“Thy kingdom come, our King….”
Reacting to recent horrible news
Five officers were shot dead in Dallas recently. There were more wounded, at least one critically. It’s getting to be a real mess out there, isn’t it? We can have several reactions to what we see going on. But before I get into that, I pray and hope you will take time to compassionately remember the wives of these brave men who were senselessly gunned down because someone claimed cops were out there trying to kill people of color. Also remember the moms, children and grandchildren of these brave men. These police had nothing to do with the admittedly horrifying killings of recent days. In fact they were out there protecting the very people who were protesting against them.
We are indeed in the beginning of the “perilous times” of “the last days” (1 Timothy 3:1-3).
It is going to get much worse, until it can be said that there have never been worse times than what we will be experiencing at the very end of the end times.
Now to reactions I’ve heard and felt from a few others:
**”I have no reaction. No feeling. You’re not the least bit upset. All this is what’s supposed to happen, you think.”
This would be a very disappointing response. We should be people filled with the compassion of Christ and we should always have some feeling for things – especially when innocent people are gunned down. But there will be some who will attend church who think nothing of all these recent events and aren’t the least bit interested or concerned.
I believe that is a pathetic response. Is that the way Yeshua would respond or want us to respond? I assure you – no. In fact the prophet Ezekiel tells us in Ezekiel 9 that Yah commands his angels or servants to put a special marking on those “who sigh and cry” for the abominations they see happening in the land. You want to be among those who sigh and cry.
** I’m depressed. Things are getting really bad and I can’t take it anymore.”
This is more understandable, but this fear can also be taken to God and ask Him for the strength and peace to get through the coming years before Yeshua returns as our King of kings. It’s going to get a lot, lot worse than this. But in Christ, we can face and do all things even as we present Him with our concerns (Philippians 4:6-7, 13). We learn to cast all our cares upon Him. He can carry our burdens and give us peace.
** Thrilled. “I can’t wait for more of this to happen, because then we know we’re right there, real close to Christ’s return. Bring it on!”
I actually find this reaction alarming. Very alarming. And yet it’s not all that uncommon. I find some people seem to find excitement and joy in seeing all the woes being sent upon the earth – and they justify their excitement by saying it’s based on feeling this shows we’re getting really close to Christ return.
Fair enough perhaps, but be careful with this reaction.
“Woe to those who desire the Day of the Lord…” – Amos 5:18. In context it does give that warning to those who are not seeking God, to be fair, but still, I don’t see that Yah wants us to be excited to see people suffer or die, as billions will, leading up to the return of Christ. We want Him to come but are not at all happy about the suffering that will occur first. I know that’s obvious to most of you.
I also take you back once more to Ezekiel 9:3-7 and marking those who “sigh and cry” for the abominations going on in the land. I realize in context it’s specifically for those in Jerusalem, but the concept surely applies beyond that.
Click on “Continue reading” to see the response we are supposed to have, according to Scripture, as we see events speeding up to the climax of the return of Christ – whether in 3-5 years or 15-20 years more, we know we are getting awfully close.
I believe this next reaction is the one God wants.
**Sober minded view that all this is so sad, but all these troubles will come to pass… AND THEN our Messiah will come. We LOOK UP, for our Redemption is near. We’re thrilled to know Messiah’s return is closer – but also sobered by what has to happen first.
We are deeply saddened by recent events. Remember Christ’s reaction to seeing Jerusalem and knowing they were going to go thru a lot of horrible times ahead? He wept. He wished he could stop it from happening. “How often I would have protected you under my wings, but you would not- - you were not willing.” (Luke 13:34-36)
Wow, he’s saying HIS will was to guard them. But we are free moral agents and God lets us sometimes have our will – because of free choice. So though Yeshua’s will was to protect them, he knew he had to let them experience their own will. (You might find my blog “Is God’s will always done?” to be interesting.) So even as we pray for the innocents’ families who are going through a horrible time right now, we look up in hope.
Scripture tells us to have a sobriety, a soberness in the way we are viewing life now. Far too many believers are spending so much time with Satan’s Weapons of Mass Distraction – including the various media that can have some good, but can also distract you by taking you away from prayer and study and doing good. Instead we are finding ourselves spending hours each week on Facebook, Twitter, video and games, TV – and other distractions from our main goal. We have to keep the main thing, the main thing.
1 Thessalonians 5:1-10
“But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. 2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. 3 For when they say, "Peace and safety!" then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. 5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. 8 But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. 9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.”
So the solution to all the woes we see is to fervently pray “Thy kingdom come”. When was the last time you prayed that?
Pray for the Kingdom of God and pray for the new leadership from above and everything HE will bring to the table. Thy kingdom come… We pray our Father sends His son to rule the earth soon. That’s the only real solution ultimately. There needs to be a genuine change of heart – in all of us. But we can’t change our own nature or heart. Only God can, by giving us HIS nature, HIS spirit. We can’t create our own new heart. HE alone is the Creator of all things, especially our new heart (Psalm 51:10). That’s why David asked GOD to “Create in me a clean heart, O God…” He recognized GOD is the creator of our new heart. Too many of us are stuck in DIY (Do it Yourself) salvation.
So God has to change mankind’s nature – which the Son will do over time with the Kingdom He brings, as people receive His Nature, His Holy Spirit. They will all know Yehovah, their God. God’s laws will be written on their hearts and they will want to do good, want to obey, want to love God and want to love each other. But only the Holy Spirit being poured out to all humanity can accomplish this (Jeremiah 31:31-34). God also opens everyone to His new covenant – NOT like the covenant he gave at Mt. Sinai (Jeremiah 31:31-32).
NOTHING mankind tries to do without God’s nature, without the new heart, without the Holy Spirit, will ultimately succeed. We need the Christ to bring the new kingdom from above and to begin restoring everything that was in place before Adam sinned (Acts 3:21). There must be a Restoration of all things. I will have to give a full sermon on that concept soon because it’s so rich in meaning and is so encouraging.
So this is why we have to pray vigorously “Thy kingdom come”. There will be no real peace, no real answers – until God’s kingdom finally comes. We should be filled with the desire for His coming kingdom!
And you could very well have a role in rolling out this kingdom. You could be a leader and king as well. You and I are being called “a royal priesthood” (1 Peter 2:9). We will have the role of priests and kings. Priests were the teachers of God’s way and helped bring people back to God. Kings were the rulers, hopefully ruling in righteousness and merciful justice and setting the example.
BOTH roles – priests and kings—were done by people anointed with oil, picturing the anointing of the Holy Spirit. They were “the LORD’s anointed” in a way; they were minor Messiahs since “Messiah” means “anointed”. It’s the same word as “Christ” from the Greek word Christos –also meaning “anointed”. David even used the term “anointed” – or masiyah or Moshiach or our English word messiah from the Hebrew -- to refer to King Saul when David said he could not strike “the LORD’s anointed” (1 Samuel 25:1-7, especially verse 6). Why? Because Saul had been anointed king by God’s servant Samuel.
The one who is “THE Messiah” is the Son of God. He is THE Messiah, the Christ, THE anointed One. But you are being called to also receive the anointing of the Holy Spirit, or the baptism of the Holy Spirit, so you can be a royal priesthood with Christ. Everyone other than Yeshua (Jesus) who have the anointing of the Holy Spirit are lesser messiahs too – as was Saul! But NONE of them is “THE Messiah” and none of them could pay for our sins. Only Christ, THE Messiah could be or do that.
So those who will be leading in the coming kingdom will be powerful spirit beings full of God’s spirit, full of His love, full of his justice and righteousness, full of His mercy and kindness.
Even if you’ve had a rotten sinful past – if you repent, respond to the high calling you have and seek your Saviour, you can be among the rulers and priests in the coming kingdom. And hey – if you don’t realize it – we’ve all had a rotten sinful PAST. But going forward, we are letting God change us, give us a new heart, change our nature, and we’re becoming renewed and brand new in Christ. But we DO have to respond! We have to be open to His working in us and changing us (Philippians 2:12-13).
When I look at the 2 candidates for the American presidency, I shake my head in disbelief. And yet why should I? But still, it’s shocking that these are the two from whom voters get to choose. Just amazing, just amazing.
So you could be a leader in the coming kingdom if you are there when Christ returns as one of His people, or part of His “body”. You’ll either be resurrected or changed to a spirit being at His return (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 and most of 1 Corinthians 15).
And so take heart. Look up, and praise God, for brighter days are coming. Sure, it will get darker, much darker, before the dawn of the new Day of God’s kingdom on earth when Christ is revealed.
In that, we can take heart – no matter how bad the daily news gets.