This last week has been one where worldly securities have vaporized. Families in the UK have lost their homes and their livelihoods when disturbed youths decided to riot, loot and rampage their communities. Alan and I watched in awe as teenagers and young adults swarmed and looted a Debenham's in downtown London while police watched from a short distance away. I actually found myself yelling at the tv - "why don't they DO something?!" Alan said, "like what?" "Arrest them! I said. "Throw them in police vans! Don't just sit there watching criminal activity taking place!" It was clear who was in control from seeing the pictures and at least on day's 1, 2 and 3 -- it wasn't the police.
So why did they do it?
In all honesty no one really knows. David Cameron says they are all vigilantes that need a strong hand and stiffer punishment and that it has nothing to do with his policy changes and budget cuts. Others say it's a combination of things. In my opinion, being poor and underprivileged gives you no right to ruin the livelihood or physically harm someones property or even worse, their person. Peaceful demonstration - I'm all for it. But not this mess. This to me shows a generation of youths that are selfish, spoiled, lazy and have no sense of shame. They need their benefit checks revoked and they need to be required to find a job which they are then motivated to work hard to keep. Only when they are effective contributors to a society will they realize the value of what they've destroyed in the last week.
All this was going on in England while the stock market was falling like mad in the United States and around the world. I began to think we might start seeing stock brokers and ordinary people throwing themselves from the roofs of buildings as their fortunes disappeared but fortunately (at least this time) it didn't get that bad. It was however, a roller coaster week.
So what was learned?
Hopefully, that putting your trust in anything besides Jesus Christ is simply the biggest waste of time imaginable. My mom said my dad was stressed about it and I said, "the way I see it we should all be looking at our stock accounts as if tomorrow they could just evaporate and disappear. Those antiques you plan to hand down to your children may have to be sold one day to buy bread!" My mom chuckled - "yeah or be burned so we can keep warm". We laughed about it but there has never been a time in history (with the exception of the day after 9/11) that has felt more like the start of the end times for me.
It's not just the riots and the looting and the stock market crashing. It's everything. It's the natural disasters and the global warming that is affecting our weather systems like never before. It's the fact that the US owes 1,200,000,000 to China. It's the persecution of christians around the globe and the spread of Islam like wildfire. It's the rise of false prophets (or pastors of mega-churches in America that advocate a different gospel to what Christ preached). It's even seen in an organization like Pioneers that is committed to taking the gospel to every people group on the planet and has nearly accomplished it.
What is interesting to me is the fact that the bible did foretell and forewarn ALL of this.
Take a look and see if you don't agree. Matthew chapter 24 starting in verse six says, "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. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains. 9 Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come."
Did you catch yourself saying - check, check, check like a list of to do's although this is a list of "will happen's"? Ugh. On the one hand I want Jesus to come back and to put a final end to suffering worldwide and to judge those that have done evil things like the man who raped the two year old little girl outside a day care in North Carolina this week. Heaven help that man and if it was my little girl? Oh I can't even think about it without going nuts.
Of all the students I interviewed at the University of Heidelberg when I asked them what one question was they would ask God if they could ask, the majority said, "why is there so much suffering and bad stuff that happens?". Well, Jesus had an answer for that. First, he knows the meaning of suffering because He suffered far worse than we suffer and he was completely innocent of the charges brought against Him. Secondly He promises justice will be done in the final judgment. There will come a day (and it looks to be very soon) where he will judge all those that caused suffering or pain here on earth. I am so grateful that when God sees MY sin that He sees Christ who voluntarily takes my place because I accepted His free gift of grace.
In this world of uncertainty, have you accepted His grace for the evil that resides in you? Nevermind the evil in the world around you. God will deal with that. What do you do with the evil that lives within you? No matter how much of a better person you may think you are than Joe Schmo down the street, Jesus said the only way to heaven was through Him. If you died tonight can you rest assured you would spend eternity in Heaven? If not, you can be. Ask Jesus to forgive you for your sins and come into your life. The bible says, "if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Message me if you want to know more. I'd love to talk to you.