Surprised by World Events? You Shouldn’t Be!

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries8 Minutes

Every direction you look today, prophetic shockwaves are shaking the world. Political events affecting the nations, climate changes and natural disasters, economic turmoil, and fierce cultural wars between competing worldviews—all these are unmistakable signs of the End Times. And the most significant signposts of all involve the nation of Israel and the unfolding drama in the Middle East.

To those who study the prophetic Scriptures, none of these shockwaves should be a surprise.

Jesus told His disciples that the End Times would be marked by clear signs. He chastised the religious leaders of His day for knowing how to predict tomorrow’s weather report but not being able to discern “the signs of the times” (Matthew 16:1-3).

Though the current shaking will bring great peril to those who place their hope in earthly security, as believers in Jesus Christ we’re privileged to live for “a kingdom which cannot be shaken” (Hebrews 12:28).

Even during the storms of life, we can find safety and provision (Matthew 7:24-27, Matthew 6:33). All it takes is preparation.

Three Parables of Readiness

In Matthew 25, Jesus tells three final parables before His death and Resurrection. Each one presents critical lessons about our preparation for the End Times.

The first parable describes 10 bridesmaids who’ve taken their lamps to meet the bridegroom and celebrate the wedding. However, even though all 10 of the bridesmaids were well-meaning, “five of them were foolish, and five were wise” (v. 2 NLT).

Do you want to be “wise” in these End Times? Like the sons of Issachar, it’s crucial that we understand the times and know how God wants us to prepare for the difficult days ahead (1 Chronicles 12:32).

The distinguishing characteristic between these bridesmaids is that the foolish ones “didn’t take enough olive oil for their lamps,” while the others wisely took along extra oil (v. 4). When the bridegroom finally came, the lamps of the foolish bridesmaids were about to lose their flame.

Sadly, only “those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast” (v. 10). Because of their failure to prepare themselves, the foolish bridesmaids missed out on the feast they’d been invited to.

Jesus concludes this parable with a direct reference to our preparedness for His Second Coming: “So you, too, must keep watch! For you do not know the day or hour of My return” (v. 13). Like the wise bridesmaids, we must have extra oil in our spiritual lamps—spending daily time in God’s presence, reading His Word, and asking Him to continually fill us with the Holy Spirit.

Entrusted with Talents

Jesus’ next parable describes a man going on a long trip, who “called together his servants and entrusted his money to them while he was gone” (v. 14). One servant received five bags of silver, another received two bags, and the third received one bag.

The first two servants both invested their money and, in both cases, the money doubled in value. However, the third servant merely “dug a hole in the ground and hid the master’s money” (v. 18).

What a powerful word picture! Whether God has entrusted us with many resources or just a few, He wants us to faithfully invest them into His Kingdom. If we do so, the resources will multiply—resulting in an abundance of Harvest Blessings in our personal lives and also a great impact for God’s Kingdom.

This is such an important principle for discovering God’s abundance amid the economic shakings of the End Times. Yet many believers are living in fear today, seeking to play it safe and hide their resources in “a hole in the ground”!

Proverbs 11:24-25 tells us that withholding leads to poverty, but release leads to increase. The third servant thought it was prudent to hang on to the little that he had, and his selfish, unbelieving attitude caused him to lose everything (v. 28)! Even worse, the master judged him to be a “wicked and lazy servant” (v. 26).

The story concludes with a wonderful key to receiving a turnaround and prospering in the tough times ahead:

To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance (v. 29).

But Jesus also adds a sober warning to those who do nothing: “Even what little they have will be taken away.”

Jesus’ final parable adds another vital principle about our preparedness for the End Times and the final judgment. In the first parable, we learned the importance of maintaining the supply of “oil” for our lamps, and the second parable showed us the blessings of investing our resources into God’s Kingdom. But the third parable adds a final lesson about being ready for our Master’s return:

We must reach out to bless the least and the Lost!

Jesus describes the amazing words His faithful servants will hear at His return:

Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed Me. I was thirsty, and you gave Me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited Me into your home. I was naked, and you gave Me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for Me. I was in prison, and you visited Me.

Then these righteous ones will reply, “Lord, when did we ever see You hungry and feed You? Or thirsty and give You something to drink? Or a stranger and show You hospitality? Or naked and give You clothing? When did we ever see You sick or in prison and visit You?”

And the King will say, “I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these My brothers and sisters, you were doing it to Me!” (Matthew 25: 34-40)

Are You Ready?

In each of these parables Jesus is talking to you, but the last passage speaks directly to how you can help bring hope, healing, and salvation to people in desperate need around the world.

Because you are the hands of Jesus to care for the least and the lost, your reward in Heaven will be great! Not only that, but you also will reap a great harvest of God’s blessings in this present life (Proverbs 19:17).

Find Peace in these Troubled Times