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November 27, 2023

Join Our 21-Day Fast 

By chuck hetzler, PhD, vice president of biblical theology 

 
Is Israel’s current war a sign of the end times? How should we, as Christians, think about the war? What can and should we do?

 

Christian Union is calling all American Christians to start the year with a 21-day fast, Tuesday, January 2, through Monday, January 22, 2024, to humble ourselves and seek God in light of the current events in the Middle East.

 

The upcoming CU National Fast is titled "Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace for All Nations." Christian Union faculty and staff will write devotionals based on Scripture, which will be sent to all signed-up participants by email each day of the fast. 

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These devotionals will provide biblical insight and direction for those fasting and praying. Emphases will include prayer for peace and protection in the Middle East and also in the US, as tensions and conflicts rise in society and at the universities where Christian Union ministers, prayer for conversion of Jews and Muslims, and exhortation to godliness and courage for all Christians. 

 

The Scriptures have much to say about the end times. Although there is ambiguity about the timing of eschatological events and the certainty of their order, there is clarity about believers’ call to action. The mandate is that God’s people stand firm and fearless in full devotion to Jesus, despite the uncertainties and troubles.

 

The final chapter of Daniel contains many details about the end times and events. Daniel 12:3 describes the response of believers in such times: “And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.” 

 

One of the most urgent needs of our time is for Christians to embody Daniel 12:3 and zealously pursue wisdom, holiness, and evangelism. 

 

Jesus also spoke about the events leading up to and surrounding His return. When the Lord told the disciples what they ought to do, He directed them to continue in devotion to Him alone (Matthew 24:4), be fearless (Matthew 24:5), guard their hearts (Matthew 24:12), endure hardship for their entire lives (Matthew 24:13), and spread the gospel (Matthew 24:14). 

 

However near to or far from the Lord's return we may be, Christians must pursue godliness and the salvation of the lost. The perennial calling of Jesus’ disciples is to deny ourselves, take up our cross daily, and follow Jesus. How much more do we need to lean into this calling as lawlessness increases and as wars and rumors of wars are on the rise? 

 

Fasting and praying for extended periods of time is a primary way of humbling ourselves before God and drawing near to Him for His increased presence and power. These means of grace help Christians to be sober-minded, set our hope on Jesus alone, and cultivate and accompany a righteous life. 

 

Previous CU National Fasts had as many as 5,000 to 6,000 participants. Yet for the January 2024 National Fast, Christian Union will be recruiting 10,000 participants across our nation and invites you to prayerfully consider participating.

 

To find out more about this momentous occasion and to join with your friends, families, churches, and other Kingdom-minded Christians throughout the country, go to CUAmerica.org/fast

 

God declares, "If my people who are called by my name humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land." (2 Chronicles 7:14)  May we be a people who are willing to humble ourselves to demonstrate our dependence upon and faith in Jesus Christ: the only Prince of Peace.