Believe it or not, I heard once that the phrase, “May you live in interesting times” is actually a Chinese curse! But it does seem we live in interesting times. Of course some people are like what Jesus said about folks in the time of Noah, “they knew not till the flood came and carried them all away.” (Matthew 24:39) Some just never pay much attention to “the signs of the times” (Matthew 16:3).
On the other hand, there are a lot of people everywhere now who are really concerned that something serious is about to happen. Some thought that 2012 was extremely propitious and that omens abounded for sudden cataclysmic change. Others look at the economic situation in Europe and fear a further slide into times unseen since the 1930’s. And they know what those times brought on. Some closely watch events in the Middle East and see a potential horrific war resulting from a military attack by Israeli against Iran. And if you are an American, you may see dire consequences if the presidential candidate you opposed in the election won the presidency. All in all, there are quite a lot of folks who are seriously concerned about the current crises that are bubbling and boiling around the world.
But not everyone. Perhaps equally if not more are the people who don’t notice or just aren’t disturbed by the current crises. Many are completely preoccupied with their own personal difficulties of finding a job, paying their bills and taking care of their families. And the rest see “the distress of nations, men’s hearts failing them for fear” (Luke 21: 25 & 26) but don’t feel things will get out of hand. Like the saying goes in Australia, “It’ll come round, mate.” Which translates to, “Everything will be ok” or “Don’t worry, be happy.”
But if you’re a Christian and look for times that foreshadow the ones leading up to the Lord’s return, then all this does take on a larger dimension. Are we seeing events that will lead into the final days that Jesus and Jewish prophets foretold? And here is where things get even more divided.
Many are adamant that “this is it”. Conspiracy theories abound. On the other hand, those who don’t believe any of that are equally resolute. They assert that talk of the collapse of society and the economy, a looming one world government and such assorted fears are just coming from absolutely nuts, crazy kooks and often deluded religious extremists.
Who’s right? Is something about to happen? Should we be prepared? Is there even any way to prepare? Which side are you on? Which side am I on?
Here’s what I think: be prepared either way. Honestly, I’ve felt something dire was possibly very near. But I’ve felt that for over 40 years. You may not agree but I believe the world is pretty much held together by belief or confidence. And confidence is fragile, for individuals, societies or the world at large. In my life I came to where God in heaven just pulled the plug on it because I was so far out of His will. And also He had a better plan for me. So He in essence said, “Time’s up.” In the Bible God is quoted as saying, “My Spirit will not always strive with man, for he that being often warned and hardens his heart shall suddenly be destroyed.” (Genesis 6:3, Proverbs 29:1) And on the other hand, God is more patient and merciful than any of us can imagine. But it can come to a time, a tipping point when the goose is cooked, the genie is out of the bottle and you can’t go back to Kansas, to mix several metaphors there.
Will that happen? When? Will we just have another 50 years of muddling through? Or are we really nearing a precipice, descending into worldwide chaos, leading to the final events foretold in the Bible?
I’ve tried to be prepared either way. I want to live for the world to come. That means not placing my trust in “uncertain riches” (I Timothy 6:17) or “laying up treasures on earth” (Matthew 6:19). It means that I put my relationship with the Lord first and I’m prepared, as much as is possible, for any sudden events, local or national. My “weapons” and defense aren’t based on physical things, guns or militias. My preparedness is in and of the Spirit of God. My dependence is on His protection and provision. If I’m doing that, then come what breakdown or disruption may be, I’ve put my trust in the “System” that’s never going to break down, the “government” that’s never going to fail me, and the one that’s ultimately going to survive and run this world the way it should be run. Either way, approaching chaos or another 50 years of surviving the storms of this world, my choice is to settle my life on the Rock of God and His will and blessings. What do you think? I hope you’ll do the same.