Fall was rapidly approaching. Crops were nearing maturity and harvest. A field of sunflowers caught my attention. The huge seed heads were bowing toward the earth. The seed heads of some varieties can be especially large. A quick Google check indicated that the heads may, at times, contain up to two thousand seeds. In God’s creative design, a small seed can produce a remarkable harvest.
A life lesson emerged in my mind. A recent Sunday School lesson focused on Revelation 16 At the end of time, the order is given, “Go, pour out the seven bowls of God’s wrath on the earth” (v.1). Terror, suffering, and unspeakable pain beyond imagination are poured out. John Swaim, an excellent teacher, made an insightful and soul-stirring statement: “Here we see the full flower of earth’s first sin in the Garden of Eden.” Although there was some discussion that followed, my mind was riveted to his statement. I was shaken by the thought and experienced “a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God” (Hebrews 10:27, NIV).
I wonder if the daily reports of mass shootings, staggering numbers of drug overdose deaths, abuse of children, starvation, terrorism, cruel tyrants and more are the harbingers of far worse things to come? Is the rapid decline in the influence of the church a herald of the looming apocalypse? Are the judgments of God coming to ‘full flower’? If so, what should I be doing?
There are two areas of crucial concern for me. First, my own personal readiness for these coming events. I want to approach each new day with clean hands and a pure heart through the power of the Holy Spirit. “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming” (2 Peter 3:10-12, NIV). I desire to live in a state of readiness.
The second area of concern is my obligation to be a witness to those who are not in a right relationship with the Lord. To share the offer of salvation from the Lord and to tell of the impending judgment if He is rejected is both a both a privilege and a responsibility. James admonishes us, “Remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins” (James 5:20, NIV). The Message translation gives a clear and simply word, “God isn’t late with his promise as some measure lateness. He is restraining himself on account of you, holding back the End because he doesn’t want anyone lost. He’s giving everyone space and time to change” (2 Peter 3:9, MSG). I desire to be a ‘light’ for Christ in a world that is growing darker by the day.
Prayer: Lord, as I contemplate the end of time, may I be committed to personal holiness. May I be fervent in my desire to share the message of salvation to all who will listen.
~ Brother Roy