What is in store for this weary world of ours?—Both trouble and triumph, it turns out. Here's what to expect and how to prepare.
If we haven’t lived the drama, we’ve seen it depicted in movies and on TV. The patient in the intensive care unit hovers between life and death while anxious family and friends fidget and pace in the waiting room and hallway, praying for the best, preparing for the worst, scanning the faces of the doctors and nurses as they shuffle in and out of the ICU, and hanging onto their every guarded word. Will the patient survive? If so, will there be permanent damage? Will life ever be the same?
“You have to hear about this book I just read!” My normally laid-back friend was quite worked up. “I tell you, it’s happening soon!”
“What’s happening soon?”
“The end of the world as we know it!” My friend launched into a series of facts and statistics to try to convince me. “Did you know that over the past 20 years, the Arctic Ocean has been warming eight times faster than it did over the previous 100 years?”
When the world goes to pieces, the best place to be is in the charmed circle of God’s protection. “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust.’ Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you.”1
Have you ever been reading a suspenseful book and peeked at the last page to find out how it ended, or have you ever fast-forwarded a movie to see how the plot was going to develop? Have you ever wished you could do that with time itself—fast forward to find out what’s in store for this world of ours? Well, you can.
The Bible contains hundreds of prophetic glimpses into the future that describe specific people, places, times, events, and world conditions.1 Many of these prophecies are about the time in which we are now living—a period referred to as the end time.
Why haven’t I everheard about these things before? I wondered. Why isn’t this common knowledge? It was soon after I had accepted Jesus as my Savior, and I was hearing about Bible prophecy, the book of Revelation, the end time, and the Antichrist all for the first time.
The most fascinating class, “The 70 Weeks of Daniel,” explained a prophecy foretelling these four events:
Q: Is it really the end time? People have been saying that the end is near for thousands of years, but we’re still here.
A: True, but we’re now seeing some signs of the end that weren’t seen in previous generations. For example, technology has suddenly advanced to the point that implementing and enforcing the mark of the Beast are within the realm of possibility. Only now is it possible that every sign of the end that hasn’t already been fulfilled could be fulfilled in a matter of years.
“Let not your heartbe troubled,” Jesus tells us. “You believe in God, believe also in Me.”1 “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”2
He wants to be with you always, through every disappointment and every hardship. He wants to protect you from harm. Even when there is trouble on every side, you won’t need to worry or fear.
Psalm 34:10: The young lions lack and suffer hunger; but those who seek the Lordshall not lack any good thing.
Matthew 6:33: But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
Romans 8:32: He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
The issue of climate change is a charged one, but also one that can’t be ignored. We can debate the causes and culprits till the cows come home, but the fact remains that this planet is our collective home for now, and we each share in the responsibility for it.
I’ve read articles by several Christian writers who have, I think, taken a sensible and scriptural approach: God has appointed us stewards over His creation, and it is our responsibility to care for it and manage its resources.1 On the other side, I have read what I think is an irresponsible approach, based on a skewed application of certain other Bible passages. It goes like this: Earth’s surface and atmosphere will one day be destroyed in a global conflagration, and God will create a new and better world on the remains of the old,2 so it doesn’t much matter what we do to it now; it’s all going to burn up anyway. Why bother ourselves with trying to preserve it if God has other plans?
I have promised miracles to those who love and follow Me, and I can deliver on that promise. My power is limitless. According to your need and the situation, I will do wondrous things for you and through you.
In order to see these manifestations of My power, only one thing is required of you: faith. You must believe that I am able to work the miracle and ask Me to do it, and then expect that I will. When you ask in faith, I am bound by My word to give you what you need. It might not always be what you think you need, but I will always rescue, protect, supply for you, or resolve the problem some other way, as I know is best. Sometimes it will be an overt miracle, where there is no doubt that I have answered your prayer, but other times it won’t be so obvious.