by Pastor Charles
The psalmist says it so beautifully, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea … The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress” (Ps. 46:1-2, 7).
Jesus, in answer to the question, “What will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” stated that in the last days there would be an increase in false messiahs, and wars, and famines, and “earthquakes in various places” (Matthew 24:3-7). None of these events, however, would be “the sign of [His] coming and of the end of the age,” so “see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come” (24:6). These happenings are but “the beginning of birth pains” (24:8). The New English Bible (NEB) translates these words: “with all these things the birth-pangs of the new age begin”—God’s ‘new age’!
The increase in earthquakes worldwide in the few short months of this new year and now the eruption of the majestic Eyjafjallakull volcano in Iceland—the latest of earth’s convulsions—has certainly caused a shaking in the world. Within the first four days of the eruption of Iceland’s volcano, 24 countries grounded flights, and only 23% of Europe’s 22,000 regularly scheduled commercial flights took off. To date, a total of 100,000 flights have been cancelled. And, by now the losses to the airline industry and to all those other global industries impacted by this scenario is well beyond two billion dollars, delivering a serious blow to an already weakened world economy! And should the larger of Iceland’s volcano’s erupt, as precedent has shown it could well do, scientists predict the impact would be 100 times greater than we presently see! For us as believers, what is God saying? I believe He is saying: “Stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near … when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near” (Luke 21:28, 31). Amen!
And the most important sign that heralds that ”the end will [now] come” is amazingly in our hands as His Church—“this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations [Greek: from ethnos, ethnic people], AND THEN THE END WILL COME” (Matthew 24:14).
We have been given a final commission from our Lord—“go and disciple all nations [all ethnic groups] … and surely I am with you always, TO THE VERY END OF THE AGE” (Matthew 28:18-20). This is the reason why we are called to be an apostolic missions church! We have a vital role to play as we “look forward to the day of God and speed [hasten] its coming” (2 Peter 3:12)! Amen! Let us “stand up and lift up [our] heads”! Our redemption is drawing near!