From the Paris bombings, to the Mali hostages, to the Brussels terrorism high alert, it seems that every news website and TV news program brings a stark reminder of God’s assessment of humanity from thousands of years ago:
God saw that human evil was out of control. People thought evil, imagined evil—evil, evil, evil from morning to night. God was sorry that he had made the human race in the first place; it broke his heart…
…As far as God was concerned, the Earth had become a sewer; there was violence everywhere. God took one look and saw how bad it was, everyone corrupt and corrupting—life itself corrupt to the core (Genesis 6:5-6; 11-12, The Message).
These observations from the mind of God came from what He witnessed on earth just before the flood. As you probably know, the corruption of humanity had spun itself so recklessly out of control that the Creator had to re-create His creation! So Noah and his family were chosen to preserve mankind.
And as you also probably know, God promised not to destroy the earth again by flood, but He did promise that He was coming back! That’s why Jesus gave this warning:
Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all (Luke 17:26-27, NIV).
The context of these verses is Jesus detailing the conditions that will be prevalent on earth just prior to His return. It’s fascinating to me that He makes a comparison between that time and “the days of Noah” when evil was rampant and truth was rejected.
Of course Jesus could return at any time, but it seems quite possible that His coming might be closer than we sometimes expect!
So how should the Christ followers behave? Well, we should be obedient to what God’s Word tells us:
Since everything here today might well be gone tomorrow, do you see how essential it is to live a holy life? Daily expect the Day of God, eager for its arrival. The galaxies will burn up and the elements melt down that day—but we’ll hardly notice. We’ll be looking the other way, ready for the promised new heavens and the promised new earth, all landscaped with righteousness.
So, my dear friends, since this is what you have to look forward to, do your very best to be found living at your best, in purity and peace. Interpret our Master’s patient restraint for what it is: salvation (2 Peter 3:11-16, The Message).
What it all comes down to is perspective. Our focus needs to be centered on the amazing vision of the new heavens and the new earth. Then our own world will not be overrun with fear of terrorist violence and life’s multitude of other uncertainties, rather it will be filled with the peace and presence of God and the unconditional love with which He extends an invitation to trust in His Son Jesus. When we focus on Christ instead of carnage, we find ourselves at rest and excited about Jesus’ return.
So come step away from fear and inner turmoil, and enter into a world of “living at your best, in purity and in peace”!
Flashpoint: Ignite Into Action
The world may sometimes seem chaotic and filled with terror or threats of terror, but we can experience the peace of Christ that passes understanding and share the hope we carry in our hearts with everyone around us.
Accelerant: Fuel for THE Cause
Pray: Jesus, thank You that one day You are returning to set things right. Help us set our eyes on the new heavens and new earth, and help us to live lives of peace and share Your message with others while we wait for You to come back.
Read: Matthew 24:30-31. And then at last, the sign that the Son of Man is coming will appear in the heavens, and there will be deep mourning among all the peoples of the earth. And they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with the mighty blast of a trumpet, and they will gather his chosen ones from all over the world—from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven.
Get: Youth Group 2 Go. Youth Leaders! For quick and easy, biblical discussion about how we should live in the light of Christ’s return, check out the downloadable Youth Group 2 Go lesson “Christ’s Return: Look Who’s Coming Back!” Only $4.99! Every Youth Group 2 Go fully-built out lesson includes an evangelism tie-in to help you keep a Gospel Advancing focus in your ministry. Each lesson’s practical application will help your students be doers of the Word and not hearers only!
Discussion Guide for Leaders
Want to use this Soul Fuel as a bible study with your students this week? Copy and text them the following: “Is it possible to have peace in the middle of absolute chaos? Check it out in this week’s devo to find out: http://hubs.ly/H01s7ZQ0”
Big Idea: The violence of our world today reminds us that Jesus’ return may be soon!
Key Scripture: 2 Peter 3:11-16
- Why are we so drawn to violent news stories and violence in our entertainment choices?
- What excites you most about Jesus’ return?
- How can you be more of a person of peace?
- What other ways could you apply this Soul Fuel to the THE Cause?