So the big news this week is BREXIT (British Exit), where Britain voted to leave the European Union. It seems to me that this outcome caught many by surprise and the ripples are still being felt around the world. The uncertainty already wiped out US$2.1 trillion off the market; and that’s only the financial aspect of its impact. We woke up to a different world on 25 June 2016. And some have joked, if BREXIT could happen, Trump could be POTUS come November. Now, that would be a frightening world indeed. How should we think about these happenings? Now, I am utterly uneducated in the geo-socio-political landscape. This post is more of a theological reflection of current events.
To be honest, my first reaction to hearing the possibility and then probability and then actuality of BREXIT was to think, “How does that affect me? Will the Japanese yen rise against the Singapore dollar? What about my family year end Japan trip?” Such a selfish response. And yet, it is a legitimate question, “How does it affect me?” This was an event of global significance and impact. And I don’t think I’m alone in feeling a sense of helplessness (I can’t do anything about this) and anxiety over the future.
Then this small thought started creeping into my mind. “Where’s God in all this?” And the answer to that, as a Christian, is… right here. God is sovereign. This means He is in control of all things. Of all events. Of all history. More than that, He is SHAPING history. History is not a random series of events that twists and turns in the stream of time. Rather, it is a masterpiece being painted by a Divine Artist. Once complete, history will testify to the glory of God. Christians ought to take confidence and security in this (cf. Psalm 46).
However, this is not all the Christian is supposed to do. I remember Rev. Edmund Chan (Leadership Mentor in Covenant EFC, my home church for now) talking about 3 Greek concepts for time as applied biblically. The first is ‘chronos’, from which we derive the term chronology. This refers to history as it progresses through time. The second is ‘kairos’, which was a very popular term in Christian circles referring to God’s opportune time; that is to say, God is often doing something special and significant at various points in history. But he said that there is a third concept which Christians often miss. The third is ‘eschatos’, from which the term eschatology is derived. It refers to the end times.
What has the end times got to do with BREXIT? Well, in once sense, nothing. I’m not saying BREXIT a sign for the end times. However, in another sense, BREXIT has everything to do with the end times. One cannot read Matthew 24 and the book of Revelation and not get a sense that history moves towards a climax. And the picture painted is not pretty. There will be dark days. There will be difficult days. And God has told us it will be so, in order that we might be prepared for the challenging times ahead.
Even saying that is not enough. We are not only to be prepared, we are to be on His mission. The temptation that assails us when tough times come is this, “And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.” Matthew 24:12. God’s Word exhorts Christians this way in the next two verses, “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 24:13-14.
We can certainly debate the merits of BREXIT. But the merits of HEAVENENTRANCE is undebatable.
We cannot be distracted from God’s mission of proclaiming the gospel to the nations. In fact, that this world will get darker is even more reason that we must shine the gospel light, we must proclaim the gospel of hope, we must invite people into the eternal kingdom of God. We can certainly debate the merits of BREXIT. But the merits of HEAVENENTRANCE is undebatable. May people from all nations enter into God’s kingdom.