Current Events: Speculations and Opinions
By Maria Fontaine
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In Matthew 25:13, in referring to His Second Coming, Jesus told His disciples to “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.” Throughout history, Christians have weighed world events to determine if they were signs of the endtime, or the beginning of the Antichrist’s reign or the Great Tribulation. It is not uncommon to encounter different views, speculations, and opinions about current events or trends in the world, as to how they might fit into endtime scenarios and biblical prophecy about Jesus’ Second Coming.
In recent times, questions have been raised as to whether certain technologies, such as the cashless society, the rise of artificial intelligence, the developing nanotechnology in vaccinations, or globalization could be the beginnings of the “mark of the beast” (Revelation 13:16–17). As will always be the case when individuals are looking at what is an important topic for them, there will be many opinions and interpretations.
One day, we’ll understand how all these events played a part in God’s plan. Too often, however, these individual interpretations can become so important in the minds of their developers that they start to conclude that their perspective is absolutely right and others are most likely wrong. That can lead to division if being right about this begins to override what are our highest priorities in this life.
As Christians, our overarching responsibility is the same as it has always been: “By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love one for another” (John 13:35). We don’t have to agree on all the details of the endtime to love one another and to carry out our great commission to share the gospel with everyone we can (Mark 16:15). We are all free to have our opinions about such things, but the moment our interpretations or opinions cause division, then that is no longer manifesting Jesus’ love to others.
I once heard an interesting interview with the son of the late conservative U.S. Supreme Court judge, Justice Scalia. He described the long-term friendship between his father and the strongly liberal and now deceased U.S. Justice Ginsburg. Though they were on opposite ends of the spectrum in many of their political and legal opinions over the years, they were known to be good friends who often enjoyed each other’s company. The key was that they both had chosen to focus on the things that they agreed on rather than on those things that they disagreed on. They held to their own convictions, but each respected the right of the other to have their own opinions.1
As Christians, we are very diverse in backgrounds, languages, cultures, and in many other ways, yet as long as we focus on Jesus, respecting Him in one another, we can turn what might be a potential source of contention and disagreement into an opportunity to learn from one another. That takes humility. That takes having enough love to listen to each other, even when we don’t see eye-to-eye on some issues, and focusing on the important issues that we do agree on.
When will the end come?
When considering the pros and cons of knowing and declaring specific endtime details and interpretations, an important question to ask ourselves is “Why are we so desperate to know the exact details of how the endtime will unfold? Would it somehow make the Tribulation go better if I were to know the date it would begin? If I were to know the trigger that would cause the world economic crash or that would begin the last seven years, would that somehow bring me greater comfort and peace, and enable me to clearly decide what my next actions should be? Would it cause me to do more passionately what I’m supposed to be doing with all my heart anyway?” I don’t think so.
I pondered what information about the endtime would somehow result in me being a better example of God’s love if I were to know that information before others. I couldn’t think of a single thing. In fact, knowing more details than the Lord has chosen to give us would lay a massive responsibility on us. If it weren’t perfectly synced with the training, wisdom, and experience that Jesus needed to prepare us with, the burden of knowing those things would very likely cause incredible stress, panic, and fear. But He promised not to give us burdens greater than we are able to bear. So if He wants to provide advance knowledge about the events leading up to His return, I’m ready to accept it by faith, but if not, I’m content to wait until He knows that it’s the right time.
Sometimes, setting aside our own eagerness and instead getting quiet with Him, ready to accept whatever He knows we need to know, can help us to see the wisdom of His ways and plans. Knowing how future events will unfold without the wisdom that we need to apply it correctly could be more harmful than helpful. Unlike Jesus, we aren’t all-knowing, all-powerful, or all-loving.
I am confident that whether current events appear to be the beginning of the events leading to the last seven years before Jesus’ Second Coming, or at least a precursor to that time, God will show us at the time when we need to know, and He will provide His grace at the time for whatever world events we may face. We just need to remain faithful to Him and obedient to His Word, and stay by His side, our hand firmly in His, trusting Him for the future.
Many current events and world conditions seem dire. Many issues have the potential to ignite and create times of trouble, and we do need to walk circumspectly, trusting God that He will take care of His children whenever the endtime events occur. He has promised to protect and lead His children in ways that will enable Him to shine through us beyond our understanding in this moment.
As Christians, we all love Jesus, and we all want to help others. We all want to follow Jesus the best we can. We all want the truth, and we all want to defeat evil. We all want to learn all we can in the process, in preparation for the times ahead when we will rule and reign with Him in love and truth. We need one another, and God most of all, to learn as much as possible. We need to respect the fact that we each have something to contribute that can enhance our overall understanding. We may not always agree with another’s opinion, but we can always prayerfully look to the Lord to show us what we can agree on and emphasize that.
We need the unity of His Spirit to accomplish the most important tasks that we are here to do. It’s our job to abide in Jesus, to keep our eyes and our hearts fixed on Him, and to follow Him when and wherever He calls us.
Jesus said, “If I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men unto Me” (John 12:32). Others need to see Jesus in our lives, in our words and actions, and in our love for one another. We don’t have to hold the same opinions on how the events of the endtime will unfold, but we need to see our commonality through God’s Spirit that is in each of us.
Originally published October 2020. Adapted and republished November 2023. Read by Carol Andrews.
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