(Friday Church News Notes, November 30, 2012, www.wayoflife.org)
The signs of the end times are everywhere. Our upcoming book The Bible According to the Future contains a large chapter on these. The strange thing is that believers often react to the signs the very opposite of how God intends for us to react. As we witness such things as the spread of globalism, the building of a one-world church, the increase of wickedness, the breakdown of the traditional family, the destruction of that priceless bastion of liberty called America, the normalization of homosexuality, the callous murder of babies, the filthy pop culture, the breathtaking increase in governmental surveillance, we become fearful, uncertain, frustrated, angry, and discouraged, but this is because our minds and hearts are too focused on things of this world rather than things above. Too often we have the same short view that “conservative” unbelievers have rather than the long view that comes from the light of Bible prophecy. Doubtless there will be frustration and discouragement, because we aren’t spiritual robots who are unaffected by our environment, but our response should be tempered by the truths of God’s Word. We should respond to the times in a dramatically different way than our unsaved friends and neighbors. When we consider what is happening in the world, we should respond in at least the following ways.
First, we should rejoice greatly in our salvation. “But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy” (1 Pet. 4:13).
Second, we should be comforted that Christ’s return is drawing near. “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh” (Lk. 21:28).
Third, we should be encouraged that God is in control. “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way” (2 Th. 2:7).
Fourth, we should stand in the confidence that the present evil is exceedingly temporary and will soon be cut down. “Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace” (Psa. 37:7-11).
Fifth, we must do more praying. “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time” (1 Tim. 2:1-6). Desperate times call for more praying, but we are witnessing a dearth of prayer in the typical Bible-believing church. There is lots of partying and lots of activities and fun but not a lot of praying. 1 Timothy 2 ties prayer together with living a quiet and peaceable life and the liberty to preach the gospel, the very things that we want.
Finally, we should be busy in the harvest fields. “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:8-9). The Bible plainly says that Christ is waiting because He wants to save souls. Instead of fretting at the signs of the times, we need to rededicate ourselves to proclaiming the gospel to every person in every nation and building sound Bible-believing churches where God’s people can be protected, edified, trained, discipled, and where godly Christian homes can be built and children can be prepared as arrows in the hand of the Lord to go out and do battle against the forces of evil.