Were You Alarmed?
When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains. [From the Book of Mark, NIV]
If you have been in the Los Angeles area (California) for the last 48 hours or so you would be have an idea of what I am about to say here.
And if you aren’t then here is the deal, last Sunday night about eightish there was an earthquake that originated in the LA Area which was strong enough to topple unsecured items, break glass windows and startle, scare, terrify & alarm many people. Now if you are living in the California Region, at the back of your mind you know somehow, somewhere, someday there will be an earthquake that is being called the Big One. Why? Well because the scientific community says so & statistics, probabilities, history, natural science, earth science, psychics & the Bible of all things says so. And if you read the Bible, you will be aware with the fact of the Signs of the End of the Age as we know it. Well, if you watch Hollywood films & best-selling books they also talk about that as well.
So that is the scenario for you.
But there is more. Let us go forward two days ahead, Tuesday afternoon at around 4. Again in the same area, there was another earthquake. It had almost the same intensity as the one that happened mind you, less than 48 hours ago.
Now at that exact time when you were feeling the second earthquake, what would go through your mind?
And here’s the thing, in between those quakes, all the local news were interviewing scientiststs & “experts” in that field who were saying that there would indeed be aftershocks or worse, that that first one was just the precursor to the bigger one that is coming.
And to top things off, people are talking about this person who correctly predicted that there will be an earthquake on that day & uncannily two days later. In fact this person is also predicting that there will be two more quakes that would happen 2 days after the second one & the other, 2 days after that.
So how crazy is that?
Wait there is more, in the LA Area & it’s surrounding areas there has been major problems in unemployment, rising unreported petty crimes (probably due to the unemployment problem). There are people who lost a fortune in the real estate & the stock market crash. There are people who are jobless, laid-off or on the verge of being laid off, underpaid, or have to work with a cut in their salaries or work lesser days or both. And it seems like one out of every ten people are out looking for a job, any job & are finding it hard to find one. The other nine people are out looking for a second or a third job as the first one isn’t enough. Taxes were raised, credit card interests rates went up, prices for food, gas & most other items are going up. And with all these going on, many stores & businesses & even some malls have already closed shop.
There are people who are homeless, kicked out of their homes with rising mortgages or rents or unemployment, there are people with rising credit card debt, with no healthcare insurance, no savings &/or their 401K plans wiped out. Suicides & killings, especially killings of family members are reported on primetime news.
Plus the whole area (Southern California) has a severe water shortage.
Many city governments in the area have huge budget deficits & have cut back on spendings & personnel. And the State of California have the biggest deficit of them all. They are again planning some 5,000 more layoffs. So now, I ask again, will you have been just a little bit alarmed?
Some of you are probably saying, “I’m happy I don’t live there.” Rightly so, but remember in the verse above, written by not just not Mark but three of the Gospel writers some 2,000 years ago as told by Jesus of Nazareth… it says there will be wars and rumors of wars, there will be earthquakes in various places and famines.
Now it does not say just one area (or the LA Area). It said it will be in various places. That’s right. It could be in yours too.
But I am not here to alarm anyone. But I am writing here to encourage all of you, me included. For that prophesy said, that ALL these will happen & it says DO NOT BE ALARMED.
And further it says that ALL these are (just) the beginning of birth pains. The end is coming, but all these must happen in order for the end to come.
So the environmentalists have it right that we need to conserve energy, conserve water, go green, save the planet, recycle, cut emissions, save the animals, save mother earth & all that.
Why, because they also know that the end is coming if we do not do anything right now. And isn’t that what all doomsday sayers as we call them, have said all along.
But those who believe in Jesus & those who believe in the Scriptures are encouraged because they already know that all these are coming & all these are just the beginning of the end & not yet the end. (For the end is so much more scarier than all or any of these). And even when the end comes, Jesus will be there once again to save those who have really believed.
And for those who have not (or have not yet) believed, all these things may just make them truly alarmed.
Seize the day.
Jesus began, “Watch out for doomsday deceivers. Many leaders are going to show up with forged identities claiming, ‘I’m the One.’ They will deceive a lot of people. When you hear of wars and rumored wars, keep your head and don’t panic. This is routine history, and no sign of the end. Nation will fight nation and ruler fight ruler, over and over. Earthquakes will occur in various places. There will be famines. But these things are nothing compared to what’s coming. [Mark 13:5-8, The Message]