For a World No Longer Confident
By Dave Breese
First of all, I want to wish for you the happiest set of holidays that you have ever known. I do hope that everything is building up toward that climax of the year for you. How fast the days go by and how quickly Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's come upon us. The holidays are particularly useful to us because the extra dividend, beside the obvious ones which they give us, is that they mark the passing of time. The passing of time is not to be discounted as trivial because it means that we move forever away from yesterday and always into tomorrow.
We are at a watershed of history. We are facing a time of new decisions, new ways of looking at things. The winds of change are everywhere. Could God be speaking to America in all of this? Certainly the lesson which we are to derive is that our human structuresgovernment, military, financial, municipalare not as secure as once they were thought. Indeed, the props which hold up our social structure could disappear as quickly as the World Trade Center.
It is possible that we are moving into the last days of history. We must be prepared for unusual opportunities and outreaches in these days. A world that is no longer confident in its existing props may be willing to listen to the message of eternal life.
What the Bible Says About the Future
1. There will be a period of time called the last days in which many startling events will take place in our world.
Given these figures about what we characterize as the last days, we are entitled to ask, Is there safety? Is there hope in times like these? Happily, the answer to those questions is, Yes, a thousand times, yes. The refuge from the dangers of life is found in the Lord Himself. Faith in Jesus Christ makes a person a Christian. It also delivers him into the protection of God and his life is helped by the Lord with every day that passes. When I am a Christian, God will not allow a hair of my head to be touched apart from His perfect will and divine permission. Therefore, the prospect of being consumed in these heavy events coming upon our world is something about which the Christian need not worry. God has promised to protect us all.
The Hope of the Christian
3. The Antichrist will first come to power at the head of a ten-nation complex, the revived Roman empire. From thence, he will be escalated into global power and he will present himself to the world as God Himself. He will rule the world and force everyone on pain of death to worship him. Ultimately, however, he will be deposed and destroyed by an army that comes from heaven under the leadership of Jesus Christ. Yes, Christ will come with ten thousands of His saints. The Antichrist, when he comes, will be here at a time in the world that could be called apostasy, anarchy, and strong delusion.
4. Another characteristic of the future that we must not miss is the oncoming of the Tribulation. The Bible predicts a 7-year period in which men will attempt to run the world without God. They will bring to pass a day so terrible that Christ spoke about it saying, Except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved (Matt. 24:22). The Tribulation will be a terrible time in which there will be horrible wars, devastating plagues, catastrophic natural phenomenon and many other things.
The time of the Tribulation, however, will also be a time of great evangelism. One hundred forty-four thousand Jewish witnesses and many others will preach the Gospel of the Kingdom across the world. It will be heard in every nation on earth and then shall the end come(Matt. 24:14).
5. The future, thank God, also holds the message of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. At the end of the Tribulation, Christ will return, leading an army from heavenof ten thousands of His saintsfor the conquest of Earth. As a result of that vast invasion from heaven, the Antichrist will be deposed and sent to hell. Satan himself will be hurled into the bottomless pit where he will be in chains of darkness for at least a thousand years. By His return, Christ will establish His kingdom and rule the nations of the world. All other competing powers (and they were false anyway) will be deposed and Christ will be seen to be KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
6. The future will also bring the millennial reign of Jesus Christ. Yes, for 1,000 years of perfect happiness, Christ will rule the world and it will be a most wonderful place. During the millennial reign of Christ, the world will discover the blessing it could have known all of the time had it elected to follow Jesus Christ. During that millennial reign, evil will be suppressed and only that which is good and righteous and decent will be allowed in the world. The millennial reign of Christ will be a period of peace and blessing that will be wonderful beyond description.
7. Following the reign of Christ, there will be a brief period of senseless rebellion against Christ, the King. At this time, the Bible says that Christ will send down fire from heaven to consume His enemies. Following this, and in short order, the earth will be cleansed by fire and a new heaven and a new earth will come to pass. Then we who are Christians, having believed the Gospel, will live in the wideness and the wonder of eternity. Those who have been faithful will reign with Him and all who have believed the Gospel will be characterized by a fullness of joy.
Out in eternity we will see the fulfillment of the astonishing promise which says, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love Him (I Cor. 2:9). When we think of the totally magnificent future that awaits us, we ought not to complain or be at all resentful of any of the inconveniences of this world. Paul says (and he said it in a prison cell), For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us (Rom. 8:18). Yes, there are events ahead which are marvelous beyond description. At that time, we will thank God for the day in which someone told us about Christ and how we could have everlasting life by faith in Him.
By FaithThen by Sight
By this time I hope that you notice that the Prophetic Word of God is the only source of any valid information about the future. How sad are the pitiful predictions of people who only think from a humanist point of view. They are foolishly committed to the senseless theory of evolution which starts nowhere, does nothing, and takes people into no future at all. The fact is that In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth and He continues to preside above everything in the universe in great detail. The universe is infinitely complicated, and so this is no small feat. Many men, even many educators, would deny that God presides above the creation and looks after all of our lives. Given what we see in nature, we must insist that it could not happen otherwise. No inchoate force could have produced all of this and no empty theory can make for us any promises about the future.
Our second recommendation comes from the fact that there are millions of people studying in this blessed land of ours who know nothing about God, Christ, or the Bible. More than often, a person becomes a Christian because of the testimony of a friend or acquaintance. You have ten, fifteen, or perhaps twenty friends who are without Christ and without hope. You may be the key that God chooses to bring that person to saving faith in the Lord Jesus. A friend that leads another to Christ is a friend indeed.
And, by the way, let's remind ourselves that the future will not only be tragic for the wicked, it will be marvelous for the Christian. The troubled times that are mounting in our external world will turn into marvelous spiritual opportunities. There are millions of curious young students in America today who have heard rumors that Christ is coming again, but that's all they know. We can help them come to real salvation in Christ!