2019-01-09 / Faith

A new year dawns

Lessons from the Heart
By Pastor Bob Raschka

Raschka Raschka A new year dawns. The old year has passed away. The pages of tomorrow are blank. Oftentimes we see a whole plethora of prognosticators make predictions about what lies ahead in each new year. We see this in many areas, from the economy, to the weather, to how the crops might do in the new year, to predictions about health advancements, to sports and life in general. Even if they are not always correct, the predictions are often taken seriously.

The thing is, there is a document that dates back thousands of years that has made “predictions” about the future. This document foretells what is coming down the road. It even gives indications of what life on earth might be like before these “predictions” of coming events begin to play out.

This document is better known as the “Holy Bible.” Scattered throughout the Bible are many “predictions” or prophecies about events that were at the time of the foretelling, way off into the future. One of these events we just finished celebrating, the coming of the Messiah to the earth. And before we put all the decorations away which we used as part of our celebrations, let us not forget that this Messiah was the one Isaiah spoke of hundreds of years before Christ’s birth as “the wonderful counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace.” This same Messiah- Jesus Christ- would go on to make “predictions” or prophecies himself about things to come. One of these centered around what would play out as the destruction of Jerusalem in the year 70AD. He even went on to explain the condition of life on the planet before the time of his return. Some of the signs he warned of concern wars and rumors of wars, nation rising against nation, famines, and earthquakes. There will be a rise in false prophets, and an increase in wickedness. The love of many people will grow cold. Any of these could be applied to almost every point in history, and certainly to our time. Jesus warned that the day and the hour of his return are unknown. Amongst his descriptions about that day, the most important teaching was to “keep watch because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.” These details are found in Matthew 24 specifically, and also Mark 13.

While it is interesting and maybe even important to have some idea or clue of what 2019 holds, it pales in comparison with the words in the Bible that forecast Christ’s return. This is something we can hold on to. In the meantime, let us be about living our lives and loving God, and loving others, and seek to make a difference in this little corner of the world where God has placed us. As we do, we will have “kept watch.”

Bob Raschka is the pastor of the Rossville United Methodist Church.

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