estiny Bulletin   

The World is Asking

By Dave Breese

We have just been through an era that has contained a whole series of events that come under the heading of “politics.” Despite the establishment of a new administration, the news every day contains accounts of people and movements jockeying for position in attempting to gain favor in the eyes of politicians who think that they decide the future. The mounting assumption everywhere is that everything depends upon gaining influence in the political arena. This assumption is a beguiling falsehood. It tempts us to betray our most sacred convictions.

Everything does not, after all, depend on gaining influence in politics—although Christians in political service have greatly influenced the course of history. But everything does depend of how the people of a nation answer the question asked of the Jews by Pilate: “What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” (Matthew 27:22). To the extent that Christian politicians can point the people of the nation to the proper answer to that question, they are of tremendous service to the Kingdom of God.

William Federer has produced a most valuable small book called, A Treasury of Presidential Quotations. He brings quotations from every president of the United States, showing the residue of faith which kept them straight in the days of their administration. George Washington said, “It would be peculiarly improper to omit, in this first official act, my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules the universe.”

Parenthetically, we find it most interesting that President Washington did not consider his statement to be a conflict in the “separation of church and state!” In fact, the modern misinterpretation of said prohibition is so far from the intent of our founding fathers, as to be almost ridiculous! It was intended to stop the United States from forming an official state religion—like the Church of England. And the words of many of the presidents who followed, confirm that they, too, believed that it was appropriate for a president to speak of his faith on behalf of our nation!

John Quincy Adams said, “Knowing that ‘Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh in vain,’ with fervent supplications for His favor, to His overriding providence I commit with humble but fearless confidence my own fate and the future destinies of my country.”

With real perception about why history is what it is, Adams said, “there has indeed, rarely been a period in the history of civilized man in which the general condition of the Christian nations has been marked so extensively by peace and prosperity.” Adams also said most strongly, “Savages, whom it was our policy and our duty to use our influence in converting to Christianity and in bringing within the pale of civilization. . . we have had the rare good fortune of teaching them the arts of civilization and the doctrines of Christianity.”

We can see, therefore, that these presidents had more than a general commitment to things religious. They were overtly Christian and believed in evangelism and bringing people to the place of faith in Jesus Christ. If America was ever great in days gone by, it is a tribute to the faith of our leaders and our people. This being the case, what can we expect in the present and in the days to come? Governments fall and civilizations crumble because it takes more than pompous speeches or lachrymose tears to run things. It takes fidelity to the Law of God. The Bible speaks of “the princes of this world.” It says they “come to nothing” (I Cor. 2:6). It speaks about real wisdom—it is something of “Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (I Cor. 2:8).

We have the answer to this question in the Word of God, which says, “Righteousness exalts a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people” (Prov. 14:34). The Scripture also says, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance” (Ps. 33:12).

We can be sure, therefore, that the Bible teaches and history confirms that the prosperity of a nation is not dependent on interesting political theories or clever economics. It is the nation “whose God is the Lord” that will be preserved to fulfill heaven’s purposes.

The Christians of the past generation talked about “the need for spiritual revival,” and “a returning to the Word of God.” We must agree, therefore, that spiritual revival is truly needed in America. We recommend, however, not the firebrand type, but a revival that is more basic and more solid. This includes...

  1. A revival of the careful study of the Word of God. Most Christians have no idea of the meaning of imputed righteousness, positional sanctification, or a dozen other subjects imperative to Christianity.
  2. A revival of expository preaching. Expository preaching is a special kind which should not be supplanted by vacuous discussions, torchy music, or too many guitars and drums.
  3. A revival of moral living. Grace teaches not dissipation, but discernment. It teaches us to deny “ungodliness and worldly lusts,” thereby producing a pointed contrast between the world and the life of a Christian.
  4. A revival of true commitment to Christ. Too many have said, “Lord, I’ll be happy to serve, providing it is an advisory capacity.” True commitment presents the body as a living sacrifice to God.
  5. A revival of the spiritual adventure of Christian living. There is a new day that is in the process of dawning and old, non-biblical traditions will be insufficient.

There are many instances where true revival spared a nation from the immediate judgment of God. Nineveh, when confronted with Jonah's message, turned to God in repentance. God spared Nineveh from judgment for approximately 80 years. Most historians believe it was the revivals of John and Charles Wesley that spared England from the horrors of the French Revolution. And we dare to believe that, even at this late hour, a true, deep revival of the type mentioned above, could yet spare America from judgment for a season.

Even so, the Bible warns us that the world is not going to go on forever. It reminds us that noticeable phenomena called “signs” are lurking in and around the sky above our heads. We are to, therefore, remember that the earth is reserved for destruction—and before that Christ will return in power and great glory. We must become serious about these things! We have a very dangerous ho-hum attitude about the possibility of the end of the world coming upon us. We are told these things so that we will set our affection on things above and not on things of earth. Because of the promised destruction of all things made out of atoms and molecules, are we unwise to place our faith in material things rather than the living God? C.S. Lewis said, “He who has God and many other things has no more than He who has God alone.” Having God alone is really, when we think of it, the only possession that is truly ours in this world. Everything else is a papier-mache substitute for the real thing.

Frequency and intensity are the two words to keep in mind as we think about the days in the midst of which we live. God has told us in His word that the signs of the times will multiply themselves as to frequency and their impact upon this world will be greater in intensity. Some people say cynically, “Well, we’ve always had wars and poverty, etc... Is this not more of the punctuated history for the last two thousand years?” However, the difference in our time is frequency and intensity. More people than ever are remarking, “Spectacular events seem to happen in our time with greater frequency than ever. It seems like every week and sometimes almost every day something takes place that reminds us that the world could be drawing to its conclusion.”

Others note the intensity of the impact of the events of our time causing wide-spread concern, anxiety, even horror. Make no mistake about it. The world is coming to an end and God is fulfilling His promise of giving us those signs which will cause us to look up for a coming redemption. No one is wise who forgets this in our time. It is definitely unsophisticated to argue that just because a thing hasn’t happened, it will not happen. The past proves nothing about the future and particularly is this true when we are speaking about divine activity to warn people of the consummation of history. Let’s be looking up.

Truly the Bible speaks with authority saying, “There is no peace, says my God, to the wicked.” Rather the world is characterized by “distress of nations, with perplexity.” This means that trouble is everywhere and no one knows what to do about it. The one, of course, who knows what to do is Jesus Christ, the Creator of the universe. Peace, therefore, will come and will prevail only when Christ Himself is given His rightful place in the lives of men and nations. This will happen during His millennial reign when He will rule over the city of Jerusalem, over Israel, and the nations of the world. Short of this, peace cannot come because “the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.” What then shall we do? We will continue to present the Gospel to a lost mankind and at the same time, keep your eyes on the eastern sky.

A quick word of warning is appropriate here. Referring to the end of the age, Jesus said, “Many shall come in My name, saying, I am Christ.” They will be clever deceivers who, if it were possible, would deceive the very elect. Watch out for deceivers with strange doctrines who would usurp the place of Christ. Such activity gives us a foretaste of the rise of Antichrist. In fact, the Scripture specifically predicts the coming of the Antichrist and warns us that he will invent a global religion where everyone will be forced to worship. The Scripture then gives us characteristics of the religion of the Antichrist which would be profitable to review. These are pointed up in Revelation chapter 13. The religion of the Antichrist will be:

    Satanic—People will worship the dragon which is another name in Scripture for the Devil.
    Humanistic—They will worship the beast who is the Antichrist himself.
    Universal—All the world will be involved.
    Ecumenical—Every religion in the world, except Christianity, will be involved.
    Phenomenalistic—The Antichrist will work miracles and even call down fire from heaven.
    Idolatrous—The world will worship the image of the beast.
    Cruel—All who do not worship will be killed.

We notice that everyone will receive a mark. Do we see these things rising in our present world? Indeed, the advent of false religions, heretical doctrines, and cultic development is more and more apparent in these days.

How important, therefore, it is for us to stand for the truth of the Word of God and labor for Christ in these exciting times. We do not know what time remains for us, but we do know that we will have the help of God in all that we aspire to do for Christ.

Many people are asking about the teaching of the Prophetic Word, having heard that Christ is coming back again. This curiosity of the world should be seen as Christian opportunity. I trust that each one of us is equipped to give a reason for the faith that is in us so that, in these opportune times, we may be used of God to reach others for the Savior.

In the light of all of the confusions of our world, I want to say a very special thanks to you. You have prayed for this ministry. As a result, we have enjoyed the blessing of God upon this outreach for Christ. I have become increasingly conscious of the value of prevailing prayer as we remember one another before the throne of grace. Tennyson said, “More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of,” and Jesus said, “Men ought always to pray, and not to faint.” The promise of Scripture is that, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” I am convinced that this ministry has been preserved, protected, and blessed of God because of your earnest prayers. Let’s continue to pray for one another in these days to come. God will hear and you and I will rejoice in the answer.