You will hear of wars and rumors of wars but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.
Matthew 24:6 (NIV)
Whether we understand its purpose or not, war is inevitable. Christ told us it must happen. As we incredulously watch Russia invading Ukraine, I believe it is a good time for the Church of Jesus Christ to do two things. First, we must pray for Ukraine. This wonderful nation, which is the home of so many Christians, is going through what no nation should go through.
As someone who grew up in war, I know that the horrors of war stay with the survivors many years well beyond the fighting ends. We must pray for the protection and provision of the Ukrainian people, releasing angels remembering that where sin abounds grace also abounds. We also must pray for every soldier who is risking his or her life doing what is required of him/her on both sides of the war, and we cannot forget to pray for the salvation of the people who are currently living in the valley of the shadow of death because of this horrible war.
Second, we must do some self-reflection. It is natural to feel bad for people who are suffering. It is also natural to wonder how what is going on in Europe might affect us, but in the same verse in which He told us that we would hear of wars, Christ also gave us a command. He told us to see to it that we are not alarmed. Christ knew that to His people, the signs of "The End” meant a wonderful new beginning. The darker our world gets, for us, it just means that the dawning of a new day in eternity is closer.
Sadly, not everyone in the Body of Christ is anxiously waiting for this new day. I am not sure when it happened, but the church stopped looking up waiting on the second coming, and has placed its eyes on gaining the things of this world. We now worry more about the possibility of losing our comfort than the reality of people spending eternity in hell. Jim Elliot a Christian martyr wrote in his diary years before the people He was trying to preach killed him, “He is no fool that gives what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose”.
Child of God, not everyone who sits next to you at church is going to heaven with you. Many of the people we see every day will not face a loving Savior at the end of their lives. The people, who are now living what they call “their truth”, will face “THE TRUTH” in the wrath of God. Let us reflect and ask ourselves when was the last time we prayed with someone who was giving his life to Christ? When was the last time we stood in the gap interceding for someone’s salvation? When was the last time you told God, “Lord, here I am, send me”?
Help us Lord to give up what we cannot keep, to gain what we cannot lose.