People of every century and every country have longed for heaven on earth. There have always been men and women who assumed that conditions on earth would improve steadily until we achieved utopia. War, poverty, famine, and sickness would slowly fade away as mankind marched toward a glorious future.
The hard reality is the opposite. People are just as violent as ever, and our constantly evolving technology means that individuals and armies can kill more people faster than ever before. One disease may be wiped out, only to be replaced by three others that are even more deadly.
People are also jumpy about the end of the world and its timing. Whether it’s Year 2K or the Mayan calendar stone or mysterious Nostradamus prophecies, people assume that the end must be coming any day now. Jesus offers a word of patience and realism: “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come” (Matthew 24:6).
Such things must happen. A dreadful prediction, but a helpful one. The world we live in will be broken until Jesus returns. He will return exactly when his Father decides. In the meantime, we have work to do. Spread the Word. Love the people.