At Speak Comfort it is never our intention, nor is it our job, to point fingers. Rather, as Christians and followers of Jesus, we are all called to love each other, especially under the most difficult circumstances. We are called to love and not to judge. Because we are called as Christians to obedience to God’s will and to holiness, our hearts break when we see the extreme suffering taking place all over the world today.
Two thousand years ago Jesus warned his disciples that in the last days, the days that we are experiencing now, lawlessness would increase and the love of many would grow cold (Matthew 24:12).
In his second letter to his spiritual son, Timothy, Paul wrote: "You must understand this: In the last days there will be violent periods of time. People will be selfish and love money. They will brag, be arrogant, and use abusive language. They will curse their parents, show no gratitude, have no respect for what is holy, and lack normal affection for their families. They will refuse to make peace with anyone. They will be slanderous, lack self-control, be brutal, and have no love for what is good. They will be traitors. They will be reckless and conceited. They will love pleasure rather than God" (3:1-4 GW).
Beloved, let’s be honest. What we are talking about is the nature of sin, and what we are seeing in our world today is the result of sinful behavior. But let’s take a step back for a moment and realize that when we talk about sin, we are not pointing fingers at people to shame or to blame them. When we talk about sin, we are talking about a condition, like a cancer, that causes horrible suffering and death. God hates sin because sin hurts people.
Because God loves people, he gave us his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. He sent Jesus into the world, not to condemn the world, but so that the world might be saved through him (John 3:16-17).
But there are many millions of people in the world who do not know this truth about God.
The gospels of Matthew and Luke tell us that the suffering the world is experiencing in these last days are the worst since the days of Noah (Matthew 24; Luke 21). As we witness so much pain, so much violence, so much fear, destruction, cruelty and death, what are we to do?
Beloved, God has given us the power to make a difference. God calls us to be intercessors for those who are unable to, or don’t know how to, or maybe don’t even want to seek his grace for themselves.
However, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves, pray, search for me, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear their prayer from heaven, forgive their sins, and heal their country (2 Chronicles 7:14 GW).
God did not say, “If all people in the world…”. He said, if HIS people, who are called by HIS name, will humble themselves and pray, he will hear from heaven and heal our nations.
Once we have humbled ourselves individually, asked for God’s forgiveness for our sins and received Christ as our Lord and Savior, we can then take up our cross and follow him in our willingness to stand as intercessors in prayer for the sin and suffering of others. We are HIS people, and God is calling us to pray for the nations, and for all people.