It’s midnight. The red preacher-phone rings.

Pastor Al, the late-night parson, answers again...

"Wars and Rumors of Wars"
Posted: April 20, 2007

     Wars and rumors of wars. You cannot turn on the radio, watch the television, or pick up a paper without hearing about wars and rumors of wars. Matthew could have been writing about our day when he wrote in Matthew 24:6, "And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars..."

     Each day tension in the world ratchets up another notch. North Korea threatens to turn America into "a sea of fire." War in Iraq seems endless. Iran publicly warns that, sandwiched between Iraq and Afganistan, it might be next on America's hit parade. The possibility of a nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan has not completely disappeared. Islamic terrorists still threaten "spectacular attacks" in America and Europe. Communist China rattles its swords and threatens to invade and forcibly reincorporate Taiwan. Civil wars, unrest, and insurrections sweep across parts of Asia, Africa, Central and South America.

     "Wars and rumors of wars."

     We are like the Israelites in Deuteronomy 28:65-67 "...but the LORD shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind: And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life: In the morning thou shalt say, Would God it were even! and at even thou shalt say, Would God it were morning! for the fear of thine heart wherewith thou shalt fear, and for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see."

     Fortunately, the end of Matthew 24:6 says, "...see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet." In other words, God is telling us that no matter how bad things seem to be in the world we need not worry. God is in control. He watches over us and has "...not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, (1 Thessalonians 5:9)".

     Like the Israelites of old, we should, "Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. (Deuteronomy 3:16)"

     We should remember that "...God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)" The spirit of fear comes not from God but from the devil. It weakens the will, enfeebles the mind, and saps the strength of those afflicted by it rather than empowering us body, soul, and spirit. The spirit of fear causes selfishness, envy, mistrust, bitterness, and hate instead of love and compassion. It confuses and muddles our thinking, leading to anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol abuse, and mental illness rather than the clear, sober-minded mindset of a mature child of God led by the Holy Spirit of God.

     If fact, the Apostle John tells us in 1 John 4:18, "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love."

     Unfortunately, most people's eyes are clouded, if not blinded, by a spirit of fear. Satan, "...the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (2 Corinthians 4:4)" They have not "the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16)" because they have not "the Spirit of Christ (Romans 8:9)."

     They watch the news on the television, listen to it on the radio, and pick up the newspaper. They see, hear, and read of wars and rumors of wars, not too mention the myriad other tragedies, disasters, and stories of man's inhumanity to man. A spirit of fear grips both heart and soul of believer and unbeliever alike. And, when God wants to bring peace and assurance, the devil brings unrest and turmoil, worry and fear.

     What is the secret to peace in the midst of the storm? Is there a better way to deal with the fears and pressures of the world around us than constantly anesthetizing and numbing ourselves with drugs and alcohol? Is there an alternative to retreating and isolating ourselves mentally and socially from the outside world?

     Well, the secret is found in the following Scriptures:

"In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me. (Psalms 56:11)"

"The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me? (Psalms 118:6 )"

"What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)"

     Without God in our life, without putting our faith and trust as Jesus Christ as our Saviour, we have no foundation upon which to stand and build our lives (1 Corinthians 3:10-11). "When," as the song says, "the storms of doubt and fear assail," peace and security are swept away in a maelstrom of wars and rumors of wars.

     With God in our life, by putting our faith and trust in Jesus Christ as our Saviour we have a sure foundation upon which to stand and build our lives. When the storms of doubt and fear assail remember God's promise in Isaiah 43:2, "When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee."

     When we hear of wars and rumors of wars we are not troubled, knowing that "...all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet." Our confidence is not in our self but rather in the God of our salvation. We rest assured, confident, knowing that the Bible says, "Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. (Deuteronomy 31:6)"

     We know that there will be wars and rumors of wars until Jesus Christ returns to this planet. We know that things will only get worse before they get better. We know that following the rapture, when Jesus removes the believers from this present age of grace out of the world that things will rapidly become far worse. In fact, the Bible says that during the tribulation, the seven year period of judgment which follows the rapture, that "...there shall be signs in sun, and moon, and stars, and on the land is distress of nations with perplexity, sea and billow roaring; men fainting at heart from fear, and expectation of the things coming on the world, for the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. (Luke 21:25-26)"

     But we also know that there is coming a day, following the tribulation when the devil is chained in the bottomless pit (Revelation 20:2-3) and Jesus Christ rules and reigns on earth for a thousand years. During which time "He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire. (Psalms 46:9)" And that, "...he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. (Isaiah 2:4)"

     Following the thousand-year reign of Christ the devil will be allowed to stir up one final, fruitless rebellion against God and His people before being cast into the lake of fire for all eternity (Revelation 20:10); one last pathetic period of wars and rumors of wars before an eternity free from sin and its awful effects.

     Yes, there is a better day coming! Wars and rumors of wars will come to an end! Peace and harmony shall abound throughout heaven and earth forever-with one sad exception...the lake of fire where the devil and his followers, including all who did not put their trust in Jesus Christ (John 3:18), will " tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night… (Revelation 14:10-11)." [See also Revelation 20:15 and 21:8.]

     Don't let the devil rob you of hope, joy, and peace when you hear of wars and rumors of wars. Confess your sin and admit your guilt before God and put your faith in Jesus Christ as your only hope of salvation. Trust in His shed blood to cleanse you from your sin as you accept the payment that He provided through His death, burial, and resurrection, according to the Scriptures, for your salvation. Turn to Him in faith and rest in the promises found in His Holy Word, the Bible.

     "Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. (Romans 15:13)"

--Pastor Al Davis

Bible Baptist Church, Richfield, Ohio