And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
I heard it said over and over that 2021 would have to be a better year than 2020. The body of Christ endured so much hardship last year. We dealt with the first nationwide, and actually worldwide, illness that affected somewhere around 10,000 people in the United States. We watched our record unemployment skyrocket in less than a year. We watched our economy tank because businesses closed, jobs were lost, unemployment funds were depleted on state levels, churches closed, family members were not allowed to visit due to social distancing and numerical caps on gathering, hospital patients died alone due to guidelines that disallowed family members to be by the bedsides of their loved ones, schools were closed, riots broke out in the streets, criminals were celebrated, believers were pitted against each other due to politics, and race became the topic de jour. All of this happened in less than one year!
Fear has become the default emotion. Everyone is afraid these days. People are afraid to leave their homes without a mask on their face, thinking that the mask will protect them from some unknown, unseen germ that will connect with them physically and cause them to die an “untimely death”. People are afraid to hug their friends and family members because they do not live in the same household and don’t know what everyone else has been exposed to, or if they are “asymptomatic” (which I will address again in a minute) and many people are going for long periods of time without the benefit of the human touch. I remember when my daughter, who lives alone in Tennessee, came home for Christmas. I thought she would not stop hugging us because she said she had literally not been touched for more than 30 days by another human being. People are afraid to be together anymore.
Many people, even those in the Christian community, have looked for the government to solve all the ills from which society suffers. When government showed us this past year exactly who they are and about whom they are concerned, many were shocked and disappointed. I am sad to say that many placed their hope in the failing flesh of mankind.
Believers also made the mistake of listening to self-proclaimed “prophets” who promised something that they had no power to deliver. No one but God knows what He is going to do or allow, and no one can say for sure what is going to happen on a national level unless it has been proclaimed in scripture. Many fell for the extra-biblical ramblings of charlatans and deceivers who not only got it wrong, but have also been exposed for the charlatans and deceivers that they really are.
Believers fell for the narrative that was pushed across all mainstream media and social media platforms. We have so many new terms that I have a hard time keeping up. The media coined the phrase “social distancing”. I was doing that before they coined that phrase, except I called it “personal space”. A certain infamous doctor said that wearing masks was unnecessary, then turned around and said it was necessary. Most people took his advice and refuse to leave the house without a mask, thinking that life saving measures are found in covering their nose and mouth with a piece of cloth. I assume that same infamous doctor made us familiar with the term “asymptomatic”. I always felt like that term was bogus. What does it even mean? I can’t imagine that it actually has any bearing on the situation at hand.
So what do we do? Where do we go from here? How do we handle what looks like a gloomy future for us? What is the solution for the problems of this world? In my humble opinion, there are only two solutions for the believer to maneuver the future of this world as we head closer and closer to the return of the LORD Jesus Christ.
The first thing we must do is REPENT. I confess that I have not done all that I could have done to lead others to Christ. I have not obeyed Luke 14:23, which says “Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in…” I have not taken every opportunity to share the Gospel with people in the grocery store or at the gas station or at the doctor’s office or in my neighborhood. I have lived my life just trying to survive physically, emotionally and financially. I have thought only about myself. I am sure I am not the only one. Many of us have not shared the Gospel the way we should. We must humbly go before the LORD and ask Him to forgive us. Then we need to look for opportunities to do what we have not done and reach the lost. Every one of us knows someone who does not know the LORD Jesus Christ. We all have a relative, a neighbor, or sometimes someone at church whose life does not bear the fruit of Christ. We must repent of this shortcoming and change our direction as it pertains to giving the Gospel to a lost and dying world.
The second thing we must do is REJOICE. I confess that I have allowed myself to dread this world while not focusing on the fact that I have hope in Christ. Titus 2:13 says I should be “…Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ…” Instead of looking for that hope, I have sometimes looked at the world around me, or my bank account, or my situation, and forgotten the fact that I have a loving Father Who promised me, in Hebrews 13:5, that “…I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee…” That in and of itself is a reason to rejoice! Philippians 4:4-5 says “Rejoice in the LORD always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The LORD is at hand.” God is in sovereign control on the earth.
This encouragement is for the believers in the LORD Jesus Christ, but if you are reading this post and have never placed your faith in Him as Master of your life, and have never repented of your life of sin, do not let this moment pass. Right now, wherever you are, you can acknowledge that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, that you are a sinner who is lost and dying in your sin, and that you need forgiveness from Him. If you ask Him in sincerity, He will not reject you! John 6:37 says “All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.” We do not know how long this life will last. Jesus is going to come back to the earth and take the church out of this world. Do not let your life end without asking Him to be the LORD of your life. Do not let Him return to this earth while you don’t have a relationship with Him. The next moment is not promised to you. Take advantage of this moment and look up…