Preparing for the end-time can vary depending on one’s belief. Perspective theories posit different ways it could occur and how to survive. Some focus on stockpiling food and supplies and developing emergency plans. Some are doing what they can to fix natural disasters caused by “global warming” to keep ‘The End’ at bay. Regardless of one’s perspective, the doomsday subject has captured people’s imagination since ancient times.
We all agree the world is in turmoil and groans to be delivered. Bible believers—Christians and Jews—believe we will soon experience an end to life as we know it. Messiah will repair the world, a Tikkun Olam that resets the earth to God’s order. Therefore, we can omit being consumed by fear and anxiety while we consider the signs for understanding.
According to the Bible, two significant events must take place: The Jews must be in their ancestral homeland (Luke 21:24), and the Gospel must be proclaimed to all nations (Matthew 24:14). Other signs are essential clues for the final destruction that precedes God’s New World Order, such as “peace and safety” before sudden destruction (1 Thes. 5:3). To put your mind at ease regarding cyber warfare, the internet will remain global for a while (Rev. 11:9).
The religious Jews are looking for a human messiah that “toils in the study of Torah, is meticulous about the observance of the mitzvot, influences the Jews to follow the ways of Torah and wages the battles of G-d, will rebuild the Holy Temple in Jerusalem… and facilitate the ingathering of the Jews to the Land of Israel” (Chabad.org). The ultra-orthodox have vigilantly looked for a Messianic candidate from the lineage of David. Most recently, a self-proclaimed miracle worker, Rabbi Shlomo Yehouda, referred to as Yenuka (meaning ‘boy wonder’ because of his keen memory and wisdom of the Torah as well as other Jewish literature). A few others before him were Simon bar Kokhba (2nd century), Moses of Crete (5th century), Ydghan (8th century), Menachem Mendel Schneerson (1902-1994). Jesus is the most famous Messianic candidate and fulfills the criteria except for being the resurrected Son of God who will appear the second time (according to Rabbinic Judaism). Keep in mind, there remains a partial blindness until the of the ” times of the Gentiles” is complete (Luke 21:24; Romans 11:25).
More signs are being fulfilled in this generation than in generations before us, so how do we cope as evil escalates? We look to the scriptures: “The End of all things is near. Therefore, be alert and of a sober mind so that you may pray. Above all, love each other deeply because love covers a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:7-10). Peter taught Christ’s followers how to face the End. I’ll elaborate on four simple things we can do.
Sober minded prayer
Personal prayer closets should be central to our daily lives. Jesus said, “When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father…do not keep on babbling…Father knows what you need before you ask”(Matthew 6:6-7). Jesus is our best example who exceeded the Jewish traditional daily prayers: morning, noon, and evening. He often prayed all night. The disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray “as John taught his disciples” (Luke 11:1-4). He taught them The Lord’s Prayer. Jewish in origin with numerous parallels in the Kaddish and Amidah prayer liturgy, it has been adopted as the most quoted prayer in all of Christianity and is the perfect outline to cover every area of our lives. When prayed with sincerity, it is powerful. A sober mind is one whose mind is set on the Kingdom of God and will keep in constant communication with headquarters.
Prayer is submitting to God’s authority. It positions you to appeal for Heaven’s authority to intervene on earth. The Greek word for submission is a military term that means “to arrange troop division.” You become attentive to the General’s orders and prepared to carry them out. Jesus’ submission in the Garden won salvation for the world. When we pray to the Father, “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done,” our advocate moves into action. Praying is the first and most important thing we can do.
Love that Covers a Multitude of Sins
Peter then tells us to maintain constant love for one another. Of course, that comes after an extended prayer session of submitting. The opposite of sustained love is love that has grown cold, a sign of end-times, along with lovers of pleasure and the world (2 Tim. 3:1-4). Revelation warns not to lose the first love: “I have somewhat against thee because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent” (2:4-5). God’s liquid love can heal even the most hardened heart and form a protective boundary to sustain us to the End. His love through us stretches beyond our natural ability to love so that we all can remain covered with mercy.
Be hospitable without complaining, which means being generous to guests. Building strong bonds with people of like faith is vital for survival. That is why the Bible warns us not to forsake time together as we see the day approaching (Hebrews 10:25). We are to make more opportunities for being together, not less. Churches have had to learn how to be warm and friendly all over again since the Covid lockdowns, but we must. The New Testament church began with meeting daily (we may need that again before the Lord returns). We need each other. I love Shabbat in Israel when family and friends share time and a meal with God as the central theme. Giving away your time to encourage another is generous hospitality and is a powerful tool against hopelessness, loneliness, and despair.
Serve One Another as God’s Steward of Grace
Grace is God’s love in action. Giftings upon our lives, whether it be musical talents, financial blessings, or an ability to speak encouragement. We’ve each seen or experienced neglect of a God-given talent. We’ve seen gifting used for harm. But God blessed us with at least one talent to use as His emissaries of Grace. God’s Kingdom connections put us in awe of the unlimited supply of Grace, grace that’s needed and given. I’m more elated when I share my resources and what someone else needs than having my own needs met. When difficulty presents itself, God has already supplied. Let’s not miss an opportunity to answer when God says open your storehouse that I provided. Steward God’s grace that began with submission to our greatest calling—prayer.