Near the end of his days on the earth, Jesus talked to the disciples about how things would be in the days to come.

Matthew 24:
6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains.

These words were at the front door of his crucifixion and centuries of persecution for his followers.  Jesus said that war is inevitable but his followers don’t need to be fear-mongers.  Until the end of the age there will be catastrophes, calamities and casualties.  But don’t get focused on that—understand that the world is going through a process that will lead to the birth of a new kind of kingdom.  The King is coming back and will bring a reign of peace to the entire world.

If anyone thinks that Christians are overly dramatic about the state of world affairs, consider this 2002 statistic from the WEA Religious Liberty Commission:

“We estimate that there are more than 200 million Christians in the world today who do not have full human rights as defined by the UN Declaration of Human Rights, simply because they are Christians. We believe that this is the largest group in the world without full human rights because of their beliefs.” [i]

Maybe you have not been tortured, slandered or denied rights for your faith, but Jesus could foresee the reality for any who would follow Him. 

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus preached the values of God’s Kingdom that would outlast the turmoil and chaos of this world.  Michael Spencer said:

The Beatitudes are pronouncements of pure grace. They announce the in-breaking of God’s upside-down Kingdom. God is not bound by the current, fallen, corrupt value system that expects him to shower blessings on rich, successful, and powerful people, on “worthy ones” who are universally recognized and applauded by the world.[ii]