Summary: Three things you can do when you find yourself in troublesome times.
“What to Do in Troublesome Times”
“Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. “Do you see all these things?” he asked. “Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”
As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”
Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. 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. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.
“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 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.”
The world seems to be a very gloomy and dangerous place. In my email and facebook this week I got warnings of 2014 being the end of our world as we know it; the economy is going to collapse; martial law is to be declared; and we are going to be killed off one by one. They have the plastic caskets all ready. They are spraying poisons in our atmosphere. A lot of people are terrified.
More disturbing to me is how what has been right since America’s inception is now wrong and what was wrong is now being portrayed as right. If the Christian stands up for what the Bible says is right – he will get shot down in our society today. People call him a ‘hater’ – and hate him for it. If you stand up for what is right and call evil – ‘evil’, you may be judged as being judgmental. Don’t you think it is kind of ironic that people who vehemently claim you are judging others – are judging YOU?
Jesus’ warning that we will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death is happening in many places around the world today. Christians are hated and are being killed in many nations as we speak. False prophets are deceiving many and who could deny that wickedness is increasing and the love of many is growing cold. The terrible crimes we see daily testifies to that fact. People are so cold blooded they do horrible things even to the very young and innocent.
All this is too much for some who have claimed to be Christian for years. They have fallen away. They have left the faith. The trials and tribulation and negativity we are getting are just too much for some. But the Scriptures warn:
“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.”
“In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” 1 Peter 1:6-7
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4
In the midst of this gloom and doom there are a few faithful followers who have not given up. They have not fallen away. They are determined to endure to the end. YOU are one of those. You won’t quit. The world can’t stop you. You can not be defeated. I want to share a few words of encouragement with you this morning. I want to give you a few suggestions that may help you in your struggles against the powers of this dark world.