The only way to keep our sanity in this insane world is to look up and rejoice! Are you ready? Ready for what, you may be asking? Ready for the newest yoga stance? Ready to win Publisher Clearing House’s money? Ready to win the Lotto? Ready to get a promotion? Ready for what? Good question!
There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. “Then they will see THE SON OF MAN COMING IN A CLOUD with power and great glory. “But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” Luke 21:25-28, (New American Standard Bible or NASB).
Jesus is speaking these words and they are powerful even today because they remind us that our time on earth is limited and He will return at some point in earth time. Many Christians from all denominations think that the time is very near because they see signs that Jesus talked about actually coming to pass. The sun has been acting up lately and there have been blood moons. Also new stars seem to be constantly appearing. Add to that the fact that there is upheaval in nearly every country. I don’t know when the time of Jesus return is and neither does anyone else no matter how much time and money is spent studying the earthly signs of His return. In fact Jesus does not know the time either, only God, the Father, knows the appointed time of the Son’s return (Mark 13:32). But Jesus teaches His followers to be ready, take a look.
Then He continued by saying to them, “Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be great earthquakes, and in various places plagues and famines; and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. “But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and will persecute you, delivering you to the synagogues and prisons, bringing you before kings and governors for My name’s sake. “It will lead to an opportunity for your testimony. “So make up your minds not to prepare beforehand to defend yourselves; for I will give you utterance and wisdom which none of your opponents will be able to resist or refute. “But you will be betrayed even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death, and you will be hated by all because of My name. “Yet not a hair of your head will perish. “By your endurance you will gain your lives. “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is near. “Then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains, and those who are in the midst of the city must leave, and those who are in the country must not enter the city; because these are days of vengeance, so that all things which are written will be fulfilled. “Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days; for there will be great distress upon the land and wrath to this people; and they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. Luke 21:10-24, (NASB).
Wow! This is sounding more like our world today than ever! Wars, earthquakes, plague, famines, and if that isn’t enough to worry about and endure, the galaxy has been threatening as well! We all wonder where the next meteorite will fall. Many people are being persecuted for faith in Christ, but many have always suffered such persecution so that isn’t anything new. Jerusalem was trampled in the first century and only recently has rebuilt as an Israeli country but when we look at them today, they are surrounded by enemies. The apostles were scattered and were handed over for death after being persecuted, we know that happened. Is this a past prediction or a yet-to-come prediction? Could this mean that the time of the Gentiles is nearly fulfilled? I am not a prophecy major so I can’t explain what all of this means, but I can say that it sounds pretty much like our modern-day world today. And since this all preceded the first passage we looked at I can safely say that we should be ready at any time, day or night, morning or evening. Rejoice because our redemption is coming soon! Wow! So are you ready?
Jesus told his disciples how to be ready and we can heed the same advice. So what did Jesus say? Do we get Bible theology degrees to get ready? Do we hide our money under the mattress? Do we quit our jobs and forsake our futures? Do we hoard food and prepare a bomb shelter for the big one? What are we to do to get ready for the Lord’s return to earth?
“Be on guard, so that your hearts will not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap; for it will come upon all those who dwell on the face of all the earth. “But keep on the alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” Luke 21:34-36, (NASB).
Really Jesus? Do I have to guard my heart and that’s it? It is that simple; guard your heart so that you don’t fall under the spell of sin. Guard your heart so that you don’t become drunk on too much wine, beer, vodka, gin, whiskey or drugs. Guard your heart to keep from worrying about the daily happenings, the daily grind, daily troubles. Our preparation is important so that we are not surprised by Christ’s coming. He also says to stay alert all the time. We must keep alert that we don’t fall into sin, keep alert that we are prepared, keep alert to sidestep the many problems within the nations, keep alert for earthquakes, pay attention to the chaos surrounding us. We are to pray that we have strength to escape the persecutions, the famines, the earthquakes etc. We are to pray that we have the strength to stand before Christ, who is the Son of Man.
Now why do we need strength to stand before Jesus? Isn’t He our friend, our brother? I think too many Christians today think of Jesus Christ as their buddy and forget that He is also very powerful and can destroy as well as build up. I personally believe Jesus is taken for granted as some soft shepherd and we don’t really understand He is also coming to judge. I am always afraid of a judge when in a courtroom, aren’t you? Even if I know that I have right on my side, I show the judge deep respect and am on my best behavior! I don’t think anyone is going to walk up to Jesus and slap Him on the back and say “How ya’ll doin’ Jesus?” If they do they probably won’t live long because Jesus is powerful and has such power of which this world has little or no understanding, wouldn’t you agree? We need to pray for strength just as the first century Christians had to pray for strength because when Christ returns there will be many problems facing the inhabitants of earth.
Back to the title question, how to keep your sanity in an insane world? There is only one way, and interestingly enough it is called The Way. The Good News that has been preached for a little over two thousand years is the only way for us today to keep sane among the insane things going on in our world. I encourage you to keep reading your Bible, keep praying for one another, keep meeting together around the Lord’s communion, keep telling others about the love of Jesus, keep living a life pleasing to God, keep on keeping on! And when you hear of the latest crisis in this world remind yourself that you are a child of the King and awaiting that final trumpet sound to be called to the sky! Satan is forging his final battle but he won’t win and so his power over you is no more. Christ is coming! Read it for yourself.
“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying. “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.” The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost. Revelation 22:12-17, (NASB).
Jesus says that He will come quickly just as soon as He gets marching orders from His Father and then Jesus will set out for Earth! That is exciting! I can hardly wait but there is something more in this passage I want to show you. Look who is waiting for Jesus to come, The Spirit and the bride. The Holy Spirit and we Christians, who are the bride, are waiting and saying to Jesus “Come!” See, we are not alone as we wait for Christ to return, the Holy Spirit is waiting with us. Jesus sent us a Comforter when He ascended back to heaven and so that Comforter (Holy Spirit) is awaiting Christ’s return along with we who make up the Church, Christ’s bride. Be encouraged that we are not alone and rejoice!
Until next time…Katherine