We have once again crossed over into a new year, and, as we always do, we wish everyone the best for the new year.
This is also a time when all kinds of prognosticators, “prophets” and crystal ball gazers come forward with their views of what the year will bring. Looking back though, very few of those predictions actually materialized in years past – at least not in a general way.
I will not dare to count myself as a prophets, but we have, as the apostle Peter says, “a more sure word of prophecy, whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place…” (2 Peter 1:19) It reminds us of the words of David when he said the Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. (Psalm 119:105) The Bible has everything that we need to know about the future; it is all there to prepare us for what is to come.
The Lord knows the end from the beginning, (Isaiah 46:10) and wrote the earth’s history in advance to comfort us with the assurance that everything happens according to His plan. This is our privilege as children of the living God.
Changes happen everywhere around us as God is moving toward the culmination of all things. For this very reason this new year will not be the same as last year. The news of the day heralds the fulfilment of prophecies of old, as they unfold before our eyes, and helps us to determine where we are on God’s calendar. Looking at our world, it is clear that the day is far spent. While some aspects of the Bible’s prophecies have happened at certain times in the past, such as wars, earthquakes, famines, etc., we have never before seen a convergence of signs as we do now.
While it is far from us to cast a veil 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. Above all is the importance to share the gospel and the grace of God with those who still need to surrender their hearts to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
On top of the predicted signs of the times that we notice, is Israel – God’s timepiece. The fact that the nation of Israel is in existence in their homeland, is a major indicator of the time that we live in. What seemed totally impossible a mere century ago, has come to complete fulfilment, just as foretold in the Bible. A possible development that will give us a more accurate indication of where we are, is a peace treaty with Israel that includes the building of their temple, especially if it is agreed to be a temporary agreement for a period of seven years, as foretold in Daniel 9:27.
Such an agreement might already be in the making, to be revealed soon. President Trump – as all recent presidents before him – is working on such a peace plan. Although all previous plans have failed, the president tasked his son-in-law, Jared Kushner – a Jew himself – with the making of a peace plan between Israel and its neighbours. The plan has been made, and will be revealed once a new government is installed in Israel.
Israel had two elections last year, both with inconclusive results, and new elections are scheduled for March 2nd, 2020. Once a government is formed, Trump’s plan will be released. We don’t know the details yet, but if we see anything that corresponds with Daniel 9:24-27, and if it is ratified by the UN, we might very well be close to the start of the seven years of the last week mentioned by the prophet. (The weeks mentioned in that passage are year-weeks)
Other developments that warrant our attention continue to take place, such as:
- The progress made with Trans humanism – man’s attempt to create an immortal super human
- Artificial Intelligence – a development with scary potential, if fallen into the wrong hands. Nobody really knows the full extent of what AI is capable of, making it a risky gamble
- Riots and uprisings are seen everywhere, especially in Europe and Scandinavia
- The world’s economy is extremely fragile with unsustainable debt and international trade wars
- A renewed rise of socialism/communism, even in countries that, until recently, had stable capitalistic cultures
- Increasing lawlessness, even by heads of state. Add to that the blatant breaking of God’s laws on life and sexuality, among other things
- Shrinking freedoms, especially of free speech and religious expression
- The Middle East is a powder keg, ready to explode at any moment
- The New World Order, with a global government, is in the making, and underway
The list is much longer than this. Please do your own research on these topics and come to your own conclusion about these things. Then compare what you see with the message of the Bible.
Fear for what the future holds may be a natural response in many hearts, but it would be the wrong way to react to these things. The best action would be to rearrange your priorities. Your spiritual well-being is now of the utmost importance: your relationship with the Lord and those of your loved ones, together with new initiatives to make the gospel known, need to be at the top of your preferences. You have nothing to lose by drawing closer to the Lord. Get into the Word, step up your prayer life, and move secular entertainment to the bottom of your list. Be a God-honouring steward of your time and resources.
We enter the future with confidence because we know nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:35-39) Our salvation is a sure thing; because we built our spiritual house on the rock, (Matthew 7:24-25) it will not fall when storms beat against it. Whatever comes your way, remember that God’s grace is enough for you. Grace supplies where we fall short. Therefore, “be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 2:1)
I encourage you to live an intentional life, with eternity in mind. Let us pray for one another as Christians, and be gracious toward one another. Everyone is at a different place in their walk with the Lord, and might face challenges that we don’t know of.
May 2020, with whatever it brings, be a year in which we solidify our faith-walk. God’s grace will be enough for every situation that we might face, and will see us through!