Many names call up deep pain and memories of humanity at our worst: Nanking, Guadalcanal, Kigali, Wounded Knee, Bosnia, Iraq, Sarajevo, Sand Creek, Dothan, Ravensbruck. And many more. Places where mutual hatred has led to unspeakable destruction.
Jesus was resting in a garden one evening when several of His followers sat down beside Him and asked, “What will be the sign of your coming and the end of the age?” His response included the memorable words: “There will be wars and rumors of wars.”
He was right. There have been wars, wars, and more wars ever since!
“Such things will happen,” Jesus continued, “but that won’t mean it’s over yet.”
He talked on, describing lies and atrocities that would make an executioner squirm. “Some of this is so evil,” Jesus said, “that even the most loving will turn away. But, those who stand firm—those who join me and hold onto truth, love, compassion, and peace—will come through ALIVE and WELL!”
It’s going to get worse. Then it’s going to get better. Much better!
When Prime Minister Daniel was looking toward the end of everything, he saw a similar scenario. After pages and pages describing the convoluted atrocities of God’s enemies, Daniel takes a deep breath and says, “At that time the great prince who protects your people will arise.”
Deliverance of God’s People
Look at the video: Garish torture fills the streets, carbonized bodies hang from bridges, cannibals in fatigues attack children, and laughter and screams fill the skies. Then, in the depths of hopeless disaster, The Prince rises! He stands, high above it all, spreads His arms, and offers deliverance!
“At that time,” Daniel continues, “your people—everyone whose name is written in the Book of Life—will be delivered.”
“Listen for the trumpet,” Jesus said, “for when the trumpet calls, God’s angels will gather His followers and bring them home.”
Wars? Rumors of wars? Awful. But hold on. You do not have to be consumed by hatred, but you can come through alive and well, victorious through the Good News of God’s Love. According to Jesus’ promise in Matthew 24, He will protect those who choose to hold onto Him. According to Daniel 12:1, everyone who has asked for their name to be written in His Book will be delivered!
No matter what is going on around us, our long-term future is guaranteed.
Off in the distance, an angel is practicing trumpet calls.
Dick Duerksen writes from the Pacific Northwest.
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