Recently Fox News broke the story concerning the New Black Panthers Party and ran the video revealing what was said by one of their group who had planted himself at a polling place in Philadelphia. I was truly amazed at the words coming from that person’s mouth. He stated blatantly that he “hated white people…all white people” and to the crowd he urged, “if you are going to have freedom, you will have to start killing crackers and kill their babies.” As I listened and looked at this person, surprisingly, I felt a great sense of deep sadness. My soul ached for him. This is what we become when love has abandoned our hearts and souls and all that’s left is a great swirling undertow of hate.
In these last days, we will see, hear and feel this kind of hatred. It will surround us as our world down-spirals into evil and chaos. How do we handle this? We could become so paralyzed by fear of our surroundings that we are unable to speak. We could retaliate in anger motivated by that fear and become caught up in the chaos. However, Jesus teaches of love for others. John admonishes us in 1 John 4:20, “If anyone boasts, “I love God.” And goes right on hating his brother or sister, thinking nothing of it, he is a liar. If he won’t love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can’t see? The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people. You’ve got to love both.”
Jesus describes our day in Matthew, chapter 24, verses 9-12. Even in his days on earth things were beginning to get tough for his followers and he was letting them know. He states, “They are going to throw you to the wolves and kill you, everyone hating you because you carry my name. And then, going from bad to worse, it will be dog-eat-dog, everyone at each other’s throat, everyone hating each other.” In verses 13 and 14, He gives them the solution and encouragement. “Staying with it-that’s what God requires. Stay with it to the end. You won’t be sorry and you’ll be saved. All during this time, the good new-the Message of the kingdom-will be preached all over the world, a witness staked out in every country. And then the end will come.” And then in John 16:33, Jesus reassures us, “I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world” (The Message).
Now, how do we take these teachings of Jesus into our heart and survive in these last days? We trust what he has told us. Jesus never breaks His promises and all He says to us is perfect Truth. He told us in these verses that things would get tough. He told us we will see much hate in these days. We see it happening every day and getting worse as time goes by. But we, as Christ-followers have nothing to fear and everything to look forward to. We must talk to Him every day (every hour/moment) about the things that trouble us and ask for peace in our soul. We do not gaze at those circumstances around us and focus on the trouble we see. We focus on Him and His power to keep us in the palm of His hand. We realize that if trouble comes and batters us, He is there and will stand with us. “Staying with it” means just that…staying-not running, cowering in fear, retaliating in hate, but staying. Proclaiming Christ and His promises and love and strength to the end while loving others and reaching out to them with the gospel (Jesus’ rescue plan)! Can you do it? If you know Him as your Father, you can. If you’ve put yourself in His rescue plan, you can. By this strength of His power in you, you can!