We can be aware without being afraid
By Dr. William Holland
Lately, people have been asking me about the coming eclipse and now the situation with North Korea. It seems whenever strange or crisis events are predicted, people become nervous. Of course, it’s only natural to wonder what is going to happen and I am reminded of the famous Y2K scare that was a huge topic in 1999. We all know this ended up being a false alarm like the boy who cried wolf, but it doesn’t take long for the masses to forget about it and embrace the next doomsday prediction as the hype starts all over again. I’m not trying to downplay the seriousness of these events or be disrespectful toward those who are panicking but rather offering the suggestion to take a few deep breaths and rest in the comforting thought that God is in control. We can find peace in God’s presence no matter what will come as we are reminded that fear is the opposite of faith. Let us remember that fear is seeing God through the eyes of circumstance while faith sees circumstances through the eyes of God.
When it comes to discussions about the end of the world, the religious crowd commonly refers to this as signs of the end times. Christianity believes the Bible is filled with indicators which reveal when certain events will happen. These predictions are called prophecies but unfortunately, many of these guideposts are so shrouded with symbolism they are difficult to interpret. For those of you who are students of eschatology you have no doubt discovered there are countless opinions and disagreements about time-lines and how everything will fit together. Nonetheless, I believe the Bible is true and with serious prayer we can at least have some general clarity about what the future holds. Most importantly we are reminded in II Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
The coming eclipse is interesting to many who follow Bible prophecy because it will cover the entire country. Why is this significant? Without going into a long and drawn out Bible study about the return of Christ, let’s just say that many agree that America has not exactly followed the straight and narrow path of spiritual obedience and is in danger of judgment from the Almighty. This sign is being recognized as a part of the end-time calculation and considered as another warning from heaven. Jesus spoke these words in Luke chapter 21 and verse 25, “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations; with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring.” The chapter goes on to say that even though the masses will be afraid, those who follow God will continue to trust Him like they always have. He uses the fig tree as a simple way of teaching and compares the end of the age with the ripening of the fruit. We can watch and eventually know that as the fruit becomes ripe the harvest is very near. He is saying there is a way to spiritually discern the difference between what is real and what is another opinionated guess.
We realize there have always been earthquakes, eclipses, and wars and many people will be quick to argue that we have heard about Christ returning since we were children. This is true, but allow me to leave us with a closing thought. Our focus is not trying to figure out what day or hour Jesus is coming back because we have been told in Matthew chapter 24 that only our heavenly Father knows when this will happen. This basically means there is an appointed time that He has marked on His calendar and each day that passes is one day closer to this date whenever that may be. The point of becoming more aware of Biblical promises and prophecies is to draw nearer to the Lord and be prepared when Christ appears. When the sea of voices overwhelms our mind with the anxiety of doom and gloom, we can always run into the endless compassion and protection of God’s open arms.
Dr. Holland lives in Central Kentucky where he is a Christian minister and community chaplain. Learn more about his ministry at: billyhollandministries.com