What's the Point - Part 5
All That Hinders Love
In the coming days, months and years, as troubles come to various parts of the earth, people will ask over and over again: “How could a God of love let these terrible things happen?” Those who know the Scriptures will be able to respond to these kinds of questions, speaking words of wisdom and truth, bringing hope and help to many fearful hearts.
People may be upset when they hear that a God of love could be the One who is allowing, even sometimes the cause of great trouble. The followers of Jesus who have prepared by engaging with His heart will be able to explain why a God of love brings judgment. They will be able to explain that God’s judgment is in complete harmony with His matchless love. That God’s plan is to remove all that gets in the way of His love for people and their love back to Him. This understanding will cause millions more people to come to Him, learn to know Him and be saved.
In His wisdom and perfect leadership, the Lord allows and at times even releases trouble to get rid of the things people hope and trust in which stop them loving Him with all their hearts. We love to trust in things instead of or more than trusting in God. This is not what we were created for; it is like having an idol.
We love our hobbies, entertainments and possessions. We spend lots and lots of time on the things we love. These things are not wrong in themselves but when we depend upon them to feel secure or when we love them too much and they get in the way of us loving Jesus – then its not okay.
The Bible says that our God is a Jealous God and He will not have His people halfheartedly saying they love Him while they are really loving other things more. So God acts to remove or take away anything that is a false comfort or a false safety. He acts to remove everything that we look to which makes us feel better, instead of looking to Him. Though we may pretend that we love God when we love other things more, He knows our hearts and we cannot hide anything from Him.
God knows even if we don’t know, that He is our heart’s desire (Hag 2:7) and that only He can satisfy us (Psa 27:4). God knows that He is our greatest love (Psa 63:1, Psa 42:1). He knows that everything we hang onto other than Himself, will fade away. Nothing will last, nothing will satisfy us, but Jesus Himself (1Cor 13:13 NIV, 1Jn 4:8b). So in His love and compassion for us, it is His kindness to take the false comforts away. Why? So that nothing will get in the way or stop us from growing in mature, fully developed love for Him.
Pockets of Mercy
Another amazing answer to the question ‘Why study and learn all the Scripture has to say about the end times’ is that we can learn how to avoid or lessen the troubles. The Bible tells us how to do this. How kind, good and full of mercy is our Beautiful God to make a way for people to partly or almost completely escape some of the storms of current trouble and impending judgment that are coming upon the earth!
Preparing the Church & Partnership
The apostle Paul, inspired by God the Holy Spirit said that Jesus would cleanse and purify His bride with the washing of water by His word, so that He could present her to Himself as clean and spotless. One day the church will be spotless; fully in love with Jesus and each other. The Bible teachings about the end of the age, because they are a significant part of God's word, are an important part of that washing and purifying..
It is important to study the end times so that in the many years leading up to and during that time, we are ready and able to partner with God. The Bible says:
- We are created to do good works, which God prepared for us beforehand (Eph 2:10)
- We are God's fellow workers (1Cor 3:9)
- We are workers together with Him (2Cor 6:1)
- When we abide in Jesus, we bear much fruit (John 15:4-5)
- We can agree with God in prayer (Matt 18:18-20)
- We can do all things through Christ who gives us strength (Phil 4:13)
- God works in us to choose and to work for His good pleasure (Phil 2:13)
We are co-workers with God by teaching and sharing, helping others, prayer and worship, giving and more. All we do in partnership with Jesus releases His glory on the earth. As we study His word and receive revelation from Him before and during the end times, we will be able to better understand what is happening and bring comfort and a clear picture to others around us. The Bible tells us that in the end times, many people will be confused, afraid and even angry. Many will even lose their love for friends and family, however the ones who understand both the times we are living in and the heart of God will receive grace and wisdom from Him to bring comfort and clarity (Ezek 14:22-23) to others.
It says in the book of Joel,
So rend your heart, and not your garments; Return to the Lord your God, For He is gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, and of great kindness; And He relents from doing harm.14 Who knows if He will turn and relent, And leave a blessing behind Him—A grain offering and a drink offering For the Lord your God? Joel 2:13-14
As we pray turning out hearts to our merciful God, we find that part of His nature is to relent from doing harm. We can practice for the end times in our own time by turning to the Lord in the midst of any natural disasters, wars, famines, sicknesses and political upheavals we may face. Our gracious and merciful God might just relent, lessening the trouble and protecting a greater number of human beings as we pray for mercy. Our part is always to draw near to the Lord with repentant hearts; His part is to give greater mercy. We may never know until we see the Lord just how much judgment was averted in any situation, or how many people were saved because of our prayers. As with all things in the Christian life, we walk by faith, trusting that our prayers do make a difference.
The Scriptures tell us that Moses and Abraham, through prayer, caused a change in the heart of our God, who is the same yesterday, today and forever. Let us have confidence to pray for help for humanity, trusting in the same merciful God in the midst of whatever trials and troubles we face in our generation.