Letter Number Two: Start Influencing the World. When we elect a president of the United States of America that has said publicly that no one religion has a corner on the truth and has shown this by his inclusion of the teachings from other world religions in his speeches then we have stopped influencing the world. Or when we allow the Dalai Lama to give the opening prayer at the U.S. Senate then we have stopped influencing the world. Or when most churches have now integrated the teachings of psychology into their biblical counseling then we have stopped influencing the world. Or when we have allowed our children to attend public schools that no longer teach creationism, stripped their walls of the Ten Commandments, and has kept our children from praying or sharing Christ publicly then we have stopped influencing the world. Tragically the world is now influencing the church. Jesus Christ summed it up by saying, ‘You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men” (Matthew 5:13) Our influence, our testimony is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men! Why, because we have lost our saltiness.
Throughout every church age since the time of Christ Matthew 24 has been ruthlessly dissected and variously translated in an attempt to make it align with one’s own eschatological viewpoint. Often times the main overarching themes of the sacred text have been completely ignored. Today I would like to walk you through what I see as the most important overarching themes, in essence what the text really teaches to help us stand firm until the end. We are immediately confronted with the many signs that would accompany the last days and should always give the reader pause that he is actually living in the last days. For example, we have always seen wars and rumors of wars since the first century and will continue to do so until the end, which are tracked so meticulously by the evening news (See Matthew 24:6). We have also seen nations and kingdoms rise up against one another in battle; we have also seen famines and earthquakes around the world with an ever increasing severity measured and reported instantly via the internet and Smartphones (See Matthew 24:7). For two thousand years we have seen the saints of God viciously attacked and persecuted to death in every conceivable way (See Matthew 24:9-10). As wickedness and hatred increase marching across the world stage, we have also seen the gospel of Jesus Christ preached in every nation bringing millions into the everlasting Kingdom of God (See Matthew 24:12-14). Through all this the constant refrain is that these will be terrible days full of dread and “distress unequaled from the beginning the world until now – and never be equaled again” (See Matthew 24:15-22). Continue reading Matthew 24