The idea that we can come up with some program, some ministry, follow the steps of some book, send money to this or that other TV Evangelist, vote for some politician, defend this or that aspect of the constitution or follow a specific political ideology as ways to stop our racial divisions and violence against the church and each other is a lie from hell itself. You can arm every responsible American with multiple weapons to defend their families or you can eliminate weapons all together; evil will always find its way. Matthew 24:6 tells us,
6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. (NKJV)
I saw a video on Facebook yesterday of this famous televangelist speaking as if these kinds of evil events can be prevented all together; evidently he is not aware of Matthew 24. Most disturbing is how he uses this tragedy to promote a book he wrote concerning racial issue in America. The Bible, not this fool, tells us, for all these things must come to pass. Matthew 24:7-8 describes what is not only an American issue, but a worldwide issue,
7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. (NKJV)
The word “nation” in this verse is the word ethnos. It is where we get the word ethnic. This white vs. black thing was prophesied in the Bible way before America was made known to the rest of the world. But also notice that this fight between ethnic groups and natural disasters is just, the beginning of sorrows. Moreover we see the list of evil increasing,
9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. Matthew 24:9-11 (NKJV)
Check this list out of things that will happen to us just because we made up our minds to follow Christ:
- We will be persecuted like never before in the history of the world.
- We will get killed.
- The devil will use offense as a great tool to move people away from fulfilling the mandate of coming together in true fellowship. I see so many people using past experiences as excuses today for not doing what God says to do. At the end, is not what was done to them in the church; it is their own desire to do what ever they want to do apart from God.
- That offense will grow and become hatred to one another; this is, in our own congregations.
- This offense and hatred will be an open door for false prophets and false teacher to enter our churches. 2 Timothy 4:3-4 tells us,
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. (NKJV)
Beloved, we as Christians are not immune to pain, violence, injustice, rape, torture, terrorism, etc. I have news for you; as we approach the end of this age we will, exclusively, be the target of such hate.
I don’t know the nine brothers and sisters that were killed by twenty-one year old Dylann Roof at Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. But I know they were Godly. Through church history, if you want to identify the true believers from the ones with a form of Godliness, pay attention to who is being persecuted. Roof told police that he “almost didn’t go through with it because everyone was so nice to him,” sources told NBC News — but he decided he had to “go through with his mission.” I know they were Godly by the reaction of their family and friends. No Al Sharpton, no instigating more hate, but a reaction of love and forgiveness in the mix of such indescribable pain.
Even as Matthew 24 describes a very scary scenario, it also gives us what our focus should be. The greatest demonic attack of all is not the things I have described here, but cold hearts towards God. Matthew 24:12 tells us,
12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. (NKJV)
It is so easy, with all the mess we see today’s days, to be angry, to be discouraged and to focus so much in what the world is doing and coming against it, that we forget about God. We get frustrated even with God for allowing these things and, not doing something about it quick enough for us.
So we most focus on nurturing our love for God and pursuing the realization of the first commandment in our hearts. That is the focus, in the mix of all…that is the focus! A cold heart will always lead us to more sin. The Bible encourages us to persevere until the end. On the other hand, what should be the focus of our ministries? Matthew 24:14 tells us,
14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. (NKJV)
The expansion of God’s Kingdom, that is, winning souls for Christ and bringing them into the family of God should be the focus of all ministries. The Gospel is relevant and the only hope in this world. Beloved, the Lord asked me a couple of months ago if I was willing to die for the vision He has giving me. I don’t want to get killed and I want neither my family, friends, brothers nor sisters to get killed. However, know, that we will increasingly be the exclusive targets of evil.
So may the Lord get me ready and may the Lord get you ready for the honor of dying for the sake of the name that is above every name, the name of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.