[This is the thirteenth post about the Blessed Hope–the return of Jesus Christ (Wars and Rumors of Wars)]
Many Christians are aware of the prophecy that Jesus gave to his disciples concerning the last days. His prophecy includes these words: “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom . . . ” (Matthew 24:7, kjv).
In the last decades, we’ve been exposed to many wars. So many that we’ve almost become numb to this passage of Scripture. We shake our heads, feeling powerless in the face of ongoing conflict.
But could this verse have another layer of meaning we have missed? I’ve often wondered why the passage seems to repeat itself. Wouldn’t it have meant the same thing if only “nation against nation” had been written? Why the additional words about “kingdom against kingdom”?
Could it be that the kingdoms that are mentioned refer to conflict in the spiritual realm? The Kingdom of God overcoming the kingdom of the world, now under the persuasion of Satan?
In case we imagine that Evil doesn’t claim a kingdom, the words of the apostle John remind us, “We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one” (1 John 5:19, nkjv).
Also consider Satan’s arrogant assumption of kingdom ownership when Jesus was tempted in the wilderness. Satan showed Jesus all the kingdoms of the world and said, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” Jesus responded with, “Away with you Satan!” (Matthew 4:9-10, nkjv).
As we see and hear about the rage of nations, behind the scenes are spiritual kingdoms at war. Unseen forces are controlling dictators–evil men who lust for power and control.
In the present Middle East conflict, the leader of Syria has descended into the darkness of genocide. He has twice used chemical weapons, including Sarin and chlorine gas, on his own people.
When we are assaulted by reports of evil, it is easy to fall into despair.
In an Old Testament story about Israel and the King of Syria, the prophet Elisha’s servant is panicked.
The King of Syria has surrounded them with his powerful army:
“. . . there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, ‘Alas, my master! What shall we do?'” (2 Kings 6:15, nkjv).
Wise Elisha responded, ” . . . ‘Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.’ Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha” (2 Kings 6:16-17, nkjv).
As spiritual battles are fought at every level do we as Christians believe God has us surrounded with his mighty help?