It is hard to believe that I am writing this update at the beginning of another year. How time has flown, and what a strange year 2020 has been! Our world is changing very fast, and not in a good way. So much of our freedoms have been eroded by the arrival of Covid-19, and we are constantly being reminded to expect a “new normal,” whatever that might be. I will never dare to count myself among the prophets, but based on the information that the Bible gives us about the future, I do understand that “perilous times” await us. I did not know about the virus at the beginning of last year, but it was clear that we would be entering a time of big changes with diminishing freedoms. This is what I wrote at the beginning of 2020:
While it is far from us to cast a shadow of pessimism over the new year that we have just entered, it would be foolish not to point to events that might happen soon. It is our responsibility to bring such things under the intention of fellow believers so that they can set their minds at ease that nothing is taking the Lord by surprise. He is in control of it all. Also, we would do well to prepare ourselves for changes that are coming, and make some adjustments where necessary.
Let’s enter the new year, once again, by connecting the dots between the news of the day and the Bible’s prophecies. Did you know that the Bible has more to say about the time that we live in than any other time in the world’s history? The Lord, in His love and care for us, gave us detailed information about this period of time so that we will not be afraid by what we see happening around us. The One who knew the end from the beginning doesn’t want us to be anxious as we see the world and its systems unravel with our own eyes.
The battle between light and darkness has reached a tipping point, and preparations for a global government is far advanced. All systems necessary for it to function are in place. Great gains have been made with the arrival of Covid-19 almost a year ago—something that the proponents of the New World Order will never give up. The momentum is on their side, and we can expect stricter lockdowns and control over our freedoms of speech and movement down the road.
While these things are happening, many Christians ask where God is in all of it. The short answer is that He has everything in His hand, as He always had. His plans were all written down for us beforehand, and will unfold exactly as He said. Difficult days are ahead of us in the natural, but we have hope because our faith is in God and not in any man.
Spiritually spoken, this is a time of separation: the wheat from the chaff; the true from the false; the substance from the appearance; the genuine from the copy; the serious from the casual, and true faith from religion. Our faith will be tested as never before, but if we endure we will overcome.
One sad byproduct of the efforts to curb Covid, is the limits placed on church attendance. This is a controversial matter as some see it as persecution, which is understandable since gatherings of large groups of people are allowed on public transportation, shops, protests, and other situations. Only time will tell if this is in fact true, but a day will come when Christians will have to make a decision concerning their gathering together. The Christian faith can hardly be done without fellowship.
So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added [a]to the church daily those who were being saved. Acts 2:46,47
The early church also faced restrictions, but they were innovative and found a way to survive. Banned from the temple and synagogues, they continued in the homes of believers— and thrived. Small groups can be very powerful if there are no personal ambitions involved. The early church proved it, as do present day churches in countries where Christians are persecuted. I have personally seen the underground church in China flourishing despite the threat of harsh sentences. I always had a feeling that the church will end the way it started—in the homes of believers.
And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:24,25
The reason why we are encouraged to consider one another, is because it is so easy to fall by the wayside if you walk alone, something that can be easily noticed when someone is absent from regular fellowship gatherings.
And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Romans 13:11,12
We have no idea how this year will end. What started with two weeks of lockdowns in 2020, escalated to political instability as we take the first steps into 2021. The New World Order is rearing its head with the silencing of dissenting voices and restrictions on movement. The “new normal” will be very different from the life we knew before Covid, and the time has come to be serious about our relationship with the Lord.
Spend as much time as you can in the Word, and allow the Holy Spirit to direct your thoughts and actions. Turn off your TV and redeem the time, because the days will be getting more evil as time marches on. Let us withdraw from the world and its issues, knowing that it is not our home, and that we will be going home soon!
Let us pray for one another that our faith will not fail.
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