As 2020 is coming to a close and we think about all that has happened, I believe many would agree that this year has been one of the most difficult times in recent history. In many ways it seems to fit the description found in Matthew 24:7—“nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes.” And the list could go on. So many difficult and discouraging things have happened this year that if we dwelt very long upon them, we could end up very disheartened and discouraged.
But, praise God, we have a wonderful hope that lifts us up and encourages us to move forward!
Continuing on in Matthew 24, verses 12, 13, and 14, we read: “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”
Did you catch that? This passage is telling us that, in spite of everything that is going on around us, nothing can stop the gospel from being preached to all the world as a witness to all nations!
Let me repeat another way! Absolutely nothing is going to stop the proclamation of the Three Angels Messages of Revelation 14 and the 4th Angel of Revelation 18, calling people out of confusion, calling people to the true worship of God as the Creator and telling them to stay away from the Mark of the Beast and anything that is going to control them. Other than the power of God nothing is going to stop that proclamation.
What a wonderful promise this is, in Matthew 24 and what an incredible message we have to share as a witness to the world—that in spite of everything happening around us, although the world seems to be spinning out of control—there is a God in heaven who loves us, who died for us, who redeemed us, who has a plan for us, who is interceding for us in the heavenly sanctuary, and who will soon come to take us home to live with Him forever! What a wonderful, incredible message we have to share with the world right now as so many people are searching for hope for today and assurance for tomorrow. We have the privilege of being anchors of stability and pillars of hope through these storms!
Let me share with you this wonderful thought found in the book Gospel Workers: “Some look always at the objectionable and discouraging features, and therefore discouragement overtakes them. They forget that the heavenly universe is waiting to make them agencies of blessing to the world; and that the Lord Jesus is a never failing storehouse from which human beings may draw strength and courage. There is no need for despondency and apprehension. The time will never come when the shadow of Satan will not be cast athwart our pathway . . . But our faith should pierce this shadow. God calls for cheerful co-workers, who refuse to become discouraged and disheartened by opposing agencies. The Lord is leading us, and we may go forward courageously, assured that He will be with us, as He was in past years” (pp. 265, 266).
What an incredible, beautiful, hope-filled promise! And in closing, I would just like to thank you for all that you have done this year for the Lord. In spite of everything that has happened this year, you have continued on, finding a way forward in spite of the pandemic, natural disasters, social unrest, economic crises and more—God’s people around the world have used creativity and fortitude to press on, helping people in need, spreading hope and encouragement through the internet and more, using every means possible to proclaim the Gospel message and the truth that Jesus is coming soon! Thank you for all that you have done and are doing through God’s power. May He continue blessing you as you move forward in His strength during these incredible times in which we live. Maranatha! Jesus is coming soon!
Let’s pray. Father in Heaven, we pause for a moment, asking that you will give added encouragement and blessing to all our church members around the world. To families, to women, to men, to young people, to children, all those who are willing to submit their lives to you. Give them encouragement right now and help them to press forward into the new year 2021, realizing we are coming closer to Jesus’ soon return and that the Holy Spirit will use us in a powerful way as we rest in the arms of Jesus. Lord, we earnestly pray for the latter rain of the Holy Spirit. We pray for power to proclaim the Three Angels Messages. We pray for power to uplift Jesus in all of His beauty and the magnificent redemption and opportunity of salvation that we have because of the life, the death, the resurrection and the continuing ministry in the most Holy Place of the Heavenly Sanctuary of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and whose name we ask all of this. Amen.