We’re suffering. Humanity is hurting. And no solution is in sight. Is it ever going to stop, and is there anything you can do?
A couple of days after the March 15, 2019, mass killings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, as my wife walked toward a grocery store, she passed a woman loading her shopping bags into her car. Noticing that the lady wore a hijab, the head covering typically worn by Muslim women, she stopped and asked if she was Muslim. When the lady nodded yes, my wife said, “I’m so sorry for what happened in New Zealand.” The lady said thank you, but began to softly cry and started talking.
“Why does this keep happening?” she asked. It was a rhetorical question, one born out of frustration and emotion, but not really in expectation of an answer. So my wife just listened. All over the world, the lady continued through her tears, people of all different nationalities, religions and races are killing each other. Why? What’s wrong with us? Why are we doing this?
Finally she asked, “When is it all going to stop?”
At that point my wife offered a simple answer, “It will stop when our Creator decides it is time to come and end it.”
The other lady nodded and said, “You are right,” and they went their separate ways. They were two strangers, of two totally different faiths, but having in common a basic compassion over human suffering, and a sadness over the state of the world.
Going further down the path
Were they to meet again today, they could repeat the same conversation, only with even more anguish.
Five weeks later, as I write, Sri Lanka is mourning the hundreds killed and injured in the Easter Sunday church and hotel bombings. ISIS claims responsibility, declaring it to be in retaliation for the New Zealand shootings. As if that somehow means justice has been served.
No, all it really means is that we are further down the path Jesus Christ warned we would walk before God’s justice is served.
In one of history’s most famous prophecies, answering His disciples’ question, “What will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” one of Jesus’ key indicators was, “Because lawlessness [wickedness, contempt and violation of law, sin] will abound, the love of many will grow cold” (Matthew 24:3, 12).
God does not want our love to grow cold. He wants us to care deeply about the world as He does. But Jesus knew what lawlessness would produce in the world. Take any area of life, and ask yourself: Are we progressing toward peace, love and harmony, or are we growing colder?
“And I heard another voice from heaven saying, ‘Come out of her my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.’”It is only going to worsen, Jesus said. Eventually we will bring upon ourselves a time of “great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.” Conditions will ultimately become so bad that “unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved” (verses 21-22).
In other words, left to ourselves, we have no hope of being able to reverse course on the road to destruction that we humans have chosen to travel.
The good news is, however, that we are not left to ourselves!
Despite the bleak near future, our Creator also gave this promise: “For the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.” It will stop when He decides it is time to come and end it.
Yes, God assures us He will deliver us “from the bondage of corruption” (Romans 8:21), but until that happens, “we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now” (verse 22).
Many of the Bible’s most important prophecies are dedicated to explaining how both the pain and the delivery will unfold. A great way to begin understanding exactly how and why God is going to intervene in human affairs is to read our booklet The Book of Revelation: The Storm Before the Calm.
“Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming,” Jesus warned (Matthew 24:42). Can you afford to be unaware of what is coming and what you can do about it? Download your free copy of this booklet at https://info.lifehopeandtruth.com/revelation.
Furthermore, He continued, “You also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (verse 44). You and I cannot stop the violence that is happening in our world. You and I cannot stem our society’s slide into immorality. But you and I can be ready when our Creator decides it is time to come and end it!
Time for you to decide
Christ painted a remarkable picture of the future for His servant John in the book of Revelation. In chapter 11 we read of the time when He—“the One who is and who was and who is to come”—returns to this earth (verse 17). John describes in verse 15 there being “loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!’”
But the world will not welcome Him with opened arms. Notice the next statement: “The nations were angry”—angry with God! Why? Because elsewhere in Revelation we’re told the world will hate God’s condemnation of its sins and His call to repent of our evil deeds.
Few will heed. In fact, humanity’s anger toward God will be so aroused that the nations of the earth will gather to fight Christ at His second coming. But He will prevail.
In the meantime, those who understand what is coming will heed the warning of Revelation 18:4-5. In the midst of describing the end-time society, John wrote, “And I heard another voice from heaven saying, ‘Come out of her my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.’”
This world’s suffering will stop when our Creator decides it is time to come!
But isn’t it time now for you to decide to come out of this world (2 Corinthians 6:17)?