Anyone watching the news today has to be sobered by the events occurring around the world and here on our native soil.
Terrorism, deadly diseases, Christian persecution, and evil is abounding everywhere on the globe. I suppose that this is nothing new in the great scheme of things but it seems to be far worse in the 21st century than it was in the 20th century. Could it be that time is on the march toward a coming conclusion of the affairs of man on the world’s stage? Are we truly in the “end times” as preachers predict we are? None of this is certain and it is reliant on God’s grace and longsuffering.
But this has become painfully clear to me and perhaps to you as well—Troublesome times are coming and they are coming to America.
So far America has been spared the worst of the worst. Yes we have had our natural disasters and an attack by terrorists on American soil but we have not experienced the horrors that have plagued other countries for many years now.
I heard recently of a report to our church from missionaries to the Middle East that are crying out for a covering of prayer over them. They have seen the atrocities committed by ISIS towards Christians in those countries that are under siege by unimaginable evil. For this is what it is–it is an attack of Satan on believers.
The missionaries told of Christian families that were confronted by ISIS. ISIS first interrogated the children and demanded they deny Jesus. When the children refused they were beheaded in front of the parents. There can be no mistake that Christianity is under attack.
Here in the America it is cloaked in fine speeches of equality and free choice for everyone. The “Religion of Tolerance” abounds setting itself above the Christian faith. In other countries it is outright violent and deadly. But make no mistake either way it is an attack on every believer in Christ. Jesus said His name would be an offence to those who do not believe and it was never more clear than it is today.
Judgment is coming. A righteous and holy God will not tolerate man’s evil forever. He will step in to put an end to it. When he does our world will be in the grip of the “last days” before His coming to set up His kingdom of peace and joy upon the earth. But before that we know from reading Revelation in the Bible that a time of great trouble such has never been before will occur upon the earth. Those of us as believers have the hope of being “raptured” (taken up to heaven) before the time of tribulation begins but——–we have no idea when that will be and no way of knowing what trials and tribulation we may go through before we are raptured. We may be asked to take bold stands for our faith in Christ before that time. We may become martyrs for the faith before that time. We may suffer through times of want and dread and disease before that happens.
So what do we do? Cower in fear? It is tempting–Worry continually? Hard not to do–Become a doomsday prepper? Possibly if you are so inclined. Stick our heads in the sand and pretend it isn’t happening and surely it won’t happen here in our neighborhoods and towns. Again very tempting—-
What does the Bible say about these days? II Peter 3:11 says “Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, (the earth and our possession of it) what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness. Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of the Lord.”
I want to share with you some thoughts over the next few blogs about what we can do to be ready for “anything” Satan throws our way.
Let’s start with “Gird up your minds.” In other words ‘prepare your mind for action.’
Isaiah 33:6 “and wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation the fear of the LORD is his treasure.” These are days when we must spend time in God’s Word and encourage our hearts and minds from it.
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed(fixed) on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” Isaiah 26:3
Remember “He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces—” Isaiah 25:8
the Lord is at hand. Be careful(worried) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known unto God, and the peace of God which passeth understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
“Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” I Peter 1:13
Our minds need to be right before our hearts can be right. We have to remove our thoughts from the negative things that we hear every day and place them in to God’s hands replacing our worries and fears with scriptures.
And then share the gospel of salvation with others so that they might have a hope in the days to come.
The hymn that I would like to share with you today asks a question–“Are Ye Able?” said the Master–It is a question I must ask myself and then find the answer to this question in my own life.
Are ye able,” said the Master, “To be crucified with me?”
“Yea,” the conquering Christians answered,
To the death we follow Thee.”
“Are ye able,” to remember,
When a thief lifts up his eyes,
That his pardoned soul is worthy
Of a peace in Paradise?
“Are ye able,” when the shadows close around you with the sod,
To believe that spirit triumphs,
To commend your soul to God?
“Are ye able,” still the Master whispers down eternity,
And heroic spirits answer,
Now, as then in Galilee.
“Lord, we are able,”
Our spirits are Thine,
Remold them, make us like Thee, Divine:
Thy guiding radiance above us shall be
A beacon to God, to love and loyalty.”
Earl Bowman Marlatt 1892-1976——Harry S. Mason 1881-1964