The Escape Key | Tomorrow’s World

The Escape Key

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Many have been watching the news of the war between Israel and Hamas with concern and anxiety. News reports the threat of greater wars, hatred, violence, and rampant crime. Drugs, the demise of morality, economic woes, and political stalemate also weigh on our minds. What can we do? Where can we go for safety?

Since the depraved and unspeakably inhuman massacre of Israeli citizens in southern Israel by Hamas terrorists from Gaza, there is increasing fear of wider conflict resulting in World War III.

Jesus Christ said the end times would see “wars and commotions” and “nation rising against nation” (Luke 21:9–10). This is in addition to great earthquakes, famines, pestilences, and great tribulation (v. 11). Can we escape these awful things happening now, which are sure to intensify in the near future—and if so, how?

Jesus concluded His answer to the disciples’ question about the signs of the end and of His return by warning them to take heed and not let their hearts be “weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and cares of this life” (Luke 21:34). He instructed them to “watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass” (v. 36). Those “things” are dangerous and deadly and coming to pass. We certainly want to escape them.

To escape means to avoid something dangerous, even deadly, or to get free from someone’s control over us. In the parallel account in Matthew 24, Jesus gives more details about end-time events and further instructions to His disciples. After the signs of the end of the age, Jesus warned of the sorrowful events to follow: “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened” (Matthew 24:21–22). Mull that over in your mind.

Jesus tells His disciples, then and now, to “watch” (v. 42) and “be ready” (v. 44) and “be found so doing” (v. 46). Jesus also warns against doing evil and thinking He is delaying His coming (v. 48–51). Jesus tells the Parable of the Ten Virgins, which warns of failing to properly prepare resulting in being shut out of the Bridegroom’s wedding.

Many pundits suggest that the current events taking place in Israel and Gaza could foment World War III. This makes Jesus’ prophecy all the more sobering.

Human nature wrestles against the consequences of wrong behavior but doesn’t want to stop the wrong behavior. To avoid consequences, our human nature leads us to various defense mechanisms, including denial (lying to ourselves), rationalization, avoidance, suppression, repression, displacement, sublimation, intellectualization, and others.

Human nature also employs escape behaviors such as whining and complaining, sneaking away, stalling (procrastination), and so on. Even little children utilize these seemingly “built-in” behaviors. All human behavior occurs for a reason, whether or not the reason is valid or effective in achieving a desired end.

The true “escape key,” the only real way to escape, is to draw close to God and obey Him. The Apostle Paul mentions such a solution in several of his epistles. He said in Ephesians 4:1 “to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called.” In Colossians 1:10, he states, “walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” He exhorts in 1 Thessalonians 2:12, “walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.” And finally, in 2 Thessalonians 1:11, “pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling.”

The “escape key” is to strive diligently to obey God and be found by Him to be worthy to truly escape—to meet Him in the day of our salvation.

You may find these study guides helpful: The Middle East in Prophecy and What Is a True Christian?