, then, we need to live in reality concerning where the world is headed. This is not our home, saints – it is the place where God has been rejected. We await the kingdom of our God and of His Christ. And as that falls together the world itself will fall apart. But take courage dear ones of God – He has overcome the world – and by His grace and the power of His Spirit – He will grant to us the ability to be overcomers even in this difficult hour!