Jason Reynolds: Following Jesus in the End Times



By Jason Reynolds

I use the YouVerse Bible app. The verse of the day was 1 Peter 4:8 (HCSB): “Above all, maintain an intense love for each other, since love covers a multitude of sins.”

That’s a nice, inspirational verse to read before starting your busy day.

What would you find if you opened all of Chapter 8?

The chapter discusses the criticalness of following Christ to the best of your ability in the End Times.

Maybe this period of COVID-19, racial protests, socialism, rioting and calls for anarchy are not the end times, although I believe we are on the cusp of the Book of Revelation. Even if I’m wrong, we as Christians are to emulate Christ, who suffered in the flesh, “in order to live the remaining time in the flesh, no longer for human desires, but for God’s will. For there has already been enough time spent in doing what the pagans choose to do: carrying on in unrestrained behavior, evil desires, drunkenness, orgies, carousing, and lawless idolatry.” (verses 2-3)

In my Bible version, Verse 7 is headlined “End-Time Ethics.”

“Now the end of all things is near; therefore, be serious and disciplined for prayer. Above all, maintain an intense love for each other, since love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaining.” (7-9)

The chapter goes on to exhort you to use your God-given gifts to serve others and if you speak, use God’s words. Then, it addresses Christian suffering.

Suffering has most definitely become un-American. We once were a nation of self-reliant individuals who knew we could — and should — take care of ourselves better than the government could. If you want an example of how well the government takes care of people, ask the Native Americans (My grandfather was one-quarter Cherokee, and looked every inch of it.).

Anyway, Verse 12 addresses Christian suffering. Verses 13-14 gives us a most extraordinary order: “Instead, rejoice as you share in the sufferings of the Messiah, so that you may also rejoice with great joy at the revelation of His glory. If you are ridiculed for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory of God rests on you.”

Our sufferings as a Christian glorify God.

Verse 17 should get your eye: “For the time has come for judgment to begin with God’s household, and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who disobey the gospel of God?”

I’m focusing on the first part of that verse: God’s household.

Folks, I believe, and I have heard other Christians say, that Jesus is preparing His bride, a codeword for the church. Read Christian news reports of the revival that has broken out in Minneapolis at the spot where George Floyd was killed, of how people are being baptized in that very spot.

The revival is coming. So are the truly hard times in America. Which side are you going to be on when things truly get out of hand, God’s, or the world’s, which is driven by the devil.

Now is the time to put your trust in God. If you don’t know Jesus, ask Him to be your Lord. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has a good resource for that here.

If you have previously given your life to Christ, now is the exact time you need to be doubling down on your faith. Billy Graham’s association has additional resources, including a prayer line, here.