Faith: The end of the world
In Matthew 24, we find the most serious of all warning messages, and it’s a message Jesus gives about the upcoming end of the world
During World War II, the British government received intelligence warning of an impending bombing raid upon the city of Coventry, England.
After much deliberation, they decided not to warn the people of Coventry because they were worried that evacuating the city would tip off the Germans that their code had been broken.
And so, the people of Coventry went on with their lives, without any warning of the impending threat.
However, a local schoolteacher named Bessie Bradnock had heard credible rumors that the Germans were planning to attack their city. She then made it her mission to convince everyone she could to evacuate the city.
She warned, she pleaded, she begged — but in the end, most of the people dismissed her warnings as baseless rumors. In fact, some even accused her of spreading panic.
But on Nov. 14, at 7 p.m., panic did spread as the German Air Force began their bombing raid upon the city, which continued into the early hours of the following morning. When the attack ended, the city was in utter ruin, and over 500 were dead.
And though her house was destroyed, Bessie, her family and those who listened to her warning escaped with their lives.
The story of Coventry is a tragic example of what can happen when we ignore serious warning messages. And yet, so often humans do just that.
Whether it’s warnings of hurricanes, tornadoes or even volcanic eruptions, many people refuse to take these warnings seriously and act to protect themselves.
Why? Because they don’t want to be inconvenienced. They don’t want to believe that the threat is as dangerous as the warning says it is.
After all, who likes the idea of everything you have being destroyed? Not even the most serious of minimalists!
And yet, when it comes to credible warning messages, we must face the reality of the warning no matter how pleasant it may or may not be.
In Matthew 24, we find the most serious of all warning messages, and it’s a message Jesus gives about the upcoming end of the world. And with this warning, we are not just warned about the danger of losing our homes, possessions or even our lives — we are warned of the danger of losing our souls.
However, one of the challenges of Jesus’s message is knowing whether we should take it seriously. After all, we are surrounded by so many people who have predicted the end of the world, and yet here we are.
Whether it was Y2K, the Mayan calendar ending in 2012, or the numerous religious groups who have falsely predicted the world’s end, we can find ourselves with a “boy who cried wolf” mentality.
Nevertheless, I believe we have good reasons to take Jesus’s warning seriously.
At our church, I have been preaching through the book of Matthew these past two years, and though I had already concluded that Jesus is the Son of God, my study of this gospel has only bolstered that belief.
Why? Because this book has Divine fingerprints all over it. There is simply no way this book, let alone the other 65 books of the Bible, which were written over thousands of years by many authors, could be the product of any mere mortal.
The Bible understands the human condition better than we understand it ourselves.
Not only that, but the Bible’s predictions that have already come true are out of this world — literally! Whether it be the prophecies of Daniel chapter 9 that were fulfilled down to the very day, the prophecies of Jesus’s birth, or Jesus’s own prophecies, which includes the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple by Rome in 70 A.D., the undeniable truth is that the Bible is trustworthy.
However, there is one more powerful reason to trust Jesus’s words found in the Bible, and the reason is the empty tomb.
When it comes to the major world religions, their leaders are buried somewhere, and with many, you can even visit their tombs.
But not so with Jesus, for not only did Jesus accurately predict His death, burial and resurrection, but His tomb is empty. And because Jesus’s predictions have proven true in the past, we must take His warnings seriously if we are to avoid the coming catastrophe and be able to enter His earthly kingdom.
How do we do that?
By repenting of our sins and turning and trusting in Him as our Lord and Savior by grace through faith — and when we have, we will be prepared for the end of this world and look forward in hope to Christ’s rule and reign on the Earth!
Come quickly, Lord Jesus!
Zach Broom is pastor of Eagles Nest Church in Breezy Point.