What Happens Next?

What Happens Next?

What comes to mind when you think about the end times? If you are like many Christians, you might not think about it much at all. You have a carpe diem kind of faith that focuses on the here and now. Why occupy your thoughts with the "not yet" when you have enough to deal with in the "right now"? The answer is simple: because Jesus focused on the end times. A full thirty percent of his teachings in the Gospels have to do with discourses on heaven, hell, and the events that will signal the final age. So, if Jesus made the end times a priority, it only makes sense that his followers would make it a priority as well.

Perhaps one of the reasons why you don't like to think about the end times is because you know it will involve turmoil and strife. Indeed, Jesus said the final days would be marked by events that include economic turmoil, political conflicts, ethnic tensions, persecution of Christians, famines, wars and rumors of wars, diseases, false prophets, waning faith in Jesus, and other fearful sights. Jesus declared, "All these are the beginning of birth pains" (Matthew 24:9). Labor pains increase in frequency and intensity as the delivery draws near. Jesus was speaking of a day in which the same will happen in the world.

Now, when it comes to considering these events that will signal the end of the age, you have a choice as to how you will respond. You can see these circumstances through the eyes of fear or faith. The eyes of fear see little reason for hope and ample reason for anxiety. However, the eyes of faith see history inching closer and closer to a new era that will usher in a heavenly destiny—a time when you will "reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize" (Philippians 3:14 NLT). God has told you what to expect not to scare you but to prepare you. He is like a pilot on the intercom telling the passengers about impending turbulence. A good pilot keeps his travelers informed. Your good Father does the same!

God wants you to have a deep-seated confidence that he is firmly on his throne and the future is in his hands. He has given prophecy to empower his saints with the reassurance that whatever happens in this life, he is ultimately sovereign.

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What Happens Next?