Sunday, April 3, 2011

Panic the End is Here

Panic the End is Here
April 4, 2011
Matthew 24:7 "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places."

The end is near, this is certain. If there was ever a day to be concerned about the end times, it would be now. The Bible says that nation will rise against nation; there will be wars and rumors of wars; there will be famines and earthquakes; there will be false teachers. Wow, all those things were in the headlines on every major news channel just this morning! The Middle East is a ticking time bomb, the unrest in Libya is frightening, and the earthquakes in Japan have been horrendous, not to mention the leaking radiation as a result. If ever there was a time when the signs of the end are fulfilled, it is now. The end is near, this is certain. BUT, is it cause for concern? Is it time to panic yet? Is it time to run for the hills?

Jesus said there would be signs foretelling the end of times, and we have been seeing those signs everyday. Jesus called them 'birthing pains'. Listen to his words in Matt 24:6-8:
"You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains."

Birth pains? Rarely does a pregnant woman, just days away from her due date, hold her newborn in a few minutes time without any notice of labor. A woman's body gives her signals, signs, that her time to give birth is near. Those birth pains (labor pains), are a sign, a warning, telling everyone that they need to be prepared for the coming birth. Labor pains, no matter how uncomfortable for a woman to bear, are a good sign that birth is imminent and a child will soon arrive. A woman knows these pains will lead to her anticipated result, the child for whom she has been preparing. If those warning signs of labor are heeded, then preparation can be made for the necessary people to be involved in a safe delivery, with no surprises. But if those birthing pains are ignored because of ignorance or fearful denial, everyone can get caught off guard, resulting in a traumatic birth experience. Jesus said the signs of the end times would be just that, signs giving us a warning of what is to come, signs to be embraced.

While these signs are to be heeded, they are not cause to panic. Notice Jesus said, "See to it that you are not alarmed." If we take notice of these signs, just as when a woman is in labor, we can be prepared. If we heed the warning that the end is near, we will be prepared, not scared. Jesus doesn't want us to live in a state of fear, but in a state of respect for what will occur. If we look out for the warning signs, then we will be waiting expectantly and not caught off guard.

When we heed Jesus' warning, we will be prepared in all facets. We will ensure our lives are right with Him. We will ensure our loved ones have had a chance to right themselves with the Lord. We will ensure our neighbor knows about the Lord and the coming end, so he can be prepared, too. We will live our lives in such a way as to be found doing the Lord's will when He returns. He expects this of us and has given us these warning signs to be prepared. It is for our own good. Don't be alarmed when you read the headlines, when you see the signs of the end; they are birthing pains. See them as an opportunity to keep yourself alert and ready. But woe to you if you choose to ignore them.

1. What do you think when you read the headlines in the news?
2. How can you live without panic but instead preparation?
3. How could you make sure everyone else is aware of the soon coming end?

Don't take my word for it; look it up: Matthew 24, Mark 13

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