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Luke 17:26 And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: (NKJV)

(First of all let me extend my deepest sympathy and heartfelt sorrow to every family who lost someone at Virginia Tech. I can’t say anything here that will be truly meaningful except to encourage everyone involved to turn to the only true source of comfort – a loving, caring God who waits with open arms.)

The day after the “Virginia Tech massacre” there are many reactions, mostly predictable and many infuriating. There are the typical political and social responses: politicians rushing in for some face time on the camera to show how compassionate they are; victim-mongers flooding in like so many parasites readying themselves for the opportunistic pay-off that always follows a tragedy; blame-casters loudly calling for the resignation of anyone remotely in authority; and of course the media CIRCUS that has become a despicable spectacle of one-upmanship milking the families and the grief for every ounce of TV ratings they can muster.

An hour after the news broke, I listened to a news anchor ask “have you come to grips with this massacre yet? How have you processed this global tragedy?” WHAT????????????????????????? “Oh yes, one hour after thirty plus people were gunned down in cold blood, I’ve already come to grips with it, thanks for asking.”

GLOBAL TRAGEDY? MASSACRE? First of all, it’s not global. That is just pure TV media hysteria and ratings prostitution. Second, a massacre? In hindsight, yes. After the fact, historically, yes. But the media was already calling it MASSACRE within minutes of the first news reports long before the scope of the event was discovered in a predictable race to dramatize it as much as possible. Think of how many families of students at VT were scared spitless at the over-the-top sensationalized “breaking news” headlines of the “Virginia Tech Massacre” just minutes after the first unconfirmed, incomplete and mostly rumored reports?

Just a little side question. Where is the media and their “Global Massacre 24 Hour Round the Clock Non-Stop Milk It Dry” coverage when hundreds of thousands of Iraqi’s were being chemical-bombed (yes, WMD) by Saddam? Where is this coverage when Christians are rounded up DAILY in Islamic, Hindu and Communist countries and murdered, tortured and beaten indiscriminately? Where are the sanctimonious politicians, race lords, victim-mongers and blame casters when the daily anti-american, anti-god, anti-semitic and anti-christian persecution, killing, imprisonment, discrimination and mistreatment occurs? We witness the downfall of Don Imus because of his ignorant, juvenile remarks while the all sorts of other groups are given a pass when they say infinitely worse things about Jews, Christians, mothers and other “unprotected” groups. Where is the outcry from the “usual” outraged media and power grabbers? No where. Why? Because these people aren’t about caring. They are about politics, personal power and opportunistic gain.

Why do I say all that here, in a devotional Bible teaching? Because as Christians we need to understand what is behind all this so we can discern not only why these tragic things happen, but why we get certain responses from certain people after the fact. The world is in a tailspin of evil, violence, hatred, rabid partisanship, civil war. We are truly reaching a worldwide time that is, well, just like the Bible said it would be:

Luke 17:26 And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: (NKJV)

So how was it in those days of Noah? On one hand it was “business as usual” with no thought of God. People just went about their daily lives, planting, building, partying, drinking and having a ball with no thought of God (Luke 17:27-30). They were also at a point where every thought of man was wicked, evil, perverse, selfish and prideful:

Genesis 6:5-7 Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” (NKJV; emphasis mine)

The Lord was SORRY He made man. Yesterday Virginia Tech. The day before that a woman who was raped, tortured, cut, beaten and set on fire (but survived). Every day, all over the world: atrocity, injustice, hatred, killing, abuse and endless acts of wickedness. The presence of genuine Christianity grows ever smaller. The restraining effect on sin via the Holy Spirit indwelling Christians is diminishing in this world. The growth of all things evil and human snowballs at a global rate cultivated and made possible by worldwide communication, media and technology.

As in the days of Noah…. every generation has thought that it was “the end” and that things were “worse than ever”. This speaks to the endless potential for wickedness that exists in humanity. It can hardly be argued though that TODAY we are seeing something truly unparalleled in human history: nuclear weapons cover the globe, the Internet is both a technology marvel and a global cesspool; the intensity of hatred and partisanship is flamed by religions and political systems that rule with fear, brutality and death; materialism is the religion of the west, domination through subjugation the religion of the east.

Ah, but is it my point to bring doom and gloom to your spirit today? Far from it! It is a message of excitement and imminent joy:

Luke 21:25-28 “And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” (NKJV)

Look at the list and see the evidence in our world today. Distress of nations? Can you say “war on terrorism”, “Middle East”, “North Korea”, “African civil wars” just to name a few of dozens of places of unrest and distress?

Hearts failing from fear? Fear is the number one ailment today paralyzing countless lives, cultivated and fertilized by a never ending stream of “scares”: global warming, bird flu, nuclear proliferation, terrorism and an endless list of diseases, syndromes and ailments we learn about from commercials, talk shows, advertisements and special interest groups. You could die from a thousand things tomorrow, most of which you would have never know about except for some government agency, attorney or pharmaceutical company who has program, lawsuit or pill to help you out.

It depends on your eschatological (the study of the “end times”) mindset as to how you interpret these verses in Luke and relate them to specific events and timelines, but disregarding the specific context for now, the overall message is the same for all of us:

As things get worse and worse,
the time for our redemption draws near.

Generally speaking, our “redemption” in the context of these verses and this message, means that we will finally get to be with the Lord forever and sin will be no more. Never mind the details or eschatological doctrinal disagreements right now. The result is the same for all true believers: Jesus is coming to get us, and He will end all this wickedness once and for all in the end. Amen and amen, Lord come quickly!

On the one hand we live in a world that it getting scarier, meaner and deadlier. It is a fearsome time of growing wickedness and extreme intoleration of true Christianity. It’s not fun, but it IS a time of great joy and expectation because each day’s evil headlines, startling tragic events and growing threats all serve to remind every true Christian of one thing:

Our Redemption Draws Nigh!

Lord God, Help us to know and understand that the increasing evil in this world is a sign of Your near return. May we share this news with a lost and dying world.. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Contemplation: Do tragedies like the Virginia Tech mass murders cause your to fear? Does the increasing wickedness of the world remind you that God will not abide sin forever, and that Jesus will return soon? Do you teach your family these things? Do you take time to make sure that the people you have influence over know the comfort found in their “redemption drawing nigh”?

Application: On the one hand we live in a world that it getting scarier, meaner and deadlier. It is a fearsome time of growing wickedness and extreme intoleration of true Christianity. It’s not fun, but it IS a time of great joy and expectation because each day’s evil headlines, startling tragic events and growing threats all serve to remind every true Christian of one thing: our Redemption draws nigh! Jesus is coming to get us, and He will end all this wickedness once and for all in the end. Amen and amen, Lord come quickly!

James 1:22 – But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (NKJV)

  1. What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
  2. What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
  3. What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?



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