Understanding Our Times

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Anyone who follows the news knows that we live in unprecedented times. The world is marching on, and everything changes along the way. Tomorrow will not be like today, and next year will not be like this year; we are steadily marching on to the end of the church era.
The world system as we know it is rapidly moving on to its predicted end. Even if we leave the prophecies of old out of it, it is clear that the world is on a path of self destruction at an increasing pace. The nuclear arms race, with far too many players, makes our planet a dangerous place. Add to that the widespread pollution of our air, the oceans, the lakes and the earth itself, and there can be no question that it is leading to a certain destruction.

Political chaos is rampant in almost every country, causing hatred between people groups, cultural upheaval, religious hostility and persecution to rise to levels that cannot be contained. Healthy morals have been thrown out with the trash in every area of our societies: our schools, news media, churches, etc. Nobody can be trusted as fake news, in their attempts to manipulate and misinform, have become so toxic that consumers thereof now lack their own moral compass, not knowing how to discern between right and wrong anymore. Then there is the gender confusion, protected by legislation everywhere, causing more stress and confusion to our already stretched cultures. How things have changed in just a few short years! Just imagine what the future will look like if Jesus delays His return.

The good news is that everything, both Biblical and secular, points to the intervention from heaven that the prophets of old have spoken about. As this era approaches its conclusion, God’s plans for the next season are being activated. Already we see the stage being set for the final scene to unfold.

How do we determine where we are on God’s calendar? The Word gives us various signs to alert us to the transition that we are about to experience, two of which I mention below:

The image that Nebuchadnezzar saw with its head of gold, its chest and arms of silver, the belly and thighs of bronze, legs of iron and feet of a mix of clay and iron. (See Daniel 2) These metals represent different world empires that would come: first Babylon, then Persia, Greece, and finally Rome. These have all come and gone, leaving us with the feet of clay and iron as the last one, and that is where we are now. We see a world trying to form a one world government under the United Nations, but the mix of nations isn’t coming together as planned.

Several prophecies spoke of Israel established as a nation again after their exile. We have noticed, in our time, the rebirth of Israel as a nation in 1948. Jews from around the world went back to their ancestral homeland ever since, and to this day. Jesus said the generation that witnesses this phenomenon – previously believed to be impossible – would be the last generation. That happened 69 years ago: how long is a generation? We can speculate about it, but it can’t be much longer than that.

Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near–at the doors! Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. (Matthew 24: 32-34)

To explain the circumstances at His return, Jesus told the parable of the ten virgins of whom five had oil, and five none. What has been troubling me for a while is that all of them were asleep when the bridegroom came, painting a perfect picture of today’s church. Churches are sleeping, not recognizing the time that we live in, cruising along as if tomorrow will be like today, and next year like this year. Sermons don’t prepare congre-gations for what is at the door, love has grown cold, believers feed on carnal food offered by TV, the internet and entertainment, causing them to become carnal in their minds – and thus enemies of God. (See Romans 8:5-8)

Please read 1 Thessalonians chapter 5 before reading further

The apostle Paul says we will know the season of the Lord’s return. We don’t know the day, but we will know the season. This is the season!

This letter comes to you as the church era entered the last lap of the race, and the finishing line is right before us. A completely new mindset is necessary to be effective in the current spiritual climate. May a spirit of urgency arrest our souls. The time that we live in requires seriousness in our service, urgency in our sermons and fire in our prayers. There is too much at stake to be casual about spiritual realities. The Body of Christ cannot afford the luxury of a carnal lifestyle, living as part time Christians. Carelessness has become the norm as people are caught up in their daily lives, leaving no room for things that really matter. In this era of grace, let grace reach out from your heart to the heart of the sinner, the cold-hearted believer and the carnal-minded Christian. May your love lure them into a deeper relationship with the Saviour. Let’s rise up in the Spirit for a strong finish!

The Arrival of the Son of Man will take place in times like Noah’s. Before the great flood everyone was carrying on as usual, having a good time right up to the day Noah boarded the ark. They knew nothing – until the flood hit and swept everything away. Matthew 24:37-39 – The Message

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