“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing.” – Matthew 7:15
Last week I wrote about the videos and articles I’ve been receiving that are almost like getting a view into another dimension – an alternate reality taking place at the same time as the one we’re in. It’s amazing how each side of the story slants things their way, blocks or censors other views, and leaves us all confused as to whose telling the truth – or does anyone really know what’s going on?
One series of videos cheerfully promises better times ahead. Things may look dark, but any day now they’ll get better. Things are going on behind the scenes that the mainstream media doesn’t know about, or is covering up. Take heart! There will be justice! In fact, some claim justice is already taking place and many of the guilty are either dead or in prison. We’re told to “grab some popcorn and enjoy the show.” “Trust the Plan” is the mantra – with an occasional reference to God thrown in for good measure.
Please don’t misunderstand. I’m not saying I don’t believe the future is bright. There will be salvation, there will be justice, there will be godly leadership governing the people – someday. Jesus makes it clear that the kingdom of heaven is coming, but He also said at one point things will look progressively worse before they get better. And there isn’t going to be a politician riding in on a white horse to save the day. Jesus warned repeatedly against false prophets and false messiahs, and He told us to be faithful and vigilant. “Trust the Plan” could be a smoke screen that keeps us all complacent, when we should be doing the work of the kingdom of God. There may still be seasons when things get better – I hope so! – but if we don’t see this happening, will we lose hope? Will we give up, abandon our faith?
Our faith should be in no other plan except God’s, and He has warned us of hard times ahead. But He has also promised never to leave us or forsake us. In the end, at our darkest hour, it will be JESUS who rides in on a white horse, and He will be coming in the clouds to get His Bride – us!
In Jesus’s time people made the same mistake people make today: They thought in worldly terms. But as Jesus said to Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world.” (John 18:36) The Jews had been waiting hundreds of years for a savior, the Messiah. In the past they were given great leaders like King David and a few other kings that were faithful to the one true God. Israel was a powerful kingdom in the world for a season. But a few ancient prophets hinted that the Messiah would usher in a new kind of kingdom, and the people would be saved, not from the tyrants that ruled over them, but from the tyranny of their own sins. Zechariah prophesied over his son John the Baptist that he would “give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins.” (Luke 1:77)
But after three years of Jesus’s ministry, after failed attempts to make Him king, most people still believed He had come to overthrow the Romans and give them worldly blessings, like the endless supply of food they had witnessed on a couple of occasions. When Jesus made His final entry into Jerusalem, a giddy crowd welcomed Him with praise and adulation.
A few days later a disappointed crowd was clamoring for His death.
God’s plan is to save us and give us abundant life, but it’s not going to be through political change. Throughout history one imperfect government has been replaced by another, sometimes even worse. There have been moments of liberation and justice, and for that we are grateful. But know that God’s salvation is so much more than this world!
Imagine a grain of sand picked up from one of the beaches here in northern Michigan. How large is that grain of sand compared with the sand on the beach it was taken from?
How big is that beach compared with the Sahara Desert?
And how big is the Sahara Desert compared with all the sand under the oceans of the world?
Now consider how big that grain of sand is compared with all the sand on this planet – and every other planet that has sand?
And yet it’s still bigger than this present life compared with eternity! (Mind-boggling, isn’t it?)
Just as there’s no comparison between a grain of sand and all the beaches of the world, there’s no comparison between the kingdoms of this world and the Kingdom to come. “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.” (I Corinthians 2:9)
So while these theories and predictions and “behind the scenes” stories can be entertaining, we should not set our hopes on them. Whatever the level of truth is in these stories, our God is so much greater than anything they promise.
He is also greater than any of the disasters we may fear. There may be very tough times ahead, but He will be there with us. Let’s keep looking to Him, so that when He appears He won’t find us living a life of distraction, but of service to Him – most importantly, sharing the good news of the gospel with anyone who will listen.
I shared this good news last week, but it bears repeating. This is the Gospel in a nutshell:
God created Man in His image, (Genesis 1:27) but Man sinned – we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23) – We all die.
But God sent His Son to save us by dying on the cross in our place to pay for our sin, so that by believing in Him we can be forgiven. (II Corinthians 5:21) On the third day Jesus rose from the grave to eternal life, and those who have put their faith in Him and had their sins erased will be raised with Him. (John 3:16, Romans 8:11-12) Someday He is coming back to establish His kingdom (Matthew 24:30-31), and until then His followers on the earth are to share the gospel and bring as many people to faith in Him as we can. (Matthew 28:19-20)
Prayer: Thank You, Lord for the promise of Your coming Kingdom. Help us to serve You until that promise is fulfilled, and not to be drawn to lesser things, in Jesus’ name, amen.