America is reeling today after nearly three days of rioting. This is in response to cellphone video of white police officers killing George Floyd, a black man, after one of the officers pressed his knee onto Floyd’s neck for several minutes and ignored pleas that he could not breathe. This shocking footage sparked some of the worst riots since Rodney King and the report going around is that there will be more rioting and protesting in the coming days.
Even for a hardened internet vetran like myself who has seen countless cellphone videos on the internet of reality going down, both Floyd’s death and the ensuing rioting that occurred was sad, shocking, and surreal. Nearly every major city in the United States had some form of protest or riot where people got hurt and businesses got destroyed. This included police precincts burning down in some strange and eerily similar to the Storming of the Bastille that sparked the French Revolution in 1789. And while I would not comprare this situation to something so historically important as the French Revolution, we are currently living in a flash point moment in American history.
With Donald Trump’s unprecedented election, the Corona Pandemic happening, the rise of mega tech companies like Google, Twitter, Facebook, Amazon and the controversy of internet censorship, with the rise of the spirit of isolation and fear, with the eruption of violent protesting, with the overall spirit of the times: It is now more important than ever to get right with God, spread the good news, the gospel of Jesus Christ. And to be prepared. As predicted in the Bible, there is coming, and has come a time when God will judge the world again. This day is called the Judgement, or The Day of the Lord in scripture, where God globally judge the world and he makes everything new again. It is written that we do not know when that time or hour will come. Only the Father knows and anyone who claims they do is a fool or a false prophet. Jesus Christ does tell us to watch for the seasons and to be watchful, because we do not know when that hour will come as explained in the Olivet Discourse:
The Parable of the Fig Tree
32 “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So you also, when you see all these things, know that [e]it is near—at the doors! 34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.
No One Knows the Day or Hour
36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of [f]heaven, but My Father only. 37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 40 Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. 42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what [g]hour your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what [h]hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
We should also be watchful of the spirit of the times and the spirit of the end of the age as Paul explains to Timothy:
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
Are we at the end of the world? The truth is we do not know and no one knows when that day will come. Men thought the end of the world was happening during the French Revolution, and the world continued on. People thought the end of the world was happening during World War II, and the world continued on. This is the same feeling that happens to all believers when their country is going through turmoil. America is no different and it is arrogant to believe that the turmoil happening to America will guarantee the second coming of Christ. After all, many, yes many, more countries have suffered far worse in their respective history. I guarantee that during the American Civil War, the most brutal conflict that ever happened to the United States, people thought the end times were approaching. Yet, the world continued on. Nothing is new under the sun.
That being said, the times and age we are living in is changing thanks to technology and the internet. And while technology may change, the human condition and sin never do. Nothing is new under the sun. We are living in an age where social media dominates most of our lives with a wicked and adulterous generation who are lovers of themselves, boastful, and proud as you see with the self-gratification of the selfie, snarky comment, and prideful moments people wish to show you. And as we see with the riots, we are a generation without self-control, brutal, rash, conceited and treacherous. We claim to have a form of godliness. Some of us even claim Christ, yet we deny His power and instead of loving one another and the power of forgiveness, we show our unholiness and expose our unloving, unforgiving nature.
What is even more disturbing is the growing culture of fear that has grown exponentially since the beginning of the Chronavirus pandemic. There is a sad culture of isolation growing and a pandemic of heart-killing loneliness. No longer can we see a smile that might brighten our day. We just see a mask. People are afraid, and are suspicious. This is a growing powder keg of spiritual death.
I read a great article on ChristianityToday how George Floyd left a Gospal Legacy in Houstin which you can read here: https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2020/may/george-floyd-ministry-houston-third-ward-church.html
What happened to George Floyd was a tragedy beyond belief. Someone lost their son. Someone lost a friend. And the real animosity between the Black Community and law enforcement continues. The sad fact is that this happens everyday. Officers kill people everyday (whether accidentally, maliciously, or justifiably. And on the flip side, Officers get killed everyday for miniscule stuff. Being a cop is a tough, hard, and thankless job. This is just another example of our fallen nature and the need for a new Heaven and New Earth that God will provide after the Day of the Lord where Death itself will be cast into the lake of fire and sin will be no more.
With the protests turning into violent rioting, we have to ask ourselves why we are doing this and what are our motives? If you claim to have Christ and are involved in the protest you must examine yourself. Are you doing this to try and get legit justice or are you doing this to unleash wrath, chaos, and to satisfy your own desires? Are you doing this for the betterment of relationship between minority citizens and officers, or are you doing this for vengeance which often hurts innocent people.
Racism is a heart problem. Distrust between different tribes and peoples is a heart problem. Only the gospel can circumcise the hearts of men who have this aliment. Only the message of Christ crucified and the resurrection of the dead can man be born again to love his brother. No amount of policy changes can solve racism. With man, it is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.
I wonder what Floyd would say about all this happening? Would he forgive? Would he say to love one another? How powerful a message would that be, to forgive and to love one another. But this goes beyond the scope of this article and I believe we should pray for Floyd and his family.
Jesus Christ didn’t come to protest, start a riot, or upheave the political dynamo. Christ is King. Anything less is utter nonsense. He came to save humanity from its sins, which includes racism. Because of His sacrifice and resurrection, all have the opportunity to look upon the cross and be freed and be forgiven of sin. As followers of Jesus, we must ask ourselves who we serve? Our political party? Or Christ? Our tribe? Or Christ? Ourselves? Or Christ?
Ultimately we need to examine ourselves; Are we right with God? Do we believe? Do we repent of our sins, how we view sin, and how we view the world? The United States is currently going through a dire time. Yet God is in control. As the world darkens and the country’s light grows dim, the light of Jesus Christ is shining brighter. We have hope. A real hope of a better tomorrow and a world without the death and sin circling us in a mindless whirlwind. And I am sure God is working in the middle of this tragedy to do His miracles and to point people to His Son. Be prepared, He is coming.