“Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near” — Luke 21:28.
Jesus describes some frightening things that will happen in the world before the end comes. “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven” (Lk. 21:10-11).
Jesus also tells about how His disciples will be persecuted. He says: “You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will send some of you to your death. And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake” (Lk. 21:16-17).
In Matthew Jesus adds: “Many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold” (Mt. 24:11-12).
Are there any of these signs that we have not seen widely in the world today? Every one of the things that Christ and the apostles foretold about the end times is being fulfilled before our eyes. We are living in the end times.
This can be frightening. Seeing the wickedness and ungodliness of the world can make us frustrated, even to the point that we despair and want to give up.
But what does Jesus say? He does not tell us to hang tough and try to make it through. He does not tell us to go hide in a cave until it is all over. No! He says: “When these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”
Lift Up Your Heads To Christ
In this world full of false christs and false prophets, we need to lift our heads up to the true Christ of the Bible–to the Christ who died to take away all our sins and open the door of heaven for us.
Do not look down in despair. Look up to Christ in faith! We look to Him for forgiveness and salvation.
Lift Up Your Heads In Confidence
When we keep our eyes fixed on Christ, we do not need to cower in fear of the world but lift up our heads in confidence.
Jesus assures us: “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (Jn. 16:33).
Christ has overcome the world and the devil and has given us the victory.
Therefore we can go about our work of spreading the gospel in the world with boldness and confidence because God “always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place” (2 Cor. 2:14).
Lift Up Your Heads In Joy
The troubles in the world so easily cause us to lose our joy. When we keep our eyes on Christ, however, we can lift up our heads in joy.
In Christ we can “rejoice in the Lord always” because we are the Lord’s. We belong to Him. He has redeemed us and called us by name.
We can lift up our heads in joy because God has showered every spiritual blessing upon us in Christ.
Let’s not go around with our heads drooping in sorrow and despair. Rather hold our heads up and show the world the joy we have in believing–the joy we have in being children of God.
Lift Up Your Heads In Expectation
Jesus says: “Lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”
We have already been redeemed by Christ’s death and resurrection. But the day of the final redemption of our body when we will be received into eternal glory is drawing near.
We know this is true because we see all the things that Jesus foretold. When we see all the wickedness and evil in the world we should not despair. Rather we should look up in expectation.
We know that the end is near. We can lift up our heads to the sky expecting to see Jesus coming in the clouds with all the holy angels.
This is how we can live in these end times. We can hold our heads up high, not in self-pride but in confidence and faith.
Let us keep looking to Jesus in His word in eager expectation of His return. And may we be bold to proclaim the praises of our Savior until the day He comes.
–Pastor David Reim