The sobering and shattering scenes of the tsunami swallowing up the land, the cars, the buildings, the nuclear reactors, and the precious lives of so many people in Japan brings to all of us a sense of incredible loss and sorrow and heartbreak.
I watched, like everyone else, the horrible mass of moving water that destroyed everything in its path. The world, as we know it, is changing. Catastrophic events of nature, political upheaval and regime changes, economic uncertainty and shortages of oil and water—all of these are being felt worldwide.
No place is safe. No society is unaffected. No national or political structure is thriving without questions that deal with the future, both short term and long term. Religious leaders in different belief systems seem as confused as anyone else.
Where are we headed?
Matthew 24:6–8 never seemed more pertinent than now. "And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows."
It is pretty difficult not to be troubled. What can we, as Christians, do? Where is our comfort; our sense of peace and belief in the omnipotent God we believe in? How do we really get close to God and stay close to God in these trying times? The writings of Paul in the book of Ephesians give us advice. Ephesians 5:15–17 says: "See then that you walk circumspectly [carefully], not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is."
Redeeming the time simply means we need to re-dedicate ourselves to a Christian way of living that is acceptable to God. It means living righteously and not giving any place to the darkness of Satan and his influence of wrongdoing and evil things. Ephesians 5:1–2 says: "Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling aroma."
Yes, it takes Bible study, prayer, meditation, and actions in our lives and the proper way of worshipping God, as He has directed us by His words written biblically. In redeeming the time, we all need to go to God on our knees asking for forgiveness of our sins. We need to ask Him for more of His Holy Spirit so we can become children of light, not darkness. We all need to be reading and studying the Bible properly so we can have understanding while finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.
Ephesians 5:6–11 warns us: "Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons [and daughters] of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them. For you were once darkness but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them."
If, in the plan of God for mankind, we are truly at that point where, "All these are thebeginning of sorrows" (Matthew 24:8), then we need to acknowledge that things are going to get worse. The earthquake tragedies in Japan, in New Zealand, and in Haiti are just the beginning. The political upheavals in the Middle East and the religious radicalism that is gripping the entire world will continue. Economic turmoil that seems to be spreading from nation to nation is not going to go away.
As Christians (believers in Jesus Christ), are we changing our lives so we can be acceptable in the eyes of God to gain His love and protection in these perilous and evil days that are before us? Are we bearing the good fruits that make us His children of light? Are we walking circumspectly (carefully) in this world and, finally, are we redeeming the time?
For further understanding and insight of today's world events, check out all of the materials here on the Tomorrow's World website.