Thursday, July 3, 2014

"Wars and Rumors of Wars"

Today we're continuing our look at Matthew 24 and all the predictions Jesus made of what our world would look like just before his return and "the end of the age."

In Matthew 24:6, Jesus, speaking to his close disciples, but also recorded by Matthew for the benefit of the rest of us, said, 
"You will hear of wars and rumors of wars…" (Tweet that!)

I almost feel as if I could just say "Enough said," and end this post. Right? Are you with me? But okay, let's go into it a little more and review recent history.

Many wars have been fought in recent years and are taking place right now: 

  • the United States and allies in Afghanistan
  • the United States and allies in Iraq

Then moving back in time… 

  • Desert Storm in the early 1990's 
  • Viet Nam 
  • Korea 
  • World II 
  • World War I…

Just in recent months we have:

  • Russia overtaking Ukraine 
  • ISIS advancing in Iraq
  • Boko Haram, Islamist militant group, kidnaps 200 school girls in Nigeria, Africa

In recent days:

On June 25, 2014, The New York Times reported, "North Korea Warns U.S. Over Film Mocking its Leader." reporting  "The North Koreans have reacted with their usual bluster, calling the movie an 'act of war' and flinging threats at the Obama administration..."

But a few days later, on June 29, 2014, The Diplomat insisted "No, North Korea Did NOT Threaten War Over Seth Rogen Movie."

I guess war was only a rumor.

I wonder what China is up to these days.

We can count off the wars and rumors of wars in our lifetime and run out of fingers, and possibly toes, to count on. (Tweet that!) And despite all the talk of peace by many people, the world's situation isn't getting any better. 

But let's take a closer look at all of what Jesus said:

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. (Matthew 24:6-7, NIV)

We will talk more about the end of verse 7 in coming posts – famines in the next post (July 5, 2014) and earthquakes the post after that (July 8, 2014). (Tweet that!)

But please don't miss Jesus' instructions. While he is telling us there will be wars and rumors of wars, in the very same sentence he tells us not to be alarmed. (Tweet that!) I think he's telling us we should not be surprised. Why? See next sentence…

Because "such things must happen, but the end is still to come."

"Such things must happen." Why? Because this world is filled with sin and evil. And sin always leads to death. This world is dying.

Even so, the end is not yet. "The end is still to come."

So I guess we're not there yet. But we're close. Or are we there yet? Because these wars and rumors of wars have been going on for a while.

So what's next, according to this passage of Scripture? Famines and earthquakes. We'll talk about those next.

Related Articles coming on: 

  • July 5, 2014:   There will be Famines…
  • July 8, 2014:   There will be… Earthquakes in Various Places
  • July 10, 2014: The Beginning of Birth Pains

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