A member of our church family wrote, “Nobody wants to offend anyone but the true Christian. My concern here is our children & grandchildren. Just wondering when the Lord will come and take us home.” These thoughts were expressed against the backdrop of the terrorism that has occurred and which threatens us yet. But it was also spen in view of the fact that in this country, people still “do not seem to get it.” In the recent religious fervor there is little recognition of Jesus Christ and even less faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and the Savior of the world.
All concerned Christian parents and grandparents can identify with the concern for their children and grandchildren. The world is not becoming less hostile to the Christian faith. Scripture says, “…The world does not know us, because it did not know Him” (1 John 3:1). Christianity has always existed in a foreign environment in this world and in this nation. Satan and his minions have always engaged in ” terroristic” threats against the faith of the children of God. Our children will be confronted with many difficulties in these last times. It will not become easier. Sadly, even Christianity has lost its way in that many who profess to be Christians have forsaken the faith. This will increase in these last times. Scripture tells us, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers (2 Timothy 4:3). In the last times, the times in which we live, people will seek out teachers who will tell them what they want to hear, rather than what they should hear for their instruction and their comfort. Paul told the elders of Ephesus, ” For I know this, that after my departing savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after themselves” (Acts 20: 29,30). It is no wonder that our Savior posed the question, “And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth” (Luke 18:7, 8)?
We are not alarmists. We are realists. We do not serve well if we are less than honest about what Scripture says of the last times. Of such who gloss over the truth in this regard God spe through the prophet saying, ” They have also healed the hurt of my people slightly, saying, ‘Peace, Peace’ when there is no peace” (Jeremiah 6:14).
Because of our clinging flesh, it is difficult enough for Christians as we view events and contemplate the future. How much more difficult it must be for those who are not Christ’s to face the future. What a miserable life it must be for those who live their life as though their future depends on them, or who make Christ an after thought in their lives, if they think of Him at all! So then what shall we do? Ring our hands? Pull our shades? Sit in sackcloth and ashes? Mourn and be sad? Walk about as though the sky is falling? Not at all! Rather, get up and live! Attend to the important things for yourself and your children and grandchildren. Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly. Prepare yourselves and your offspring for the day of the Lord’s coming. Find the peace of the Gospel through the Word and Sacrament. Set your affection on the things of heaven rather than the things of the earth. Use the freedom to worship that we still enjoy in this land. With the help of the Spirit wage war against personal spiritual indifference. Stand up in word and deed for the Lord Jesus and His Word, and be a beacon of light in darkness.
The Christian life is a life of repentance. It is not weakness to admit to one’s sin. It is honest to confess one’s sin and it is faith to trust in the Christ of the cross, Who has washed us clean from sin, carried them away, forgiven them. We do not know what this world holds for us. But the Lord God will strengthen those who call upon Him. We do not know what pain and suffering we will have to endure, but we do know that the Lord who bore the same in His own body will carry us through. We do not know what persecution we may have to suffer at the hands of evil men, but we do know that the Lord will avenge us. We do not know the measure of our days on the earth, but we do know that our gracious Lord Jesus has promised us eternity in heaven. Relax,
The confidence of the Christian is expressed in Isaiah, ” You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed upon You, because he trusts in you” (Isaiah 26:3).
“For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Romans 8:6).
” And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly…” (Romans 16:20).
Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you; not as the world gives do I give you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).
“Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all” (2 Thessalonians 3:16).
God is faithful who has promised. To all who wait in faith and who as citizens of His holy nation, that is the holy Christian Church, lo for His appearing, the victory is assured, regardless of the circumstances. The Lord knows His sheep and holds them in His arms. The grace of the Father, Who has begotten us again unto a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (1 Peter 1:3), be with your spirit.
“Lord, remember Your children who call upon you.” Amen