Maintaining our balance
Hope for the future; realism without despair
Ed preface: The following is a (slightly) edited version of a small tract produced by Tony Pearce of the Light for the Last Days ministry
Is it possible to do the following two things at the same time ?
Face up honestly to what is happeningin the world.
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. We see an economic crisis threatening the future of millions of people across the world, violence and conflict, the threat of weapons of mass destruction, pollution of the environment, and a breakdown of family relationships and moral values, leading to great insecurity for many people.
Some of us may try to ignore all this and pretend that it isn't happening. Live for the moment - party away your time and buy the things the adverts say you need to be happy. Watch TV, listen to the music, play computer games and don't worry about what's going on in the world.
But maybe neither of these alternatives suits you. You don't want to be depressed by the 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. He sent Jesus the Messiah into the world to bring us salvation and eternal life.
You may not realize 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 an increase in wars, famines, plagues and earthquakes. (Luke 21.10-11)
2. The earth will be full of violence 'as in the days of Noah' and many people will be afraid of what is going to happen. (Luke 17.26-27; Luke 21.25-26; Genesis 6.11)
Lawlessness will abound.(Matthew 24.12; 2 Thessalonians 2.1-12; 2 Timothy 3.1-9)
3.There will be sexual immorality 'as in the days of Lot' (Sodom and Gomorrah) (Genesis 19; Romans 1.24-27)
4. There will be widespread pollution of the earth and destruction of the environment (Isaiah 24; Revelation 8.6-11).
5.There will be a restoration of the Jewish people to Israel. There will be a conflict over Jerusalem which will involve all nations of the world. (Ezekiel 36-9; Zechariah 12-14; Luke 21.20-24; Revelation 16.16)
6. There will be a globalisation process and a worldwide trading system. A dictatorial anti-Christian government will arise out of this. (Revelation 13 and 18)
7. There will be an increase in technology and travel.(Daniel 12.4)
8. There will be false prophets who will lead people astray and cause confusion about God and salvation. (Matthew 24.5; 24.23-27; Revelation 17.1-6)
9. There will be an attack on the basic truths of the Bible and opposition to those who teach the Gospel (Matthew 24.10-11; 2 Timothy 4.2-5; 2 Peter 2; John 2.18-23)
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 and the world is heading for the Day of Judgment. Only Jesus can save us from this judgment, not any other religious leader, past or present. There is a heaven to gain and a hell to flee from.
We do not know exactly when this will happen:
'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)
If you want to be saved from God's judgment 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. So we need to repent of our sins and 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)
'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)
These events happening mean the world is heading for the Day of Judgment. Only Jesus can save us from this judgment, 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 judgment 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.
'For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with 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 Thessaloimians 4.16-18)