Another week. Another shooting. As Marlina and I gathered in my study for our morning coffee and prayer time, we reflected on yet another tragic mass shooting, this time in Texas. I realized I’m almost becoming numb to it. Marlina verbalized the question many of us are asking right now, “What in the world is going on?” To which I can only say I don’t know. Our world is full of violence and hatred. Strife and division. But I do know this.
Jesus said it would be this way.
In Matthew 24, Jesus gives us a rather disquieting look into the future. He says that in the last days, there’ll be earthquakes and famines. People and families will be divided, nations will rise up against other nations, wars and rumors of war will be everywhere.
Man, if this isn’t a pretty accurate synopsis of our world right now. Earthquakes, famines, and hurricanes abound. The world is fractured and unstable, world leaders tweeting their way toward nuclear engagement. Wars and genocide are creating refugee crises in the millions. Mass shootings and terrorist acts are becoming the norm. And our own nation is as polarized as I’ve ever seen it.
“What in the world is going on?”
Jesus makes this sobering statement: “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:12-14, NIV) Because things get so bad, the love of most people will grow cold.
People will stop loving one another. Instead they’ll gravitate toward self-protection and isolation. They’ll lump people into groups based on race, color or creed, then distance themselves. They’ll create an “us and them” mentality, pointing out what’s wrong with “them.” They’ll make disparaging statements about certain races or people groups, then ostracize any that don’t agree with them.
Because as love grows cold, something else warms up.
But Jesus says that we don’t have to be most people! He paints a picture of a Kingdom that keeps right on growing in the midst of hatred and violence. A Kingdom founded and built on love. And when we remain steadfast and firm in love, we’re kept safe from the enemies plan to draw us into hate. And our love will be a bright and shining testimony to the world that the good news of God’s Kingdom is real.
Everything in this world can and will be shaken. Every nation in this world, including the United States will come to an end. And one day this entire earth will be destroyed by fire. But we live in a Kingdom that can never be shaken. We’re citizens of another nation, an eternal one. So, no matter how bad things get, choose the way of Christ. Choose the way of love. Because Jesus Christ and His Kingdom are the one true hope we have in this world that will one day end.
Light shines brightest in darkness. As the world gets darker, let’s shine even more brilliantly in radical displays of love! So go out there and…
- Bless someone who has cursed you.
- Pray for someone who despises you.
- Do something kind for someone who has mistreated you.
- Give to someone who has taken from you.
- Speak well of someone who has slandered you.
Don’t let your love grow cold! Bring the heat of God’s love.
Photo by Jacob Ufkes on Unsplash