How can I find real peace in this crazy, violent, messed-up world today? Especially when the people I love most are living here in the midst of it and it is scary and dangerous?
We have spoken often about the foundation for our peace being in Jesus and in our personal relationship with Him as our Savior and Lord.
The Foundation of My Peace Is Jesus
The foundation of my peace as a woman, wife, and mom is that I know, love, and trust Jesus.
- Jesus, the Prince of Peace, is on the throne of my life without any rival affections. I have peace because He is the source of all peace. (John 14:27, John 16:33)
- I have peace as I live in total submission to His Lordship in my life. He is in charge, I am not. When I try to be in charge myself or I trust anything/anyone other than Christ, I will live in fear, anxiety, discouragement, oppression, and spiritual poverty.
- I also have peace as I abide in Christ (John 15:4-7). I live in continual total dependence on Him, His Word, His Spirit, prayer, and emotional/spiritual oneness with Him. I receive all of His truth. I allow His power to transform me daily.
- When His Spirit is reigning in my life, I experience the “fruit of His Spirit” – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23).
God’s Word, His Spirit, and Sound Doctrine Expand His Peace in My Heart and Life
The Bible is my lifeline to God. It is His love letter to me and to all who belong to Him. It is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword (Heb. 4:12). I need it all!
- I need the scriptures that explain who God is and tell me of His character so I can know and trust Him and have a right view of Him.
- I need the parts about the history of God’s people to have a concept of what God has done in the past and how He works in the lives of His people and in the world.
- I need the passages about doctrine for a framework upon which to build my life.
- I need the story of Jesus’ life and what He did for all of us on the cross and to know the Gospel.
- I need to know how to have a relationship with Him that show me all that God has done to save me from hell.
- I need the parts of the Bible that tell me how to live the Christian life in practical ways.
- I also need the prophetic parts to thoroughly equip and prepare me for the present and the future.
…You have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 1 Tim. 3:15-17
All of God’s Word is infallible and true. All of it is there to bless the body of Christ as a whole and as individuals, to transform us to make us more like Jesus.
Bible prophecy is often overlooked by many believers in Christ, today. Lots of people think it isn’t relevant to our lives, that God’s prophetic words are not true, or that those scriptures can’t be rightly understood. Of course, there are those who twist God’s Word to try to use it for their own misleading purposes. They are false teachers, and they are in abundance, even among churches who claim Jesus as Lord. We must be alert and careful about what teachers we listen to. But this subject is too important to ignore or dismiss.
If I do not know Bible prophecy about “the end times,” when I look at what is going on in this world, it seems completely terrifying and I will act in fear rather than faith.
When I act in fear, I make destructive choices as a wife, mom, and in my other relationships.
It is so critical for me to understand that God is in control, even now, and that God is moving the world toward a specific plan for His glory. People have free will. He gives people the ability to choose or reject Him every moment of our lives. He is not responsible for people’s sin. He is outside of time and space. And His sovereignty encompasses our free will and works with it to create a tapestry throughout all of human history for His glory. I won’t begin to understand how that is possible until heaven. But as I receive His Life-giving Word and trust God, I can live in His peace and have hope because I know what the outcome is ultimately going to be, even when I watch the news.
This impacts all of my relationships and life-decisions greatly!
When I Properly Understand Bible Prophecy, I Am a Different Woman, Wife, and Mom
If I truly know that Jesus is coming again for His church (including me), and I believe that the Great Tribulation is just around the corner and that time to share the Gospel and to love people is precious and limited, this knowledge transforms my life:
- I think, speak, pray, and act in faith in God rather than being overcome by fear.
- I embrace God’s spiritual pruning of my life to help me grow in my faith. Even if my husband isn’t changing first.
- I don’t want to waste any time in becoming the godly woman God calls me to be. I desperately desire God’s Spirit’s power to enable me to build up and bless my family and I want to stop tearing them down and using my influence and power to destroy them and others.
- I am familiar with the enemy’s schemes to distract, discourage, and paralyze me and to seduce me away from Jesus with lies. I know that he would love to get a foothold in my life so he could use my mouth and my actions to destroy my husband and children. He will do anything he can to get me to fall away from my faith in Jesus and to rebel against the Lord and destroy my witness for Christ. So I cling to Jesus all the more.
- I want to be found faithful and obedient to my Lord Jesus when He comes “in the twinkling of an eye” (1 Cor. 15:51) which is the rapture – or when I meet him through death – whichever may come first.
- I share hope, wisdom, and faith with my husband, children, and everyone in my circle of influence.
- I know that my devotion, worship, obedience, trust, and labor in the Lord is not in vain (1 Cor. 15:58).
- I realize that time may be very short, so I want to be sure I am right with God and right with other people. I don’t have time to hold onto any sin, resentment, grudges, or unforgiveness.
- I have a lot more patience with people because I know what is truly important and I am seeing from an eternal perspective, not a temporal one.
- I want to share the gospel urgently, to be sure that everyone has a chance to choose to live for Jesus while there is still a small window of time left in this period of grace before the Great Tribulation begins when things will become much more difficult for those who decide to follow Jesus.
- My priorities shift dramatically. With this eternal perspective, I won’t care nearly as much about the small things – my husband forgot our anniversary, he left the toilet seat up again, my children didn’t appreciate me enough, we haven’t been on a date in months, etc… My eyes are set on Jesus and His kingdom’s work.
- I am not very phased by people’s pettiness or drama. Externals become less and less important. So do all of the things that seem so important to the world. I see way past those shallow things because much deeper spiritual things of God concern me.
- I am not caught up in gossip, materialism, idolatry, bitterness, pride, a critical spirit, self-righteousness, or greed.
- I don’t cling to the things of this world because they will soon disappear.
- I don’t have a spirit of offense when others are hurtful toward me, I don’t take what they do to me personally. I see they are wounded and hurting. I am able to see their spiritual condition and oppression and I pray for God to reach them, to heal them, to bless them, and to raise them to the new life (1 Cor. 4:12-13) God has given to me.
- I see God at work in the headlines. I see His prophecies unfolding before my eyes and I am assured that He has not abandoned His people, my family, or me as an individual. My faith increases as I see His Word is true and His prophecies are being fulfilled one by one.
- I am humbled before God, acknowledging that He is sovereign, not me. He is God, I am not. He has all wisdom, I do not. He holds the world and all of the nations in His hands, I don’t. He knows what He is doing. Even the Great Tribulation has a purpose – to draw Israel, finally, to her amazing Messiah, Jesus Christ.
Want Some Details?
In case this is all rather new to you, or you just need a quick summary of what has been going on, check out the following list and see how many of these points have happened or are happening now:
25 Signs We Are Near the Last Days – by Don Stewart (There are numerous sub-points, you may watch this video for a brief overview, or check out his book.) The bold words are Don Stewart’s words. The regular font words are my additional comments.
- The miracle of Israel’s survival.
- As their enemies have done to Israel, so God will do to them. He promised to weaken Egypt but to keep it around (Jer. 46) as a reminder to Israel. But He said they would never be a great power again. There are no longer any Moabites (Jer. 48), Philistines (Jer. 47), Babylonians (Jer. 50), and others today, just as God prophesied when He decreed destruction for those enemies of Israel.
- Israel will miraculously return to its ancient homeland in the last days. Israel became an official nation again, after being dissolved for almost 2000 years, on May 14, 1948. They celebrated their 70th anniversary of being a modern nation this spring.
- The nation will return in two stages. They will return to their homeland in unbelief in Jesus. They are spiritually dead (Ezekiel 37). This is what has happened, Israel has returned, but they still do not acknowledge Jesus. The second stage will occur at the end of the Great Tribulation (after Jesus defeats the Anti-Christ) when they acknowledge that Jesus is their Messiah and they repent and turn to Him in faith.
- Jerusalem will be united under Israeli rule. This happened after the 6 day war in 1967.
- Israel will be in the world’s spotlight. Just watch the news in almost any given week this year.
- There will be a continual search for peace in Israel. There are talks of an attempt to organize some kind of peace deal in Israel and the Middle East in the news this week.
- Preparations will be made to build the third temple. This has been underway for several years. Many Jews believe that Trump’s declaration that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital means that rebuilding the temple is next. The “Temple Movement” is growing and ready as soon as the opportunity presents itself for the Jews to begin construction.
- In the last days, certain specified nations will invade Israel (Ezekiel 38-39). The Bible names the countries that are modern day Russia, Turkey, Iran, Libya, and Ethiopia as those who will come against Israel “like a cloud” during a time of prosperity and peace in Israel. Currently, Iran, Russia, and Turkey are working together in an alliance staging some of their military operations in Syria. Iran has been very clear that they plan to wipe Israel off the map. Turkey is hostile toward Israel. Russia is occupying Syria and supporting Syria, Turkey, and Iran.
- The nations missing from the Ezekiel 38,39 invasion. Equally interesting is that Saudia Arabia and some other nations are currently a bit more friendly, or, not as hostile, toward Israel, as they used to be. These nations are not listed as attackers in Ezekiel 38,39.
- No superpower will intervene on Israel’s behalf when they are invaded: something will happen to the United States. America will either not have the power or the will to help Israel – but this is God’s plan. God, Himself, will save Israel during the Ezekiel 38 war in a miraculous way.
- There will be a ten nation confederation in western Europe (The revival of the ancient Roman Empire). Possibly the EU in some form?
- There will be a one-world political and economic system (globalism). Although we have not yet achieved a one-world political and economic system, it is obvious in the news that globalism is the primary goal of many political leaders today.
- The world will desperately look for a leader. It turns out that the dynamic, charismatic man who will seem to have all of the answers to the natural disasters, famines, plagues, economic crisis, etc… and who seduces the entire world will be the Antichrist.
- There will be an exponential increase in technology. This continues to happen at an astounding rate, never seen before in history.
- Plagues and pestilence will trouble the world. Contagious diseases and pandemics can travel more quickly around the world today than ever. Here is why the risk continues to increase from a scientific perspective and why the end times will be so ripe for the greatest plagues and death tolls (due to disease) in history. During the Great Tribulation, 1/4 of the earth’s population will be killed by sword, famine, disease, or wild animals.
- The world will be characterized by lawlessness. Watch the local, national, or world news any time to see this.
- The world will be characterized by violence. Again, we can see it every day in the news. The level of blatant hatred and violence in our culture has been rising at truly alarming rates.
- The organized church will turn away from the faith (apostasy). This Great Apostasy is very evident in America, Europe, and many Western cultures and has been progressing over the past few generations. We see churches and whole denominations dying off as people reject the truth of God’s Word and surround themselves with false teaching and lies.
- There will be a rise in false prophets, false teachers, and false Christs. This is happening more and more as people do not want to hear sound doctrine. (How to recognize false teachers.)
- There will be a rise in anti-semitism. Almost every country in the world has already turned away from Israel. Check out the UN meetings this year. The UN voted overwhelmingly that Israel had no right to defend itself against attack. The UN voted overwhelmingly against recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, even though other countries are allowed to choose their own capital for their nations.
- Christians will continue to be persecuted. Christian persecution now is increasing and is worse than at any other time in history.
- Unbelievers will scoff at the idea of Christ’s return.
- The wicked will not understand the signs of the times.
- Bible-believers will understand what is taking place.
There are other things going on right now, too, that point to the fact that the season of the rapture and Great Tribulation are close at hand. Jesus said, when He was on earth, “no man knows the day or the hour” (Matt. 24:36) and that not even He knew when the rapture would happen. So we are not at liberty to try to predict specific dates. In fact, we should be very alarmed at anyone who claims to know the exact date Jesus will return. That is a big flag that person is not speaking on God’s behalf.
But we are equipped by scripture to recognize the season (Matt. 24:32-33). We are to be ready every day. As we see more and more signs and prophecies being fulfilled, we are to lift up our heads because we know that “our redemption is drawing near” (Luke 21:28)
- There has been an incredible uptick in earthquakes all around the world in the past week or so. Jesus describes that famines and earthquakes will happen in various places around the world, this is part of the beginning of the birth pangs. Like birth pangs, we can expect a great increase of these things the closer we get to the end. (Matt. 24:7)
- The love of many will grow cold. Matt. 24:12
- People will lose their “natural affection” for family members – as we are seeing now (2 Tim. 3:3-5). Moms are killing their own babies in abortion. Parents are killing their children (after they are born). Children are killing their parents and siblings. Abuse is rampant. Our own homes are not safe.
- The moral character of people will be in a state of rapid decline in every way (2 Tim 3:1-9).
- The gospel is being preached around the world. Matt. 24:14
This is just a little taste of some of the prophecies that will be fulfilled or have been fulfilled already as we approach the last hour. May the Lord give us eyes to see and ears to hear all that He wants to share with us in this exciting time in history. And may we yield ourselves fully to be instruments in His hands for His kingdom as we have been placed here “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14).
RESOURCES I TRUST
Of course, always weigh what any teacher says against scripture and test what they are saying with the Spirit!
Behold Israel – Amir Tsarfati (an Israeli believer who is part of the Israeli military and who does Christian tours of Israel who does updates on what is happening in the Middle East that relates to Bible prophecy)
Hope for Our Times – Don Stewart and Tom Hughes address Bible prophecy and current events
Signs of the End Times – www.gotquestions.org
Systematic Theology podcasts by Wayne Grudem about the end times on iTunes (podcasts 112-113)