“ Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. 6 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…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… For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time.” Mathew 24, selected verses
The end if the world. Many generations over many centuries thought they lived in the end times. They were all wrong. We’re still here. Their perspective, however, was limited. Their view was more local and less global.
That is no longer true. Our view of the world is much more comprehensive thanks to the internet, 24 hour news cycles, devices that we call “phones,” but do more by an order of magnitude, and everything else that has us firmly plugged in.
The gruesome execution of the Jordanian pilot exposed this week simply caps off a chain of horrors coming out of the Middle East, perpetrated there and abroad. That, however, will be trumped by some new nightmare before long as the violence escalates.
The range of brutality everywhere across the board has ramped up, including the United States. You can find videos of beatings, muggings, and general violence with thousands of views. We watch them for entertainment, although we call it shock value. Some compare it to watching train wrecks. That’s disingenuous. Trains don’t bleed. They don’t try to escape, beg for mercy, or plead for their lives.
“12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold…”
Christianity is being betrayed from the inside. The current pope has declared evolution a fait accompli. Many religious leaders are keeping him company. He ignores the theological complications, and tells us that the science is irrefutable…which it is not. Seminaries are producing ordained ministers who advocate homosexuality and gay marriage despite the clear biblical teaching against them.
“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.”
The United States has legislated God out of our lives, despite The Constitution’s clearly stated freedom of religion. The Ten commandments, which serves as part of the Judeo-Christian base for our entire legal system, is banned from display at courthouses. Christmas…well, nuff said there. Kids can’t pray in school. Valedictorians can’t mention God or their faith at THEIR graduation. Regrettably, Obama was right when he said we are no longer a Christian nation. We are not. The problem with that statement is that I think he liked that. And he SAYS he’s Christian.
Is there a nation left on the planet that can truly be called Christian? Canada? No; it is a least as liberal as the USA has become. Europe? They jumped off that train decades ago. Their great cathedrals are more museums with token religious use than houses of God.
What do we call entertainment? TV shows about demons, the supernatural, zombies, reality shows filled with selfish cruelty, and general depravity.
The situation in the Middle East continues to deteriorate with Iran getting closer to a nuclear weapon every week. Russia is making war in the Ukraine, although this is not really making the news, despite the level of what’s happening. Putin is being backed into a corner. Does anyone think war is NOT around the corner? I believe war with Russia is coming sooner than we think.
“6 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…”
David Blaine-type street magicians keep cropping up. The first time I saw him do some magic gave me chills…and not in a good way. Check on You Tube to see some of his acts. Most people are entertained by good sleight of hand by magicians like Penn & Teller. When you see Blaine and people like him do some of the fantastical things they do, onlookers are NOT entertained. They freak out, run away, and generally react with varying levels of discomfort. From the start I thought there was something wrong with him. Lots of others agree.
“For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.”
Are we living in the end times? I would like to think not, but I look at what is happening around me. It’s hard to not think so. The signs seem to be there.
“25 See, I have told you ahead of time.”
Are these the end times? It is hard to not think so. But take comfort, be hopeful. Jesus warned us in advance. We have Him and the Word to keep us safe through all trials.
When the going gets tough, the Faithful lean on God.