With troubles facing every sector of society, what solution should get top priority today? Hint: It’s the same solution the New Testament writers urgently longed for.
Unstable is an understatement for our world today. Powder keg is more like it.
The winds of change whistling through areas of the world might carry a whiff of freedom, but it’s easy to underestimate the force and shifting nature of the winds. In the maelstrom, will the forces of anarchy ignite a new passion for a powerful ruler?
The Middle East remains a troubled and dangerous region, continually boiling over into the rest of the world.
Elsewhere, precarious economies on the brink of financial ruin can ill afford additional stress, whether from war or even natural disasters.
Hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and tsunamis highlight that even careful planning cannot truly handle the worst that nature can throw at us. Nuclear power plants and other strategic sites around the world are more vulnerable than most of us want to believe. Humans have only been keeping scientific records of natural disasters for a short time. How can we be sure that what we consider worst-case scenarios are truly the worst that this planet will see?
The underlying cause
The Bible predicts wars, financial crises, food shortages, disease epidemics and natural disasters crescendoing in the end times—the times when human annihilation is possible (Matthew 24:7-8, 21-22).
Why are these and other troubles predicted? Because humanity as a whole has rejected God and the good and beneficial laws He gave. Obeying God’s laws naturally brings blessings, while trampling on them brings automatic curses.Why are these and other troubles predicted? Because humanity as a whole has rejected God and the good and beneficial laws He gave. Obeying God’s laws naturally brings blessings, while trampling on them brings automatic curses.
These facts are detailed in Leviticus 26. After outlining the wonderful blessings for following His commandments, God said, “But if you will not obey Me, and do not observe all these commandments … I also will do this to you: I will even appoint terror over you, wasting disease and fever which shall consume the eyes and cause sorrow of heart. And you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it” (Leviticus 26:14, 16).
Owing the financial production of our labors to enemies is only the beginning of the curses outlined in this chapter. But God doesn’t allow these natural consequences of sin out of a desire to see us suffer. Nor does He intervene to correct us out of hatred, but out of love. He deeply desires that we, His human creation, will wake up and repent of the evil we have done.
“But if they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers, with their unfaithfulness in which they were unfaithful to Me, and that they also have walked contrary to Me … then I will remember My covenant with Jacob, and My covenant with Isaac and My covenant with Abraham I will remember” (Leviticus 26:40, 42).
God’s covenants with the patriarchs contained both promises of national greatness and promises of the Messiah (Genesis 22:17-18; Galatians 3:16). When God’s people’s continual sins cause their national blessings to be replaced by curses, the only hope is in the Messiah. Jesus Christ’s first coming made possible the forgiveness of sin. And He promised to come again to save humanity from self-destruction (Matthew 24:22).
The top-priority solution
Jesus Christ’s second coming is the top-priority solution that this world desperately needs today. Without Christ’s return, this world would continue to spin out of control until every man, woman and child would be destroyed.
But there is hope. It’s the same hope that the writers of the New Testament so passionately and urgently longed for.
Peter warns us not to fall for the argument of the scoffers who say, “Where is the promise of His coming?” He encourages us to show faith and be patient, “looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God” (2 Peter 3:4, 12).
James also recognized the need for patience “until the coming of the Lord” (James 5:7) and Jude focused on the time when the Lord would come “with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all” (Jude 14-15).
Paul also wrote about his love for Christ’s appearing (2 Timothy 4:8; see also 1 Corinthians 16:22, where the Aramaic “Maranatha” is translated “O Lord, come!”).
But probably the most poignant supplication for Christ’s return comes from the apostle John, the apostle Jesus especially loved. In the last chapter in the Bible, Jesus Christ told John, “Surely I am coming quickly” (Revelation 22:20).
And we can reply fervently with John: “Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!”
For more about Jesus Christ’s second coming and the Kingdom of God He will set up, see our free booklet The Mystery of the Kingdom.