Updated: Apr 3
I recently wrote an article about The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Remember the second horse which was red whose rider had the power to take peace from the earth? We have been living in a time wherein it is so difficult to be at peace, are we not? But how is our soul to find rest during the Covid-lockdowns, vaccine mandates and ensuing riots. How is our soul to get a break with all that is transpiring in and around Ukraine, hundreds of thousands of our troops already deployed with no end to the conflict in sight. How to be a peace watching what very well could be the start of World War III!?
We live in a time of horrible temptation. When times are difficult we as a people in general, usually seek to find a place to escape from the bombardment of bad news and the constant strain on our soul. During Covid it was reported that drug and alcohol use soared! But where else to escape? As a society at large, rarely do we consider finding our escape in the things of God. It is also a temptation to allow ourselves to grow bitter and angry: during times of great suffering sometimes our fears get the best of us and we act out in anger and rage unable to find peace and comfort away from our fears. Fear is a terrible power that can drive a person to do unspeakable horrors, things they would never consider when they are of a sound mind and at peace.
But how to be at peace with all of the injustices and our government practically spiraling out of control into such tyranny, quickly departing our constitution and rule of law!? Where do we find peace in a world wherein peace is daily being removed? Honestly, I don’t know what is the easy answer without a relationship with God. I don’t have any great or hidden wisdom for anyone trying to navigate this world without a relationship with their Father, through Jesus Christ the “Prince of Peace”. I supposed I could find a few platitudes, maybe something cliché, I could encourage my audience that “Everything will work out in the end” or “Hold to Hope” or “Justice will Prevail”. But I can not in good conscience placate any of us into thinking this story will end good without God.
How to hold our peace here at the end of the world!? Many will shirk at the statement end of the world. It’s hard for all of us to truly consider the worst parts of the Bible are coming true before our very eyes. There is undeniably a convergence of last days events: wars and rumors of wars, war against Christianity at large, pandemics, governments of the world becoming increasingly tyrannical, fearful innovations of technology and genetic engineering, signs in the sun, moon and stars, astounding weather, troubles in the ocean, troubles in the earth, troubles in the air. And it has seemed to intensify lately. How to navigate all of this!?
I have a wife and four young children (crazy enough my wife and I are considering trying for one more, we have three girls and often want a brother for our only son), I think of them every day and how to father them best in a world such as this. Look at our schools! The prevailing tide is laboring to ruin everything! They are taking the joy and innocence out of our schools at an alarming pace, without regard for what was once considered the sanctity of our children and youth. I’m a father who loves his children in words that would fail me to describe. The day my first-born daughter was born was literally one of the most miraculous and wonderful of my life. I never imagined how much love I could have for another person! Watching my children growing up in this world has probably been the most grieving of all. I think of it often and have to pray to not allow my fears to infiltrate my heart.
Jesus said, “In your patience possess your souls” (Luke 21:19). When explaining to His disciples what the world would be like at the end, Jesus taught them to be patient and hold their peace. Obviously, it makes better sense now what God-incarnate was explaining to us. He practically said, “The end will not come quickly but there will be a period of time leading up to the end, the birth pains will come first and you will have to endure for what will seem like a long season, so be patient and hold your peace.” Read the whole of Luke 21 and tell me that is not a good summary of how He encouraged us to hold on…
The temptations are great right now, without a doubt. In Revelation Chapter 3, when specifically referring to the last days He again brings up both the words temptation and patience. “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” (Rev 3:10) It’s the same message, “Stay patient and remain with me and I will bring you through the storm of these last days.” Honestly, everyone, it’s absolutely surreal to consider to you all what I am actually writing about, the Return of God to the earth! It’s so hard to fully grasp, even for me who has probably preached in 2,000 churches throughout his life! The end of this age and God putting His kingdom on the earth for a 1,000 years!? Totally and completely surreal. But I believe it’s really happening.
So it's not a time to lose our focus or flip out completely (I jest a little). Here at the end, in a time fraught with temptations to completely “lose it”, whatever that may look like to you, our Lord and Savior says to us, “Hold your Peace,” and “In your Patience Possess your Souls”. I understand the concept of lawful assembly for our rights. I understand peacefully protesting injustices and the general theory behind showing our strength in the face of oppression but I wonder if this is ever going to produce a good and Godly result? Let me explain before I lose half my audience. There is a delicate balance to upholding the rule of law in a democracy that is turning to war against the laws of God. Our Constitutional Republic implores us to be an active part of our nations governance and how to do so as a Christian when the powers are warring against the rule of law is challenging, to say the least.
This is not an easy time to navigate, for sure. But keep in mind, as we do, Jesus promised to get us through this mess to see His triumphant return! Jesus gave us the roadmap in the word of God to make it through this extremely challenging time and that roadmap begins with receiving His salvation, being born anew by His Holy Spirit and coming to walk with Him each day. That is the beginning, coming to walk in His Holy Spirit, daily. And the Bible tells us what is the outcome, that is to say what are the fruits we can expect walking with Him, Galatians 5:22, “The fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness and self-control.” We are going to need a lot of love to make it thru to the end, we are going to need peace and patience too! Gentleness, kindness and self-control are going to be vital! Faith essential. And don’t forget about Joy! “The Joy of the Lord is our Strength!”
If the Spirit of God leads you to peacefully assemble in His name, by all means Assemble! And Paul says, “All the more as you see the day approaching!” But be careful to avoid rioting and anything of the sort. These sorts of lawlessness and rebellion are unbecoming what it is to be the children of our Father, the King. There is a fine line between a peaceful assembly and a riot. God will give us various plans and strategies to navigate the mine-field that we are walking through in these last days, I will end with a story an Army-Ranger brother of mine told me that will encourage you.
They were in Afghanistan and their unit was tasked with retrieving the crew of a downed helicopter behind enemy lines. They were flown in but had to trek down a road quite a distance to reach their fellow soldiers, many of whom were injured. They retrieved them and ran back to their helicopter without issue. Once back in and on their way to safety with their rescued comrades they learned that that road they ran down for more than a mile was littered with mines all throughout! They had no idea! Those soldiers with orders miraculously had ran through a mine field more than a mile long without hitting a single one!! What are the odds!?
Whether we realize it or not we are just like those soldiers, with orders, running down a path, trying to get our brothers (and sisters) at arms home and the road is littered with mines, and traps, and snares “that could so easily beset us”. But whether we realize it or not, our God is with us, and He is Faithful. He can lead us around the mines or simply prevent them from going off! We are going to make it home. He is going to get us through this. But we must not lose ourselves along the way. We must retain our souls through this time of temptation and trial. We must not lose heart, we must not lose our focus, we must continue to the goal and save as many along the way as possible!!
We must not grow weary in doing good
We must not lose heart and allow the fears to overcome our love
We must run to Him, to His Holy Spirit… to Jesus! We must run to Him but not only when the days are evil He must become our hiding place, our shelter from the storm and our rest
But He must also be our celebration, our abundance and our Joy!
In Him we will find peace for our weary souls
And strength for the road ahead!
But we will also find the Victory!!
I hope this encourages you
I feel encouraged writing it God bless you friends as we are about to celebrate His Life and Resurrection
I believe there are victories for us ahead… “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!”
“Behold the King of Zion who will return for us in power and great victory!”
Love you guys… Robert