March of the stink bugs.
Ever have those moments when you see something that just doesn't track? Like yesterday, I walked out of the bathroom and thought something didn't seem (look) quite right. Stop, back up and check it again. Yep, I thought something didn't seem to fit. There in all its inglorious presence was this pesky critter. Stink bugs are not only stinky, they're not welcome in the house. Are these things a result of the Fall in Genesis? Ha. Ha. Who knows!
The world we are currently dealing with is filled with confusion and wrath amongst people. Anger, division, and uncertainty are running rampant. Where does it all stop or end? Will civility and love ever prevail? Apparently Jesus knew a thing or two about our current malaise. He spoke of a time that sounds strangely similar and this was spoken about 2000 years ago.
At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false
prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most
will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. (Matthew 24:10-13, NIV)
Unlike the unexpected stink bug on Tracie's pocketbook, the unsettled condition of our world is expected fare. While Jesus came to save, even He understood that not all will jump on the Jesus train and ride onto heaven. I believe we are experiencing a time of unrest that fulfills some of Jesus' prophetic vision.
While we would love to see all people come together in unity and God does desire all to come to faith in Christ (2 Peter 3:9), the reality is less warm and fuzzy. Perhaps the best phrase from Matthew 24 is that which appears in verse 13, "but he who stands firm to the end will be saved." What does "stand firm" mean?
*When biblical teaching is set aside for subjective human thought, stand firm.
*When one is persecuted for their faith, stand firm.
*When government's overreach into religious arenas occurs, stand firm.
*When people converse about sin in glowing terms and fail to acknowledge sin's deadly curse,
*When media tries to silence opposing voices and viewpoints, stand firm.
Stand firm in what?