This post is my official rebellion against the negativity among Christians around the rise of ISIS. I mourn the losses experienced in Paris last week. I also have strong negative feelings toward the policies implemented before and after the 2nd Iraq War that opened Pandora’s box to the scourge that ISIS has become. But God’s kingdom is still at hand, friends! And it will bless us all to take a step back and see the forest, not the single tree right in front of us, when it comes to God’s advancing kingdom.
Since the year 1900, did you know that global life-expectancy has more than DOUBLED?! For a long time, it only grew in industrialized nations, but now it is growing worldwide and is approaching 70 years. This is a powerful statistic when you consider that the first outcome of the fall of man was the death of our human bodies. God’s common goodness to mankind, often directly through the growth of hospitals that accompany the growth of Christianity in new areas, continues to push the specter of death off and give people more and more chances at life. This is part of God’s kingdom coming.
Not only are humans living longer worldwide, actual faith in Jesus is growing worldwide too. It is growing among Catholics and Pentecostals, but it is also growing among Protestants. The issue for whites of Anglo-Saxon descent is that it is not growing as much around us. It is growing in very large numbers in the global south and east. Look up, white Anglo-Saxon, from the dying blades of grass right in front of you and you’ll see a glorious, healthy prairie. The global Church is growing!
God’s kingdom is coming, and His will is being done. Of course we are not seeing it happen uniformly everywhere. We also are more informed than ever of just exactly what problems are going on where. But even though we daily HEAR through the media of more sin and terror, that does not mean that more sin and terror actually exist.
My encouragement today is to put off the Left Behind view of the last days. Nowhere in Scripture does God indicate that believers will be huddled in a corner, marginalized and irrelevant waiting for Jesus to return. The kingdom of God is unstoppable. Jesus will accomplish exactly what He said He would, and He is doing it even now.
Matthew 13 31 He presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field; 32 and this is smaller than all other seeds, but when it is full grown, it is larger than the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.”
33 He spoke another parable to them, “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three pecks of flour until it was all leavened.”
Do you believe Jesus? Then shake off your negativity and move forward in confidence in Christ. We can offer hope, not resignation, to those hurting through the sin and violence of terrorism.