And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come." (Matthew 24:14 NIV)
Without realizing it, we are already in the last month of 2023, and in thirty-one days, if God wills, we will leave this year behind. We have spent a long year together and the world in which we live shows that the conditions in the last days are increasingly difficult (2 Tim. 3:1-9). The situation of our world is becoming increasingly bleak day by day. Almost every day there are news appearing on various social media which makes people's hearts become increasingly worried and afraid. Our world is no longer a safe place, because as iniquity increases, the love of most people grows cold (Matt. 24:12). The series of events that have occurred in various parts of our world recently have made humans increasingly afraid and losing peace because they no longer know what to do. People who previously felt secure with the job they had, now feel uneasy because of the possibility that they too could be fired. Even people who don't have jobs now find it increasingly difficult to get job opportunities. Country and world leaders compete hard on the political stage while touting about world conditions which they think will get better, but unfortunately in reality all their efforts seem in vain and the economic situation increasingly does not provide the guarantees that are needed. Looking at the current state of our world, will we as God's church also be afraid and have to lose peace like the people of the world? It shouldn't be. Because His Word gives us definite guarantees, such as the news of great joy for all nations which was delivered by the angel of God to the shepherds in the field about 2000 years ago: "Do not be afraid, for verily I proclaim to you a great joy for all nations: the Day "To you was born a Savior, Jesus Christ the Lord, in the city of David" (Luke 2:10, 11). Then a large number of the heavenly host praised God together with the angel, saying: "Glory to God in the highest and peace on earth among men with whom He is pleased" (Luke 2:14). This is truly world mission and evangelization. The world can no longer provide definite hope, instead, here and there there is only fear and unease. But we don't need to worry. Why? Because at times like that the only one who can still be a hope, namely the Lord Jesus, still speaks firmly. His Word remains the same, yesterday, yesterday and forever, which says: "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come" (Matthew 24:14). This is the favorite news that we should be grateful for. We as followers of God have a responsibility in the task of evangelizing in these end times. In the Gospel of the Kingdom we will definitely hear about Christ who is the heir of the Kingdom of God and we are responsible for conveying that wherever we are to be a testimony to all nations. Whatever and whatever the circumstances of this world, His peace can still be experienced by everyone whose life pleases Him. Maybe your spiritual journey in 2023 will be filled with various things that are very discouraging and full of uncertainty. Let us offer a life that is pleasing to Him. Let's realize that "The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:7) will lead us into the new year. Do you believe this? MERRY CHRISTMAS 2023 & HAPPY NEW YEAR 2024! Lord Jesus bless and be with us all! Amen!
By Pastor Silwanus Obadja M.Th.