One year ago, we quoted from Dec. 7, 2009 Time magazine that called the first 10 years of the 3rd millennium “The Decade from Hell” because of certain disasters, conflicts and economic woes. The author hoped the next decade would be better. But 2010 began with more serious disasters. 2011 is faring no better.
Our hearts go to people of Japan affected by a terrible earthquake – the world’s fourth largest from the beginning of 1900. The tsunami that followed was horrifying to watch. Lives, property, infrastructure were destroyed.
Writing this article I pray that the nuclear plant won’t explode and cause havoc much greater than that of Chernobyl.
We watch the struggling masses in North Africa and other Arab countries longing for freedom from oppression and a chance to live decent lives.
Political analysts compare these revolutions to the meltdown of Communism 21 years ago. Raised in a Communist country, I remember people’s hunger for freedom and the great joy following the demolition of the Berlin Wall. Like a house of cards, one regime after another tumbled down. And for what? Political and ideological oppression was replaced by oppression of the rich and unscrupulous, dividing the people into two main groups – the smaller “haves” and a growing “have nots”.
When Jesus the Messiah came to this world, the Jewish nation was groaning under the oppression of Romans and their puppets. They longed for political and national deliverance. Surely Christ would meet their expectations! Well, He did not. He would not treat the symptoms of human selfishness, greed and hunger for power. Jesus came to heal human hearts from hate, lust, greed and other vices. When Jesus disappointed their false hopes they rejected Him. Christ pointed to the core problem of humanity as their only true remedy.
We too look for new Obamas and religious figures with their fair speeches and promises. As well meant as these sound, the recorded human history tells us – it isn’t working. At least, not for too long. And if I read Bible’s message correctly, this Earth isn’t going to be a safer place either. Like the “birth contractions”, in the words of Jesus, natural disasters, religious deceptions, political and military upheavals and health problems will only increase (Matthew 24:4–8). And the same core message Jesus brought to people in His day will be proclaimed as a witness and solution to all people and nations (verse 14).
Will it be received? Well, that’s up to each individual to decide their own destiny. Jesus further encourages all who will accept and trust Him not to focus on trouble around, that will only increase, but to “lift up their heads and look up, for their redemption draws near.” (Luke 21:28) Where do you and I look for peace, help, encouragement and deliverance?
Pastor Karel Samek, Seventh Day Adventists. Visit our website: http://ashcroft22.adventistchurchconnect.org/