Change nations by praying with us monthly about global events and pressing concerns for World MAP’s ministry – Emailed once a month
Prayer Points This Month!
• Groundbreaking World MAP Virtual Seminars!
• DC Prayer Gathering
• India Partners
• USA National Election
The End is Near!
For me, this phrase evokes the classic picture of a bearded, disheveled man on a street corner displaying this cryptic message on his sandwich board. For you, too? The sight of him might give us pause to think, or chuckle; but we usually just go on about our busy lives.
However, in these days, there are a great deal more conversations, sermons and book sales on the subject of the Lord’s return. Even the purchase of Bibles in the West has risen dramatically since Covid-19 came onto our shores.
Of course, we know that the Scriptures reveal: “But of that day and that hour, no one knows…” (Mk 13:32). Paul the apostle thought in his day that the time of Christ’s return was very near. As a matter of fact, almost every generation since has had reason to believe that the tribulation and return of Christ was imminent.
This only affirms that none of us know when that day will be. But this we know for sure: We are closer now to His return than ever before! With each passing day, we draw nearer to the sure return of Jesus Christ.
So what should we be about in these end times? It is always appropriate for Christ-followers to prayerfully discern signs and seasons, as did the sons of Issachar, “who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do” (2Chron 12:32). Jesus also pointed out the importance of leaders understanding the times and being spiritually aware (Mt 16:3).
But is that all? Or is there something more we should be about beyond interpreting prophecies and signs?
Preparing For His Return
I read about a group of Christians in the late 1800’s who were so convinced about Christ’s return on a certain date that they sold all of their possessions, farms and even their clothes. Then on that day, they wrapped themselves in sheets and stood on a hill, awaiting the visible return of Christ.
Oddly enough, they also brought with them all the money from their sales. Perhaps they were going to make an offering to Jesus when He appeared? Or maybe their faith only went so deep, and they thought a backup plan would be prudent?
As sheep, it is easy to nibble our way off course when our navigation point gets blurred. That is why it is imperative that the focus of our hearts, minds, desires and attention be on Jesus Himself in these days. Not just when He will return, but Who He is and what He expects from us right now, today, to do and be for His sake and glory.
Here are some things about which to pray and think, and perhaps even make personal changes:
1. We are in a spiritual battle. This season goes far beyond politicians or their parties, race, gender or even privilege – it is about war! And there is MUCH at stake. Are you suiting up (Eph 6:10-18) and joining the battle? There is no longer neutral ground, and no hiding places to wait it out. The line between light and dark is drawn. You are either “warring in the Spirit” daily for the purposes of Christ, or you are allowing the enemy to make further inroads into your life, our society and world. Our only hope is in God, and we must approach His throne boldly and ask for His help!
2. Stop and pray. A good habit for every believer is to use the news, media articles or other information as beginning points for prayer. Paul told the Thessalonians to, “pray without ceasing” (1Thess 5:17). Take what you learn to God, Who hears and will answer, and ask boldly for His power and intervention. Pray in the Spirit, and also LISTEN – be sensitive to how He leads you to intercede beyond what you know and according to God’s will.
3. Everyone needs good news. We need to face reality: We are in a time of dramatic change and things will not return to the former status quo. Not in our society, culture, government or churches. This may feel uncomfortable, but do not fear! The good news is that God is still on His throne. He will work all things for His highest purposes and our highest good – which is the shaping of the image of His Son more and more in each one of us (Rom 8:28-29). Our eternal salvation is secure, and His Kingdom is unshakeable!
However, many do not know this good news or have this Savior. Please take every opportunity to share the love and hope of Jesus with others – it needs to be our highest priority as the Day of His Return draws nearer.
4. Get ready. The wisest thing to do is not wait on a hill, but to wait on Him! Offer your heart and life, and ask Him to prepare and use you beyond what you could ask or think. I have heard it said that, “Things have been shook up, so we can be woke up, because God is changing us up, before we get took up!”
We are not called to be passive spectators as events unfold. You are an essential part of God’s sovereign plan – given to His Kingdom for such a time as this – to fulfill your role as only you can. So do it with all your might, and with the Spirit’s empowerment!
(continued on pg. 2)