Thursday, 3 December 2020
Title: The Inexorable March to the Second Coming of Christ
Author: Arnold Lim
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I shall fear no evil, for you are with me;
Your staff and rod, they comfort me.
In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been a resurgence of interest in the end of time with the second coming of our Lord Jesus. As found in 1 Thessalonians 4:16, on that day, the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command and with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God and the dead in Christ will rise first.
Are we near the end of time? What are the signs?
Matthew 23:37-24:31, Mark 13:3-33 and Luke 21: 5-36 are all accounts of the conversation Jesus had with his disciples with regard to the end of time. Here is a summary:
- Hear of wars and rumours of wars, nation will rise up against nation
- Earthquakes, famines and pestilence
- Christians will be delivered to courts, flogged in synagogues and stand before kings and governors for Jesus’ sake
- The Gospel must first be preached to all nations
- Brother will betray brother to death, father, child and children will rise up against parents
- Christians will be hated because of Jesus’ name
- False prophets will arise and mislead many
- Increase in lawlessness, people’s love will grow cold
The Covid-19 pandemic is surely a pestilence. So, one sign is fulfilled. But one pandemic may not be enough. And looking through the list above, there are other signs yet to be fulfilled. At least two signs – the persecution of Christians and earthquakes and famines – need increased incidence. Although, some views argue that we are already in a period of tribulation, the sufferings of the Israelites and Christians today are nothing like what is described in Revelation 12 and 13. In other words, we still do not know. As Jesus said in Matthew 24:42-44, no one knows on what day He will come. And He will come at an hour when we least expect. But the march to the second coming of Christ continues relentlessly.
In the meantime, what should our response be?
We should live as children of the light and be very careful, then, how we live, not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity because the days are evil (Ephesians 5:15-20). We must put on the armour of God so that we can stand against the devil’s schemes (Ephesians 6:10-18).
And what about persecution? Should we worry? Because as Jesus said, it will happen. We already see signs around the world. Today, Christians are hated and called racists because of their beliefs.
Well, I pray that when persecution comes, we will have the faith to stand firm. God has promised that when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, that his staff and rod will comfort us. He has assured us that in heaven, there are many rooms and a room is reserved for us. He will bring us there.
Stand firm in the Lord!
Our Lord and Heavenly Father, grant us the strength to stand firm when persecution comes. Comfort us with Your rod and staff and assure us of Your presence. We pray that we will not panic and that Your peace that transcends all understanding will be with us.
We pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.
新冠肺炎流行病无疑是一场瘟疫。那么，一个预兆已经实现了。可是一个流行病可能还不够。看一看上面的清单，还有其他预兆尚待实现。至少两个预兆，基督徒被迫害、地震及饥荒 – 需要增加发生率。尽管有些观点认为我们已经处于灾难时期，但是当今以色列人和基督徒的苦难与启示录12和13中所描述的完全不符。换句话说，我们仍然不知道。正如耶稣在马太福音24:42-44中所说，没有人知道祂会在哪一天来到，而且祂将会在我们最意想不到的时候就来了。不过，基督第二次降临的行进并不停懈。