As a new year begins I am filled with anxiety about the future. I am especially undone when Christians talk about the end times, which instills fear, and use strange words like “apocalypse.” Is it useful to frighten people with such things?
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Every day headlines frighten people with news of murder, disease, scandal and corruption. Or how about headlines that warn people about cyber-theft, social networking traps, or perhaps something more easily spotted like a dangerous animal on the loose? The Bible says, “A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; he rages against all wise judgment” (Proverbs 18:1).
It is good to think on the things that are good and uplifting—and the Bible tells us to do so, but the Bible also tells us to be on the alert so that we are not caught off guard by things that can tempt us. God would not be the true meaning of love if He didn’t warn us of dangers ahead. A loving parent certainly would not raise children without warnings. God cannot show His love without first teaching His judgment. The word “apocalypse” literally means “an uncovering, a disclosure of knowledge.” The Word of God speaks of this clearly. Because of God’s vast love for His creation He has disclosed to us what is ahead by sending this critical headline: “Prepare to meet your God” (Amos 4:12).
What is so wonderful about this news alert is that it gives everyone the opportunity to consider God’s salvation. It is offered to every man, woman, and child and the Lord, out of His abundant grace says, “The Lord is … longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). There is no reason to be frightened when your decision is to accept Christ as Savior.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)