It is not the wars of men that will determine our end, but the war that we cannot see with our eyes; a war that transcends the physical and into the spiritual.
In all my years of living in the United States of America, not only as mere citizen and spectator of our great country, but also as a person who loves the nation and its people…I have never seen it so divided. When discussing American history with a friend of old age, I asked him if there was ever a time where fear was more rampant, chaos ensued on streets, and grief struck the heart of the American people. His answer: 1960s America.
Think about it. During the 60s, America saw a great cultural boom. To go from a focus of family in the 1950s to a sexual revolution in the 1960s was insane. When many teens, later called hippies, arrived in San Francisco, CBS journalists were stunned when they saw how many people ‘shared each other’. People literally had sex in public, and guys ‘shared’ their girlfriends with other guys. Feminists would speak on television programs and write in newspapers, demanding that the American culture would change the following: the view of sex outside of wedlock, birth control, and the ‘right a woman has to her body’…abortion.
Then, there was the most divisive war in American history: the Vietnam War. Over 250,000 American soldiers were sent into an overseas conflict that we had no business getting involved in. It was a devastating war, and it took thousands of lost lives to realize that it was time to end our involvement in the Vietnamese Civil War. These things were awful, but there is still one more thing people remember from that decade: the deaths. In the span of only 6 years, President John F. Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Robert Kennedy were assassinated; three astronauts also died during a flight simulation to prepare for the moon landing.
From the heights of the Cold War like the Cuban Missile Crisis, the horrible governments of Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, to the cultural shifts such as the ‘British Invasion’… the 1960s was a scary time. Many people literally believed the world was ending. Fast forward to the 2010s, and the American public is exposed to fears and divisions like we’ve never seen before. The riots following Donald Trump’s victory, BLM, Antifa, the Charlottesville Protest, and threats of war from North Korea and ISIS. Our foreign policies towards Russia are reminiscent to the Cold War, all thanks to Putin’s aggressive tactics. The world economy is crumbling under the weight of inflation.
Look around! Things are so bad it could make a post-millennialist cry (sorry Ashton). There is no doubt in my mind that this decade will make history, and that the next generation will have one word on their minds: Why? Why did it get that bad? Why were people not speaking up? Why was everyone focused on the wrong thing? Why had no one turned to God? Many people, just like the 60s, believe this decade is so bad that the end of the world is soon.
My dear friends, I have a comfort. This comfort is so great, so serene and magnificent that it cures my insomnia, my stress, and my tearing eyes. In Matthew 24:6-8 (ESV), Jesus says the following, “‘And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.'”
Some of you may be thinking this: “That’s not comforting at all!” I understand how that may be the case, but notice what Jesus is saying. The end of humanity is not going to be from wars. One of John F. Kennedy’s most famous quotes is, “Man must put an end to war, or else war will put an end to mankind.” However, the Bible makes it clear that weapons of mass destruction, no matter how powerful, will not mark the end of history. Nor will natural disasters be the thing that man must fear for survival. Even though it is difficult to see, mankind can sleep easier at night knowing that God has His divine protection over His creation.
If we believe Christ to be our Lord, and that the Word of God has authority over our lives, then we must believe that neither North Korea, Russia, nor ISIS can bring about the end of humanity. Neither are the protests proof that this world is going down in flames. There were wars before, now, and there will be more in the future. Riots will come and go; there will always be something to protest, good cause or not. So, what will mark the end? We’ve heard the rumors of wars, we’ve seen the news, and we are hopefully desperate to know what God has to say.
So, here is the sign of the end. It is not the rumors of wars, or the rise of conflict that will define our eschatology, but the Scriptures. In Matthew 24:9,13-14 (ESV) says the following: “‘Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake…but the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the Kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.'”
What is the consummation of human history? What Kingdom shall last forever, unlike all the others? What will give us hope when we face calamity in this world? The answer is the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. His Kingdom is in the hearts of those who believe. Our God reigns in the heavens, and even now limits the power of Satan, so that God’s truth would be able to be proclaimed to all the nations. The Scriptures are clear that there is hope for those who go through trials, those who are persecuted severely, and those who suffer through the trauma’s of this world. However, none of those things compare to the glorious return of our Lord, once the gospel has been proclaimed to all nations.
Notice that the Bible doesn’t say that all the nations will believe, but that all the nations will see the testimony of our faith, they will see our passion for the Lord, and they will see the glory of God being manifested through the preaching of the precious Gospel. My dear friends, there will always be moments where we will think it is the end of the world, but remember this: God is sovereign. He decides when the end shall be, and I’m fully convinced He’s already decided. When all the people will finally hear the gospel, and the last elect child of God is in Christ’s hand, the world will come to its end. Oh, how I can’t wait for that day.
I don’t care when He shows up, as long as He does. My heart is content with the Gospel, no matter what fears and dangers may surround me. I trust in my God, who has saved me; He is able, and He has made wonderful promise that is full of hope: He is in control, and the end of His work of the Gospel will mark the end. Until…keep looking at the clouds. Keep waiting for Jesus to return.
Soli Deo Gloria.