“When you see ‘the abomination that causes desolation’ standing where it does not belong—let the reader understand—then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no one on the housetop go down or enter the house to take anything out. Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak.
There comes a time to just run. To get out of town. To get out of Dodge. To jump in your car. Grab a plane. Jump onto a train. You do this when things are bad and are only going to get worse.
When Hurricane Charley was heading up the gulf coast of Florida, some friends who lived along the west coast called and asked if they could come and ride out the storm at our house. We were in the middle of the state and conventional wisdom said that they’d be safe. After all, history showed that hurricanes weakened when they came into the middle of the state.
Their logic was flawless, and history was on their side. But Charlie made a right-hand turn and came up the Peace River, delivering winds up to 114 miles per hour. We lost power for six days, and we were one of the fortunate ones.
Yes, there’s a time to run. A time not to think about it, ponder it, reflect on it. No, just run. And running means to get out right now. Leave everything and just leave. When you run, you don’t stop to collect things from your bedroom or office. You don’t stop to pick up a few things at Walmart either. You run. And that’s all you do.
When was the last time you just ran? When things got so bad that you just had to get out? When life was so unbearable, so painful, that you had to leave immediately? Or you thought that things were about to get so bad that you ran to avoid the problems? The pain?
Jesus warns his followers that a time is coming when it will be their time to run. He tells them the final straw that breaks the camels back, the last piece of the puzzle before all hell breaks loose.
There will come a day when Jesus directs his followers to run away. Not to talk any longer. Not to discuss. Not to dialogue. Only to run.
And there’s something else to remember about this day: he will not save them from it. No prayer meeting, anointing with oil, baptism, no movement of God’s Spirit, no angel, or special intervention through a miracle is going to stop it from coming.
No support for a political party, no social media technology, no protest, no gathering at city hall, state legislature, courthouse, or the nations capital is going to stop it either. There’s nothing, nothing, nothing that’s going to stop it.
This day, this terrible day is coming and there is nothing to stop it. And when it comes, there’s going to be terrible pain, suffering and death.
But why won’t God stop it? Doesn’t God care? Can’t he stop it? Is God so insensitive or distracted that he can’t get in front of this problem? Or is he so week that he doesn’t have the power to stop these evil people? These evil spirits?
The hard answer, the answer we don’t want to hear is that God is so strong, powerful, mighty, that he not only allows these things, but that he uses them for his glory, and for our good.
Our good doesn’t mean just for our immediate pleasure, removal of pain, or what we think is great. Our good is measured against eternity, not the immediate.
Think of it this way: which company would you rather work for?
· Work for $100 a day. You are guaranteed a daily direct deposit in your account for that day’s efforts.
· Work for $100,000,000,000,000 but you get paid at the end of the year. Until then, there are no guarantees.
I think the answer is obvious. There are no guarantees in this life, but we have the promise of God about the future and eternity. We have his word, based on who he is, that he will keep his promises.
So, the question is who are we going to run towards? Whether we want something small and insignificant now, or are we willing to wait for the really big payday in the future?
What’s your answer?