FACING THE FUTURE WITH CONFIDENCE
Is it possible to do the following two things at the same time?
1) Face up honestly to what is happening in the world.
2) Have a confident, hopeful attitude to life
The more we face up to what is happening in the world, the more likely we are to get depressed. Pollution of the environment is having a disastrous effect on the only planet we can live on. Deadly conflicts are engulfing more and more areas of the world, ruining people's lives and turning once beautiful countries into killing grounds ruled by mobs with guns and bombs. Our cities are becoming more and more unsafe as crime and violence increase all the time.
The alternative to facing all this is to escape and pretend that it isn't happening. Live for the moment - eat drink and be merry, buy all the things the ad-men say are essential for human happiness. Don't worry about what is going on in the world - relax with a drink, watch the TV and lose yourself in the lives of your favourite soap opera characters.
But maybe neither of these alternatives suits you. You don't want to be depressed by reality and you don't want to escape into unreality. What can you do?
The answer has to do with God - not a God of our imagination or a God who makes people fight and kill in his name, but the real God who loves us and wants us to love Him and each other. He set this world in motion and he will bring it to an end in the way he said he would in the Bible. He sent Jesus the Messiah into the world to bring us salvation and eternal life.
You may not realise it but the things going on in the world today are prophesied in the Bible for the last days of this age. For example:
1. There will be a restoration of Israel as a Jewish homeland. Ezekiel 36-37.
2. There will be great conflict in the Middle East and hostility towards Israel from all nations. Ezekiel 38-39, Zechariah 12- 14, Revelation 16-19.
3. There will be an increase in wars, famines and earthquakes leading to a time of great trouble on the earth. Matthew 24.6-7, 21-22.
4. The earth will be full of violence and many people will be afraid of what is going to happen to the world. Luke 21.25-26, Genesis 6.11, Matthew 24.37.
5. There will be many false cults bringing religious confusion and in the established religions a movement towards a united world religion. Matthew 24.24, Revelation 17.
6. There will be a trend towards world government. Revelation 13.
7. There will be widespread pollution of the earth. Isaiah 24, Revelation 8.
8. There will be a breakdown of traditional values and decency. Matthew 24.12, 2 Timothy 3.1-9.
9. There will be an increase in knowledge and world travel. Daniel 12.4.
10. The message of the Gospel will reach all nations despite opposition and persecution. Matthew 24.9-14, 28.18-20.
These things happening today are a sign that Jesus is coming back soon. He tells us that we need to be ready for the event:
“But of that day and hour no one knows, no, not even the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man Be." Matthew 24.36.
"For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we will always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words." 1 Thessalonians 4.16-18.
This event will happen ‘as a thief in the night' which means it will happen unexpectedly, without warning. Therefore we need to be ready for it. To be ready we need to accept Jesus as Saviour and let him be Lord of our lives.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life." John 3.16
“Jesus said, 'I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’." John 14.6
"Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name given among men by which we must be saved." Acts 4.12
"If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead you will be saved." Romans 10.9
Only Jesus can save us from God's coming judgement, not any other religious leader, past or present. There is a heaven to gain and a hell to flee from. If you want to be saved from God's judgement you must trust in what He has done for us, not in your own good deeds or religious observance. Jesus died as a sacrifice for our sins and rose again from the dead to give us eternal life.
Light for the Last Days