In 1976 I rode down Parramatta Road on my Honda 550 and went across the Sydney Harbour Bridge and stayed the night in a Hotel in North Sydney. I remember walking across the bridge at night and seeing the Sydney Opera House and the lights of that beautiful city. It was breath taking. (I had no idea I would move there 10 years later with my wife and a young family and we called Sydney home for 8 years). It is a beautiful city but it hides many sad stories. It may appear impressive and forever powerful but we know that we cannot put our faith in buildings, cities or nations!
The Disciples were amazed at the magnificence of the Temple in Jerusalem. Yet Jesus had a stern word about putting your faith in buildings even if they were built in honour of God. Matthew 24 begins with the following verses… Jesus left the temple and was going away, when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. But he answered them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.” 24:1-2, ESV.
We are not told the exact time that Jesus will return but we are able to look around us and see many situations that cause us to either turn away and give up or help to make us simply trust Jesus even more. However, it will not be easy! We need God’s Holy Spirit in our lives second by second to keep our lives focused on Jesus. Support each other and keep praying that we will stay on track.
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” Matthew 24:9-14, ESV.
We can have respect for great nations, admire beautiful cities and enjoy mountain views but these things will pass and our eternal salvation is not found in them. But do not lose heart. Read the verses below from 1 Peter.
“So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honour on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.” 1 Peter 1:6-7, (PM Version).