Being Followers of Jesus in a World Full of Turmoil
There is a lot of uncertainty and misinformation in our world. Jesus shows us how to interpret current events from his perspective to help us keep calm and endure.
In Matthew 24, Jesus warned his followers about the future of an uncertain world, saying, “Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved” (Matthew 24:12-13).
He gave his followers clear signs and instructions for how to interpret. I encourage you to read all of Matthew 24 sometime this week, but here is a summary to use as a guide.
Five signs and instructions for how to respond as followers of Jesus in a world of turmoil:
Sign #1 – Many people will be deceived (Matthew 24:5).
1. Be discerning.
Jesus warned that people would misrepresent him to deceive many for personal gain. Discernment is being able to distinguish the difference between two opposing ideas. Jesus is the light of the world. Following him and holding firmly to his words leads to spiritual insight to identify distorted truth.
Sign #2 – Many followers of Jesus will face persecution (Matthew 24:10).
2. Be enduring.
Jesus warned that many of his followers “will turn away from me and betray and hate each other” (Matthew 24:10). The one who endures to the end will be saved. The testing of our faith produces endurance and develops our faith to be strong (click here for more about this).
Sign #3 – Many will be distracted to be indifferent to Jesus (Matthew 24:11).
3. Be faithful.
One of the tactics of the devil, our adversary, is to use deception to persuade people to ignore Jesus. Peter, the disciple of Jesus, shows us how to guard ourselves. He writes, “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8-9). How do you resist the devil’s deception? Stand firm by being strong in your faith.
Sign #4 – Many people will give up because of hopelessness (Matthew 24:12).
4. Be messengers of good news.
Jesus said, “The Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world” (Matthew 24:14). How will people hear unless someone is a messenger? May we all commit to being messengers of the good news of Jesus. The hope of Jesus combats hopelessness and disappointment.
Sign #5 – Many people will ignore the warnings Jesus gave (Matthew 24:42).
5. Be sensible servants.
Sensible by definition means making decisions based on reasons instead of emotions. As we face uncertainty in our world, Jesus is encouraging us to be faithful, sensible servants who manage our God-given responsibilities with a clear mind and pure heart.
Deception thrives in darkness. Jesus is the light of the world.
His words will expose the deception and be a light to our path when we follow him.