Rumors of War
By my recollection, the last time I interrupted a Bible study series for the sake of something that was happening in world news was the Sunday following 9-11, 2001.
There are times, however, when matters in the news, require a Christian response and a Biblical perspective.
North Korean state media threatened to launch a “super-mighty pre-emptive strike” that would reduce South Korea and the United states “to ashes.”
Once commentator warned in his review of events that within 5 years North Korea will have the capability to send a nuclear weapon to the city of Seattle.
My purpose this morning is not to create fear. Rather, I intend to give some initial thoughts on what a Christian perspective could be when we see these sorts of issues in our news.
Jesus told us this . . .
Mark 13:7 (Mt 24:6; Luke 21:9)
“When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be frightened;
those things must take place;
but that is not yet the end.
- There will be wars, and, there will be rumors of wars
- Most rumors are just that, rumors.
- But some become a reality
- Do not let this frighten you
- These müst tāke place
- This is not yêt the end
What does Christian readiness look like?
1 Corinthians 13:13
But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.
1 Peter 1:3–5
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,
who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
The hope that keeps our hearts strong and joyful
- Is a ‘living hope’
- Is ‘imperishable’
- Is ‘undefiled’
- Will ‘not fade away’
- Reserved in heaven for you
The wise Christian will learn all that he can about eternity, as well as the new heaven and earth that will replace the current one
Developing a clear, grounded understanding of eternal things in the midst of a cultural addiction to materialism and the ‘here and now’ develops peace, courage, faith and endurance.
Peter emphasized hope again and again in his letter to beleaguered believers.
1 Peter 1:13
Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 1:21
who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
1 Peter 3:15
but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;
- Our faith IS NOT in US military might
- Our faith IS IN God who is our shield
16) No king is saved by the great size and power of his army;
a mighty man is not delivered by [his] much strength.
17) A horse is devoid of value for victory;
neither does he deliver any by his great power.
18) Behold, the Lord’s eye is upon those who fear Him [who revere and worship Him with awe],
who wait for Him and hope in His mercy and loving-kindness,
19) To deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine.
20) Our inner selves wait [earnestly] for the Lord; He is our Help and our Shield.
21) For in Him does our heart rejoice, because we have trusted (relied on and been confident) in His holy name.
22) Let Your mercy and loving-kindness, O Lord, be upon us, in proportion to our waiting and hoping for You.
Your faith serves as a conduit through which the power of God works to protect you and preserve you for His ultimate salvation
1 Peter 1:5
. . . who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
Use the uncertainty of times like this to drive you to your Bible.
- Look for principles, promises and the character of God
- Principles are those ways that God consistently works in our circumstances
- Promises are just that, promises as to what we can expect God to do.
- The character of God or the attributes of God
- here, we meditate on and pray according to the heart of God as He has revealed it in His word
- Turn those principles and promises and character descriptions of God into prayers
- For your family and yourself
- For your church
- For those you are sharing Christ with
- For government leaders
Faith in the sovereignty of God
- One very practical way faith expresses itself is in your submission to the government-(so long as the government is not requiring you to commit sin.)
1 Peter 2:13–17
13) Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority,
14) or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right.
15) For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men.
16) Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God.
17) Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.
- Notice that in this teaching on honoring the king he includes love for the brotherhood.
1 Peter 1:22
Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart,
- In difficult, unstable times make sure you love your brothers and sisters in Christ
- “one another” describes a reciprocal love where you love them, and you are in a relationship where they are loving you as well
1 Peter 2:11–12
11) Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul.
12) Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.
- Love those who do not know Christ and who are skeptical of your faith.