Are you acquainted with a brand new word we are hearing nowadays? That word is Flash Mob. It started several years ago, quite innocently at first, suggesting through the use of the Internet that people assemble at a given location for the purpose of doing a random act very quickly and just as quickly dispersing. Actually from those harmless beginnings, the whole idea has gone terribly wrong. In fact it is frightening to even think about. Let me explain.
It was 12:40 in the morning when a large group of motorists descended on an intersection near a Seven Eleven Convenience Store located at Figuero and El Segundo Streets in Los Angeles. Blocking traffic with their cars, they created an organizational pit in the center of the intersection and after laying out their plans, they headed for the convenience store. That is when a mob made up of looters entered the business and began stealing everything they could get their hands on: drinks, cigarettes, lottery tickets, candy, you name it. Yelling and screaming, they ransacked the place tossing some items to people at the entrance of the store while other robbers were filling bags they had brought along for the occasion. In the meantime, the store employees, paralyzed with fright, refused to get involved. Not surprisingly, the whole crowd had dispersed before the police arrived. And according to reports that I have, there have been no arrests to this date which may indicate there will be no arrests at all. Let's take a look at what the Bible has to say about these kinds of things.
The Apostle Paul in 2 Tim. 3: verse 1 tells us this, "BUT KNOW THIS, THAT IN THE LAST DAYS, PERILOUS TIMES WILL COME." That word 'PERILOUS' means we will be facing dangerous times. When that begins to happen, it will be best for us to be as far from the big cities as possible. The prophet Daniel speaking of the 'TIME OF THE END' (see Dan. 12: 4) warns us there is 'COMING A TIME OF TROUBLE SUCH AS THE WORLD HAS NEVER SEEN'. See Dan. 12: 1 Three of the Gospel Writers remind us that the final days of this world's history will be less than rosy: Matt. 24: 26, Mark 13: 19 and Luke 21: 25 and 26 shout out to us that difficult days are ahead. It is interesting that in Luke 21: 26, Doctor Luke predicts that 'MEN'S HEARTS WILL FAIL THEMSELVES FOR FEAR AND THE EXPECTATIONS OF THOSE THINGS THAT ARE COMING ON THE EARTH'! It won't be a cakewalk! As we contemplate these difficult days that seem to be happening even now, there are three things we can do to help prepare us for the future. These three things will help prepare us for what is coming. The three activities are PRAYER, STUDY OF THE WORD, AND TELLING OTHERS WHAT JESUS HAS DONE FOR US.
1-PRAYER has been defined by one writer as "The opening of the heart to God as to a Friend." There is a great verse in Philippians 4: 6-7, "Be anxious for nothing , BUT IN EVERYTHING BY PRAYER AND SUPPLICATION, WITH THANKSGIVING, LET YOUR REQUESTS BE MADE KNOWN TO GOD, and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ." David explains to us in Psalms 55: 1,"Evening, morning and at noon I WILL PRAY AND CRY ALOUD, and he shall hear my voice." Jesus set a great example of prayer. We read in Luke 6: 12, "Now it came to pass in those days, that he (Jesus) went out into the mountain TO PRAY, AND CONTINUED ALL NIGHT IN PRAYER." And finally Peter admonishes us in 1 Peter 3: 12, "For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, AND HIS EARS ARE OPEN TO THEIR PRAYERS." Prayer will help get us through the difficult times that are ahead of us. We can count on it. Matt. 21: 22 affirms that thought, "And whatsoever things YOU ASK IN PRAYER, BELIEVING, YOU WILL RECEIVE."
2-STUDY of the Word will help to prepare us also for what lies ahead. 2 Tim. 2: 15 urges us, "Study to present yourselves APPROVED BEFORE GOD, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the WORD OF TRUTH." The Apostle Paul admonishes us as well that THE WORD OF GOD IS LIVING, AND POWERFUL, AND SHARPER THAN A TWO-EDGED SWORD... AND IT IS A DISCERNER OF THE THOUGHTS AND INTENTS OF THE HEART. (Heb. 4: 12) Peter in 2 Peter 1: 20-21 affirms that "HOLY MEN OF GOD WROTE (Scriptures) AS THEY WERE MOVED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT." One writer suggests that there are over 3,000 promises in the Bible and each one is like a blank check to each of us made out in our name. Read these promises he has made to you and to me, underline them in your Bible and memorize them for the difficult days ahead of us. If we do that we claim the promise with confidence in Philippians 4" 13 that reads, "I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS ME." That is made possible because we know what the Bible says he is going to do for us.
3-And lastly, TELL OTHERS WHAT CHRIST HAS DONE FOR YOU. I love that great story that is found in Mark 5: 1-15. According to the story, Jesus and his disciples were on the far side or the eastern side of the Sea of Galilee. Not only was it a desolate area, the first thing they encountered there was a graveyard that was haunted by a devil-possessed man. The Bible says that the man had an unclean spirit and he spend a lot of time cutting on his body. When Jesus asked him his name, he replied that his name was legion for he was filled with many evil spirits. At that point the demons began to realize they were in big trouble with Jesus in the area. Seeing a large herd of swine in the distance, they begged Jesus to cast them into the pigs. Jesus did just that and the herd ran violently down a steep embankment and drowned in the sea. With that the swine herders fled and told the townspeople in a nearby village what had happened. As you can imagine the owners of the pigs, as well as the villagers themselves were not very happy. They quickly went out to where Jesus was and asked him to leave the area. Since Jesus does not stay where he is not wanted, he and the disciples prepared to leave. And guess what the man who had been demon-possessed wanted to do? OF COURSE, HE WANTED TO GO WITH JESUS IN THE BOAT. But Jesus told him to go to his home and TELL EVERYONE WHAT JESUS HAD DONE FOR HIM. And that is what the man did. And that is TELLING OTHERS WHAT JESUS HAS DONE FOR US. It is called witnessing and it is something that every born-again Christian should do. Don't forget that in a world that is beginning to get its kicks from Flash Mobbing, the Lord wants us to Pray, Study and Tell others what Jesus has done for us. Blessings,
Wayne Easley/written on August 28, 2022/Harvey, North Dakota