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Seeking to equip people to live as Christian disciples wherever God has placed them.

Tuesday, 5/16/2017

“The Ruler of the Kings of the Earth”

Matt. 24:9-14
Jesus is continuing his picture of “the end of the age.”  He has already said that there will be false messiahs and prophets who “will lead many astray.”  The time before the end will be marked by “wars and rumors of wars.”  Jesus adds that nations will rise against nations.  There will be famines and earthquakes.  The Roman emperors had promised the return of a golden age, a universal period of peace and prosperity.  Jesus’ prediction of the end of the age is very different.  From the hindsight of over two thousand years it’s easy to evaluate these two projections.  The Romans were wrong and Jesus was right.
Jesus’ prediction could fit our own time.  We hear of wars and rumors of wars.  We see nations rising up against other nations including our own..  We see natural disasters.  Truthfully, all these things have existed since Jesus’ time up to the present.  This picture could easily be one of despair.  What hope is there in a world of endless upheaval, threats of war and disasters?  Yet this is Jesus speaking.  He is the one who came to save the world not condemn it (John 3:17).  Jesus says, “see that you are not alarmed.”  He adds, “for this must take place, but the end is not yet” (Matt. 24:6).
There will be opposition to the gospel.  We have not experienced being tortured, killed and hated because of our faith in Christ.  However there are places in the world even today where this takes place.  Throughout history the powers of darkness have fought against the church.  At times the church can appear weak, even helpless.  We are warned that “the love of many will grow cold.”  However there is no reason to lose hope.  Jesus assures us that the gospel, the good news, will be proclaimed throughout the world.  Of course there will be opposition, Evil is real.  Yet Jesus guarantees us that in the midst of whatever conflict the gospel will continue to go forth.  Our hope is secure.
Faithful gracious and loving God I praise you for the fact that in the midst of all the conflicts and unrest in the world that your gospel continues to penetrate the hearts of people everywhere.  Grant me the privilege of sharing in the worldwide testimony of your grace and forgiveness.  I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.