The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.
We live in a fallen world and it seems we’re riding an exponential curve toward lawless chaos and global self-destruction. How’s that for an encouraging opening line? I’m an optimist by nature, and I know the Lord will sovereignly guide his children through every trial and hardship they face. But I don’t see this world getting any better. Matthew 24:37 reads, “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.”
Prophetically speaking, the Bible tells us the end of the age will be marked by disintegration. The biblical depictions of the world in the end times are not pretty. While the worst of disintegration will take place during the future seven-year tribulation period, we’re witnessing the stage-setting for it now. The curse of sin has put us in a world that erodes and decays.
Even science mirrors the theology of the fallenness of the world. The second law of thermodynamics demonstrates how all systems in our universe disintegrate over time. Don’t worry, I’m about to share some good news as well, but I had to point out the raw, unadulterated facts first. The hour is late. This is a sobering time to be alive. Paul stated that fearful, terrible (brutal, treacherous, harsh) times would come in the last days. In 2 Timothy 3:1-5, he wrote,
“Mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.”
Two powerful words that we can claim as believers are “fear not!” Fear is a four-letter word we need to reject. It’s not a curse word, but it has unnecessarily cursed millions of believers. This is something we all battle, and sometimes we feel as though there is more in the world to fear now than ever—but God! I’ve heard it said that the Bible says fear not (or other similar phrases) 366 times! That’s one for each day of the year, plus an extra one in case there’s a really hard day.
The dangerous, terrible times of the last days are here.
BUT GOD is with us until the end of the age (Matthew 28:20).
We’re surrounded by evil enemies in the unseen realm.
BUT GOD prepares a table for us in the presence of our enemies (Psalm 23:5).
The enemy wants to steal, kill, and destroy.
BUT GOD gives us full life here and in eternity (John 10:10).
The world seems out of control and beyond repair.
BUT GOD has planned every single day of our lives (Psalm 139:16).
We can’t avoid the storms of life.
BUT GOD will sustain us with a solid foundation (Matthew 7:25).
The enemy accuses and shames us night and day.
BUT GOD has declared us perfectly righteous in his sight (Romans 8:1).
Bad things happen all the time in this world.
BUT GOD causes all things to work for our good (Romans 8:28).
The world may hate us for standing for Christ.
BUT GOD says we are not of this world (John 15:19).
“BUT GOD”—two more of the most powerful words in existence. This short two-word phrase changes everything. As we consider all the truths stated above, it strikes me that Christians should be the most courageous, hopeful, joy-filled, people on the planet. I’ll be the first to admit that I often live like a practical atheist—knowing what God has accomplished for us and what he has promised for our future, yet at times still letting the pressures of the day get the best of me. We need to remind ourselves daily of the truths above—and many more we can claim as believers in Jesus Christ.
So, as the world continues to disintegrate around us, let us be reminded that—as one famous preacher used to say—the world is growing gloriously dark. The darker the night, the brighter the light. We can rest assured that the Lord’s return is soon—perhaps even in our lifetime. And we can rest assured that no matter what we face as we await his return, He has promised to be with us.
“I am with you [b]always, to the end of the age.”
—Jesus (Matthew 28:20)