by Don Anderson
Thomas Paine said on December 23, 1776, “These are the times that try men’s souls.” Paine and our young nation were facing what seemed an insurmountable crisis and a very uncertain future. How could a ragtag group of soldiers, known as the Continental Army of our newly formed nation, ever expect to defeat the well-trained and fortified army of Britain? Only through the grace of God!
Likewise, Israel faced an insurmountable and a very uncertain future shortly after the exodus from Egypt. Israel was camped by the sea with the army of Egypt marching toward them from the west with seemingly nowhere to go. Scripture says that they were, “sore afraid!” How could Israel ever hope to defeat the powerful Egyptian army? Only through the grace of God!
And as we, today, are being threatened by an unseen enemy, which is now plaguing the entire world, it seems that we are also facing a difficult crisis and a rather uncertain future. Should we as Christians be worried and anxious over world events for which we have no control? Or can we rest assured in the grace of our God; that He has
I had a concerned friend email me several weeks ago asking, “Do you think this is part of the beginning of the end times?” I assured my friend that this is what Jesus told us to watch for. As Jesus was departing from the temple one day, His disciples came to him and pointed out the magnificent buildings (Matthew 24). Jesus then warned them of events to come when He said, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” Imagine what the disciples thought of that statement? Jesus then says, “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.
See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.”
Note that Jesus used the word “pestilence,” which refers to plague or contagious disease! And just as God used pestilence in His judgments of Egypt, He will also use pestilence in the final judgment of Israel and unrepentant mankind during the final judgment of the world as is revealed in the Book of Revelation! And just as God used the prophets in the Old Testament to warn Israel about impending future judgment, God placed the Book of Revelation in our Bibles to inform us of what is to come.
So how are we to approach “what is to come?” With terror and trepidation? With fear and trembling? Or with wisdom, understanding and faith in our great God? Israel was not forsaken by God. God brought them to victory through the Red Sea and into the land that He promised Abraham! And God will never forsake His church as well. How do I know? Because I took a real good look at the end of God’s Book (the Book of Revelation). I know in the end that Jesus wins!
These may be trying times for us but they are also exciting times as we watch and pray, knowing that God will never leave us or forsake us! Our God has, by His grace,
under control! Amen and amen!
Don Anderson will be starting a new Bible Study on Thursday nights once we are able to safely meet again.