26 March 2005

The world has just witnessed what has been described as the most horrible natural disaster in history. What a comfort it is for us to know that Jesus Christ is still ruling in the armies of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. Surely, as we view the terrible scenes of those who are suffering it should cause us to be very thankful for the blessings around us. This disaster is very indicative of our Lord's words in Luke, 21:25, when He described what may very well be the sign of His return: "And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring". Many earthquakes have been reported recently, and of all things, this latest catastrophe has caused the seas and waves to roar. We see a great falling away among professed believers as Paul described in 2 Thessalonians 2:3: "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition". Evil men and seducers have waxed worse and worse and the wickedness of this world can no longer be cleansed by the destruction of a city or nation. Today, we have the internet, the airwaves, the television, music and Hollywood, all serving the beast in one way or another. To make it worse, people seem to think it is just the status quo as Peter said they would say: "Where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation". Do not we hear the words of Paul ring in our ears concerning the latter days: "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which god hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth". Surely, this too, is a sign of the times. Couples live together outside of the bonds of wedlock unashamed. Some of God's own people seem confused over this as well as other issues. As Paul described in his second epistle to Timothy, "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God: Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away." Much could be said of this, but is it not a commentary of our present day? And since we bring it up are we not ridiculed and laughed at as the prophets of old when they prophesied against Israel, or as Noah, who warned the people as he built the ark. We do not know the exact day of our Lord's return, yet, all of this should cause us to lift up our eyes and anticipate the return of our Lord and King. Though God's family are forever secure, being bought by the precious blood of the Lamb, the scriptures still warn us to be found watching and waiting for HIS return with great anticipation and delight: "Even so, come, Lord Jesus." I must say with Peter, "Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness"- 2 Peter 3:11. If there has ever been a time for God's people to be called to faithfulness, this is the time.