WHAT A CRAZY WORLD
Matt. 24:8-9 All these are but the beginning of the birth pains. ¶ “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake.
Jesus told us these kinds of things would happen, still, when they do, it still catches us all by surprise. In today’s verse alone, The Lord spoke about being delivered up to tribulation, this is a description of circumstances perpetrated by humans that put us under extreme pressure. Today, we would call this terrorism. He went on to speak about persecution and even martyrdom. Later in the same passage He spoke about the destruction of the jewish temple, the very center piece of the jewish world. We live in a world where these words are being fulfilled on a daily basis.
Just this week we have seen terrorism in the nations begin to aim its fury at the international Christian community. I have heard of three of these kinds of events in the last week. First, in Syria, some of the rebel forces are manned by Muslim extremists. They have been reported as burning ancient churches in the villages in rural Syria as well as beheading some of the Christians. These Christian communities have been in place since the days of the Apostle Paul, the fury of the antichrist spirit is fueling this jihadist hatred. The second occurrence happened in Pakistan just this weekend. A church was bombed by Muslim extremists killing approximately 70 worshippers. Their hatred for Christ is reminiscent of the persecutions in the first century. Finally, there was the attack by Muslim extremists in Kenya. In this case they took over a mall and begin to question people about the Muslim faith. If they proved to be Muslim they were released, if not, they were shot. This event is still unfolding at this writing, at least 62 have been killed. The population of Kenya is about 80% Christian. You do the math, this was a blatant attack on Christians and ultimately upon Christ Himself. It is shocking to see this vicious hatred being aimed directly at Christianity, I guess we should not be surprised.
I also read an article in the New York Times this weekend. It seems that there has been an upsurge of interest among the Israelis to visit the site of the ancient Temple Mount. The only problem with this is that a mosque is there, the Dome of the Rock. This has caused an out break of violence at the Temple Mount, the muslims are offended at the jews coming to this mosque, the jews are offended that a mosque is on this sacred ground.
With all of that being said, how does this effect me? The most important thing is this, do not be lulled to sleep. We are living in a rapidly shrinking world and these problems that seem so far off and irrelevant can come suddenly pounding on our doors. Now is the time to shake ourselves from our sleep, stir our faith by praying in the Holy Spirit. Jesus is coming, I want to live like I believe it.