Be Watchful, but Not Alarmed

States around the world are assuming powers denied them for centuries. They are increasingly directing how we dress, how we worship, how we shop. I intend to comply with all laws until they directly contravene God’s revealed word, regardless of my approval of their intentions or motives. Still, we would do well to keep watch. We may be living in a time of excessive government activity which is annoying and expensive but nothing more, or this may be a prelude to the revealing of the Man of Sin and the final world government.

We must not be hasty to conclude either interpretation. In 1940, many of us would have thought we were living at the end of days, but we would have been wrong. Then, the state legislated how much we could eat, what we did for a living, that we carried a gas mask and an ID card. Across the water was an evil dictator who hated truth and goodness, and much desired to rule over us too. A war covering the whole earth was being waged- but it wasn’t the end of days.

In the 1640s, similar claims were made in this land. A terrible civil war, the persecution of puritans, the execution of a king- many thought it was the last days. But they were wrong.

In 1998, the late Barry Smith, a great evangelist from Australia, preached around the world claiming the Y2K bug in our computers would set them all back to 1900 and modern civilisation as we knew it would cease; into the chaos would step the antichrist, offering stability and order. He was wrong, it didn’t happen. He was right to watch, but wrong to advocate it with such certainly. His misjudged pronouncements did more harm than good; those of us awaiting the Lord’s imminent return were deemed cranks and charlatans by those unconcerned by eschatology (the end times).

Sounding alarms too early only makes us immune to their warnings when they really need to be sounded. Not looking and preparing for danger is an invitation to be swallowed up by it. New Testament teaching on eschatology urges us to observe two different but complimentary principles:

Matthew 25:13: “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.”

Mark 13:7: ”But when you hear of wars and rumours of wars, do not be troubled; for such things must happen, but the end is not yet.”

We must be on the look-out for the end, but we must not be troubled and agitated by it. Assuming every news story has some apocalyptic value is gullible; this wicked world creates enough sin and rebellion without the antichrist’s impetus. If the Man of Sin is about to sweep to power, there’s nothing I can do to stop it, for such things must happen. Therefore I urge us to watch and observe, but not to hit the panic button.

Image by JL G from Pixabay