Thursday, March 31, 2011

What in the world is going on?

News reports of uprisings in Middle East and North African countries, the earthquake off the coast of Japan and the resulting tsunami and devastation of that Asian country, the ensuing nuclear disaster that as of this writing has yet to be contained; along with our own economic woes in the United States or for that matter, the global economy, cause me to ask routinely “What in the world is going on?” There is so much disaster, hardship, tension, difficulty, and this overwhelming uncertainty happening in our world today. Worldwide there seems to be a leadership vacuum and the world seems to be clamoring for someone to take charge. All of this chaos simply adds to the stress of life we experience in our work places, and in our families. If we’re not careful all of these events can bring about much anxiety and worry about tomorrow.

Well for believers, we need to remember that this world is not our home, we’re pilgrims on a journey of faith that will ultimately lead us home with Jesus. Jesus had something to say about the kind of world situation we live in. He wanted to prepare His disciples for the day when the foundations would be crumbling and the Holy Spirit inspired one of them, Matthew, to record what Jesus said in Matthew 24. Space will not permit me to explain this whole chapter here but I want to point out verse 6: “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.” He went on to explain that there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places and that all this is simply the beginning of sorrows before the tribulation time. As I look at current events around the globe, I believe we are living in the last days. This passage also warns us to not be deceived by false prophets. Earlier today while driving, I saw a guy driving a van that had written all over it that judgment day is coming May 21, 2011. I’m not sure where he got his information and while I’m no prophet, I doubt this is true because Jesus said in vs. 36 of the same chapter “But of the day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but my Father only.”  

Yes there is much to be concerned about and I agree that we need to be paying attention, but we need not live in fear and dread today, tomorrow or of any day in the future. We should see all this uncertainty as an opportunity God is handing to His bride the church to be diligent to be laboring for His kingdom. People are hungry for the truth and they are hungry for assurance that everything is “going to be alright.” That kind of assurance is only possible through faith in Jesus Christ. We’re headed into the Easter Season and all the activities planned during Holy Week.  Let me encourage you to pick up several invite cards that are by all the exits, use that card to invite your lost friends and loved ones to the Easter Musical, Good Friday Service, Pancake Breakfast & Easter Egg hunt or to our Easter Worship services. People still respond to personal invitations and we can see God move in a great way in these days if we’ll do the work needed to prepare for a harvest. As we’re working through our Sunday morning study of Ezekiel, I’m certain God’s message about the need of repentance & His desire to save is as true for us today as it was 2500 years ago.  

I’d also remind you once again “we never get a second chance to make a first impression” so be conscious of guests and be intentional about reaching out to them to introduce yourself. Don’t worry if they tell you they’ve been attending, they’ll be glad someone took interest in them.  Include them with your Bible Study class of offer to take them to a class suitable for them. We need to remember we were all new to something along the journey and what a difference it made if people helped us. I look forward to seeing a mighty movement of God because He is ready willing and able to transform people’s lives. We’re aiming at “Encountering God, Experiencing Life Change.” We want to connect people to God and ourselves in genuine relationships, we want to help people grow in their faith, we want people to learn how to serve the Lord and finally we all need to renew our spirits in corporate worship. Let’s ask God in advance of Easter for a great harvest.

On a personal note, thanks for all the prayers and your encouragement for our daughters who’ve now both delivered their babies safely. John Thomas Miller was born to Rachel & Thomas Miller on February 28th. On March 28th, Landon Michael Deason was born to Ginny and Stephen Deason. We’re so grateful to God for His gracious provision for our family with these two boys and their births without complication. As I look at my two grandsons, I wonder what kind of world they will grow up in. As a human granddad, I’m prone to worry but I know that God is in control; that He has work for us to do and for sure, He knows “what in the world is going on” from my little corner of the world to yours…

Ralph Green

Senior Pastor, Calvary Baptist Church

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