All old people say these are the worst of times. You canít turn on the TV or the computer, or go to movies, or listen to the radio without being assaulted. The media blows everything out of proportion , instigating arguments just for the sake of it. Even the churches make us long for a little hypocrisy. That attitude, "It,s my lifestyle like it or lump it" is common these days. Liberty has become license. How are you going to keep them down on the farm? Has all this offended you? Caution, only you know how you think. |
How about oneís faith? Is it affected by this bad state of affairs? "Behold I come quickly," were Jesus last words, "and my reward is with me." And Paul said, "The night is far spent and the day is at hand." 2,000 years have passed and nothing has happened. Not only has nothing happened, but what is supposed to have happened has changed. Hence the name of this talk, Coming in on a wing and a prayer, sung by fighter pilots in World War II. It could be called, I believe, help thou mine unbelief.
Our religious constitution, like the U.S. constitution, has changed. It started in the first century with Hellenistic influences. Itís a wonder anything is left. Down through the generations they have shaped the religious constitution to suit themselves. Jesus, speaking of the Jews in his day, quotes Isaiah saying, in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrine the commandments of men. Even more, the belief in the serpentís lie (thou shalt not surely die) is the virus that brings down the edifice of truth. Paul prophesied this about us in 2 Tim 3, that in the last days we would be lovers of pleasures, more than lovers of God; having a form of Godliness, but denying the power thereof. Many have a religion without the God of religion. It is one merely cloaked with the aphorisms of Christ.
Is religion all mystical, as some think? Truth is rather a combination of reason and faith. We reason to find out the truth, which is not that complicated, just hidden under a mountain of fable. Actually, reason is the easy part, faith the hard part, although its part of every act of our being. In the chaos around us we must constantly remind ourselves of the substance of our faith. Reasonableness fits conclusions of evidence that supports the resurrection, and the belief in the idea that you surely die. More evidence in this than for heaven.
We have the comfort of prophecy fulfilled and being fulfilled. In many circles itís bad form to believe in prophecy. It is associated almost with lunacy.. But read 2 Peter 1. 21 which says that prophecy came not by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the holy spirit. In short, the prophets didnít make up their pronouncements; and we need to keep their words as frontlets or reminders before our eyes. The survival of the Jew; Israel a mere pinprick on the map has made the whole world sick. Why is Israel more important than, say, Albania? Prophecies concerning the preservation of Jewish identity, their re-gathering, and the birth of the nation itself, all foretold 2,000 years before, are followed by prophecies that predict the rise of anti Semitism in the last days, and ultimately the invasion of the land of Israel as described in Ezekiel 38 and 39.
Specific prophecies describing events preceding the last days are numerous. It will be a time of trouble such as never was (Dan 12). The Olivet prophecies of Jesus describe what will occur: wars, famines, pestilence and earthquakes. In June, 1967 Jerusalem became a Jewish city, almost. Trodden down until the time of the Gentiles were fulfilled we are fast approaching the time when the last vestige of occupation is removed: the Dome of the Rock. Signs in the sun, moon and stars speak of the space age run amok. There will be distress of nations who will be , yea are, plagued with colossal and insoluble problems. The sea and the waves roaring are expressed by the turmoil and ferment among the worldís masses. A revolutionary virus abounds. Anarchy prevails.
More prophetic signs are seen in the fact that menís hearts are failing them for fear. Huge population growth leading to famine, industry waste to world pollution, and the poisoning of the seas. The apparent economic collapse of world governments and the ever present threat of "the bomb". The powers of heaven shall be shaken. The universe is made up of millions of atoms, each a miniature solar system embodying enormous energy. But the atom has now been split, and this power resides in the hands of man.
Look at the fig tree (Israel) and all the trees. Christís parable states that when the tree puts forth its leaves, know that summer is nigh. All the trees signify the birth of many nations (In 1945 the UN had 45 member nations; in the 70's, 150). The moral collapse that surrounds us is all too apparent (see 2 Tim 3.1 - 9). All things continue as they were from the beginning, we read in 2 Peter 3.1 - 14) Do we therefore ignore God and the divine arrangement of the world? Do we believe the lie, the theory of evolution, perpetrated on mankind whereby the power of the Creator is nullified?
These prophecies cannot put you in a state of suspended animation. We must stop and listen. Remember the parable of the talents: occupy til I come. We must live a life so that our antenna doesnít become rusty. Watch for the increase in the number of earthquakes, and observe the animals and their sensitive behavior. Those who are watching by the light of prophecy are not in darkness that that day should overtake them as a thief. Soldiers of Christ will all come in on a wing and a prayer; they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint. (Is.40. 31)