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  • David Bent

Don’t be alarmed! (05-12-22)

Psalm of Praise: Psalms 91:9-11

If you say, "The Lord is my refuge,"

and you make the Most High your dwelling,

no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent.

For he will command his angels concerning you

to guard you in all your ways;


Bible Reading:Matthew 24:6-7, 12-14

You will hear of wars and rumours 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.

All these are the beginning of birth pains.

Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,

but the one 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.


A Reflection:

There are a number of phrases that seem to slip in and out of general usage in the English language. Two that spring to mind suggest ways of dealing with current problems. One is ‘Well, it’s not the end of the world’, which recognises a difficult situation, but tries to keep things in perspective. Another common phrase says, ‘It is what it is’ which implies an acceptance of a current situation and works around it.


But how do we know it’s not the end of the world and should we just accept things as they are?


The Christian faith believes that Jesus will return and that this world will end at some point. There are lots of scriptures that describe end-time cataclysmic events and if you were to use these verses from Matthew’s gospel as a check list, you could tick off many of them. Wars and rumours of wars: Check. Nation rising up against nation: Check. Famines: Check. Earthquakes: Check (as well as droughts, floods and fires). An increase in wickedness: Check.


I think there are two extreme ways of looking at these events. One is through a pair of binoculars which sees everything ‘up close and personal’ and can lead to a ‘The end is nigh’ interpretation. The other is looking at things with blinkers, which denies the problems and assumes everything will carry on as normal.


Between these two extremes Jesus encourages us by saying, ‘See to it that you are not alarmed. These things must happen, but the end is still to come.’ In the meantime we have a job to do, for there is a world that needs to hear the Good News of Jesus.


So, in spite of our checklist of wars and disasters, let us not be alarmed, but let us do as Jesus instructs, let us stand firm and take our part in sharing the gospel of the kingdom in the whole world. Let us also pray for our world and for the future of this beautiful planet.


Pray:

Lord Jesus, protect this world from wars and from environmental disaster, so that the good news of the kingdom might be shared with all nations.

Amen


In Christ alone my hope is found.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljlsOQ269I4

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