Rev Nguyen Gia Hien
We are living in a troubled world. Many have no peace and hope when seeing wars, economic recession, natural disasters, and so on. Do you have true peace and hope in your heart? We thank God that the Lord Jesus Christ is able to give true peace and hope to those who wholeheartedly trust in Him, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27). “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom 5:1).
Tribulation in the World
The Lord Jesus Christ said to His disciples 2000 years ago that they would have “tribulation” in the world. What is “tribulation”? From The Complete Word Study Dictionary, “tribulation” (thlípsis) means: “(1) pressure from evils, afflictions, distress, necessity, poverty, etc. that may affect either body or mind or both; (2) persecutions, opposition, difficulties, and dangers that Christians may encounter in this ungodly world; (3) the seven-year great tribulation that will happen in the end times (Dan. 9:27; Matt. 24:21, 29; Rev 6–19).”
Are we living in the end times? Yes, the Lord Jesus tells us about the signs of the end times in Matthew 24, and they are being fulfilled in our days:
(1) The nation Israel was reestablished in 1948 after 1,878 years of Dispersion since AD 70. This is a very important sign of the end times.
(2) False Christs and false prophets will deceive many, and nowadays we also see false churches, false pastors, false believers, false doctrines, false gospels, and so on.
(3) Wars, famines, pandemics, natural disasters, and so on are happening here and there in the world today.
(4) The Gospel is preached worldwide through Christians, churches, missionaries, Christian organizations, and through the TV, radio, internet, and so on.
(5) The world will be ungodly and wicked like in the days of Noah and of Lot (Sodom was notorious for homosexuality), and this is also being fulfilled in our days.
The holy and righteous God is not happy at all about this ungodly and unrepentant world, which is getting worse and worse morally and spiritually. Thus, we can be sure that more natural disasters, troubles, and tribulations will come according to God’s Word.
Is There Any Hope?
Yes, there is hope in this troubled world if we have the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ is the only true, living and blessed Hope in this troubled world. The “Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope” is “in you, the hope of glory” (1 Tim 1:1; Col 1:27). Those who do not have the Lord in their lives can never have true and lasting peace and hope (Eph 2:12).
Christians are not exempted from tribulations such as difficulties, troubles, persecutions and afflictions in this world (Acts 14:22; 2 Cor 4:17; Rev 1:9). But the Lord promises that He is with them, comforts them, and makes all things work together for their good including their spiritual maturity and even their home-going to be with Him in heaven (2 Cor 1:4; Rom 8:28; Rev 14:13). Moreover, the Lord will come again to receive them in the air (the Rapture) and deliver them from the great tribulation (1 Thess 5:9). You and I must not miss the Rapture!
How to Have Peace and Hope?
Many do not know the Lord and His Word, so they are worried about climate change and global warming and the melting glaciers and icebergs that may flood this earth. However, through God’s Word we know that after God had destroyed this world with a global flood, He promised mankind that He would not destroy this earth with a global flood again (Gen 9:11–15). It is God who changes the climate and uses natural disasters to judge the ungodly so that they may come back to the Lord in repentance (2 Chron 7:13–14).
One day soon, the Lord Jesus will come back to establish His millennial kingdom of peace on this earth, and under His reign, people will live in a very good and peaceful environment; “they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid” (Mic 4:4). There will be a thousand years of peace on earth; people will have peace with God, they will live in peace with one another (no more wars), there will be peace between humans and animals, and peace among animals (Isa 2:4; 11:6). It is amazing! That is the world in the future when the Lord Jesus comes, but the world today is full of troubles.
How then can we have true peace and hope in this troubled world?
Repent of Our Sins
Sin is the cause of all fears, problems, troubles, natural disasters, tribulations, and God’s judgments. You may have temporal peace right now, but if you are not forgiven and saved from your sins, you will be filled with fears and hopelessness when tribulation and natural disasters come. Moreover, you shall have no peace, neither hope when you stand before the holy and righteous God on Judgement Day if you reject His love and salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ. God’s Word says, “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (Rev 21:8).
God loves all human beings and does not want them to be in the lake of fire. He sent His only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to save them from their sins, to die for their sins and to rise again the third day. The Lord Jesus is ever living to save those who repent of their sins and receive Him as their Saviour (Acts 2:38). Will you not ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins and to come into your heart and life as your personal Lord and Saviour? That is the first step to have true peace and hope in your heart and life.
Trust in God
The God of Christianity is not a product of human imagination like many other religions, but is the living and true God, sovereign, almighty, all-knowing, and ever-present everywhere. He knows you, loves you, and wants you to be saved and to have peace and hope in Him no matter what may happen to you. The Bible tells us that God is in control over all things, not only over big events in human history but also over the smallest details in our life, even the falling of a sparrow must be with His permission (Matt 10:29; Rev 6). Before God, there is no such thing as luck. Without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb 11:6). So you and I must wholeheartedly trust in Him, His Word and sovereignty. Moreover, once we are saved to be God’s children, He will make all things work together for our good. All things include good things and bad things even tribulation, but we must do our part, and that is to love Him and obey Him (John 14:23; Rom 8:28).
Be Prepared for Persecution
The Lord Jesus Christ lived a godly and perfect life, taught God’s Word to others, helped and delivered so many people from their afflictions and so on, but He was envied, hated, despised, blasphemed, persecuted and crucified on the cross. The Lord Jesus said to His disciples, “The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also” (John 15:20). That is the narrow way very few want to walk in. However, the Lord Jesus has overcome the world, and He will give us His sufficient grace and strength to walk with Him, and He will see us through the tribulation, even unto death (Rev 2:10).
Many professing or nominal Christians today abuse God’s grace and love and take His holiness and righteousness lightly. As a result, they continue living in sin and do not seriously care about their sins and their sinful nature. They will not see the Lord when He comes, and will miss the Rapture. The Bible says, “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Heb 12:14). Make sure you are a true Christian who is living a Christlike life.
According to the signs of the times, Jesus will come back soon to receive His children and servants who are sanctified, watchful and prayerful. This glorious event is called the Rapture (1 Thess 4:16–17). The Lord Jesus says, “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man” (Luke 21:36).
Serve the Lord
The Lord has given His children and servants different talents to serve Him until He comes (Matt 25:14–30). God has called me to serve Him as a pastor, so I am expected to do my ministries diligently and faithfully according to His will and His Word. The Lord may give you gifts of music, prayer, teaching, administration, organizing, ruling, helps, encouragement, comfort, and so on. All of us are supposed to give an account to the Lord when He comes. Thus, we must use our life, our time, our talents and our resources for the Lord diligently and faithfully until He comes so that He may welcome us as His good and faithful servants, and not reject us as lazy and wicked servants (Matt 25:14–30).
Share the Gospel
Once God has saved you and me by His grace, His love will constrain us to love others and want them to be saved like us. That is why we want to share the Gospel or the good news of God’s love and salvation with others (1 Cor 9:16; 2 Cor 5:14).
We are living in a troubled and ungodly world. More troubles, difficulties, problems, natural disasters, and tribulations will come. Many are living in worry, confusion, fear, depression, and hopelessness. However, we thank God for the true peace and hope in Christ, and in Him alone. May the Lord graciously help you and me to know Him and His Word, to trust in Him, His Word and His sovereignty, and to prepare ourselves for His glorious Coming, even the blessed Rapture. Amen.
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