Faith & Values
Tim Johnson: Terrorism around the world and God’s plan
Nov 20, 2015 at 6:00 PM
Two weeks ago I wrote about Christianity being the only way to God. My main point of reference was John 14:6. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” This statement by Jesus is quite a claim; no one can get to God the Father, or have eternal life without Jesus Christ.
The New Testament declares that Jesus is the creator of the universe, “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:3).
Jesus promised to come back after His death, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also,” John 14:3.
The Apostles tell us of angels giving them the same promise of His return. “Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven,” Acts 1:11.
Think of these claims - that Jesus is the only way to God and eternal life, that Jesus Christ was the one that said, “Let there be light!” at the creation, that He would not only rise from the dead but also has ascended into heaven and will come back some day.
What I want people to see with this is that Jesus Christ is either God Almighty or the largest fraud the world has ever known.
If He is God, then every word of the Bible is true. He is the only way to the Father; He did rise from the dead, and He is coming back some day.
Just for the record; I believe He is God. I believe He created the universe. I believe His hands shape the baby in the womb. I believe the blood of Christ that He shed on Calvary is the propitiation for my sin and the sin of the world. I believe He is coming back.
All these things are in the Scripture. If you don’t believe some of these, can you actually believe Christ is God? Remember, God cannot lie (Titus 1:2).
Christ gave indications of the condition of the world shortly before and at the time of His return. What happened in Paris is just one of the signs. I’m not saying the event in Paris is the will of God; God never condones sin. Just as a stock market guru predicts a stock market crash; he does not want to see people lose their life savings, but he sees the market signals and tries to give warning. God knew the mess the world will be in at the time of His return and attempted to warn us by telling us in His Word of the earth’s condition.
What happened in Paris is only the beginning. In giving the indications of His return Christ said, “… and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows,” Mark 13:8.
In Luke 21:25, Jesus, again speaking of His return said, “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring.”
Over the years, it seems like American Christians think the world will just go on as always; with a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage, and Christ would surprise us all, and the trumpet will sound.
Notice the words Jesus uses to describe the world’s condition when the Rapture comes – troubles, sorrows, distress, and perplexity. All this is not the description of a hunky-dory world.
Here in America the media seems to emphasize only the significant terrorist events, however according to Wikipedia in the first 13 days of November there have been 21 terrorist attacks around the world (the events in Paris on the 13th are listed as one event). In 2015 through Nov. 13, there have been 300 terrorist attacks (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_terrorist_incidents,_2015).
Christ did tell us the problems would be global issues. Therefore, we must believe the United States is not exempt.
As Christians, since the words of Christ are true, we must understand the closer we inch to His return, the more we will move into times of troubles, sorrows, distress and perplexity. We must know enough of God’s Word to share it with a world unfamiliar with salvation, prophecy and the return of Christ. If we believe He is coming; we must also believe events like Paris will become commonplace before He returns. These are the things He told us. Do we believe it?
“All these are the beginning of sorrows.” – Jesus Christ (Matthew 24:8).
Preacher Tim Johnson is pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in Parke County, Ind. Email him at [email protected] or visit preacherjohnson.com.