To the believers who remain before the departure, and to those who will believe thereafter:
“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God” (John 14:1a).
The world is a brutal place and it is only going to get worse. With each new day we, who are part of the true church marvel that we remain on earth. However, we know our days are numbered and we know that God’s ways are not our ways.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the LORD” (Isaiah 55:8).
The mission is still not accomplished.
“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
Through modern technology mankind is currently witnessing human suffering and brutality on an unprecedented scale. The more the masses are exposed to this brutality the more desensitized they will become.
This generation has a growing thirst for blood and violence. Their thirst is being quenched through increasingly realistic and violent video games, movies, music, etc. It now takes mere moments to feed any hunger a person may have for sex or violence.
With each passing hour, the will for war and violence is rising. But what happens when the lights go out? Although many generations throughout ages past have been brutal, we all know that Jesus says the last generation will be the worst.
No matter what you may see, stay focused on Jesus.
He loves you. He has a place prepared for you. Jesus suffered on this earth so you would not have to suffer in eternity.
“Likewise the Son of Man is also about to suffer at their hands” (Matthew 17:12).
He did not suffer on earth so you would not have to suffer on earth. You will have to suffer on earth in one way or another. The Lord is not willing that anyone should perish eternally, but His will varies according to those who may perish, temporarily.
Right after Peter, was told by Jesus, that he would glorify God by dying as a martyr, he asked about the fate of John:
“Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? Jesus saith unto him, ‘If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? Follow thou Me’” (John 21:21-22).
You are not righteous enough so that if you suffer on earth you will not have to suffer in eternity. The Lamb of God is perfect so He was and is righteous enough to revoke your eternal suffering.
“For by one offering He has perfected forever them that are sanctified” (Hebrews 10:14).
We must remain equally prepared to glorify God in life and in death. Remarkably Peter, while knowing what his fate would be, wrote one of the most memorable verses of comfort in all of Scripture:
“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7).
God will strengthen you with abundant courage in the face of tribulation.
“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness” (Isaiah 41:10).
“But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what you shall speak: for the Holy Spirit shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say” (Matthew 10:19a, Luke 12:12).
Continue to: “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses” (1 Timothy 6:12).
Keep your hope in that eternal place where:
“A pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeds out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. And they shall see His face; and His name shall be in their foreheads.
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 22:1, 4, 21:4, 22:4-5).
We can draw courage from the words of a timeless hymn written by Daniel Webster Whittle in 1883:
“I know not when my Lord may come, at night or noonday fair, nor if I walk the vale with him, or meet him in the air. But I know Whom I have believèd, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I’ve committed
unto Him against that day.”
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Amen.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus