The End is Near
by Daniel Bramlett
Pastor First Baptist Church of Hope
When Jesus said “In this world you will have trouble …” I wonder if He knew the trouble we would face in
2023? From shootings to crazy natural disasters, to people trying to rekindle battles we fought and won
long ago … we seem to be falling apart. And that’s just the United States. That doesn’t even factor in the
troubles of the rest of the world.
Some say “It’s just the end of the world. That’s just the way things are going to be.” And they resign
themselves to complete inactivity and involvement in the world. Sticking your head in the sand cannot
be the best answer, can it? Others will become so caught up in the hype that it becomes their lives.
Burying your life in Washington or its derivatives cannot be the answer either.
Everyone wants to blame someone or something else. It’s Biden’s fault. It’s Black Lives Matter’s fault.
It’s the NRA’s fault. It’s global warming. It’s the schools, the liberals, the conservatives, the lawyers,
greedy businesses, or dirty politicians. There must be a better solution than just pointing fingers. I don’t
hear anyone saying our greatest problem is US, me and you. No, we are ok. We must be. We’ve been ok
all these years. But that’s just it. We aren’t and we never have been. Alive and breathing isn’t ok. On our
own, left up to our own devices, we can be a pretty disastrous bunch.
Part of the reason our world is falling apart is because it is filled with people that are naturally and
spiritually falling apart. Jesus keeps speaking when He tells us our world will be full of trouble. He says
“… but I have overcome the world.” In other words, He knew our world was going to pieces. The world
was going to pieces 2,000 years ago! All we are experiencing today are new methods of failure. Club
shootings are new, but shootings are not. Giant tornados in Little Rock are rare, but natural disasters are
not. We are hesitant to say our world is spinning out of control, but it is and Jesus told us it would. His is
the only hand that can stop it.
Are you feeling overwhelmed with our messed up world? The Peace Corps does not have the answer. Neither
do climate change scientists or gun control advocates. Laws will not regulate our fallen state. Fix one
problem and ten more will pop up in its place. We are a people overwhelmed by our sin. Our only
answer is a Savior.
Jesus also said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find
rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
You may think my thoughts are outdated. Like, “This is kids’ stuff. God is real, but certainly He expects us
to work out our own problems.” Actually, that is the crux of the Gospel. If we could work out our
problems on our own we wouldn’t need Jesus. He offered Himself as a sacrifice for our own inability to
survive. Apart from Jesus, we are walking a path of destruction that leads straight to death. Down this
path we find mass shooters, disasters unspeakable, and very un-civil wars. Square zero is not a place we
want to be, but it is exactly where we find ourselves every time we steer the ship. We need a new
captain; a new Rescuer. Enter Jesus.
Psalm Nine reminds us of our plight. David writes in verse 15, “The nations have sunk in the pit that they
made; in the net that they hid, their own foot has been caught.” Is this not where we are finding ourselves again and again? Are we not caught? David offers the answer in the same Psalm in verse 9: “The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.”
The only answer to our cultural quicksand is a Rock named Jesus. Do you trust Him? I don’t mean “Do
you believe He is God or did you join a Church when you were a kid.” I mean “Is He in charge of your
life? Do you belong to Him? Do you take His boundaries as your own and His people as your family?” If
not, you are destined to fight the quicksand … and it is overwhelming. Instead of spending your days
wrestling with the culture and all of its nastiness, try something new: submit yourself, your fears,
doubts, grief and pain to the only Rock around. He is able to rescue and keep you. You don’t have to stay
in the whirlpool any longer.