Isn’t it amazing! It’s almost scary how fast time goes by! And, speaking of scary, reading the newspaper and watching or listening to the news can make your hair “stand on end”. Which brings me to something I have been thinking about a lot lately.

Many people believe we are living in the “time of the end”, or the “last days”. I’m one of those people. As I look around me and compare what’s happening in our world with the end-time prophecies I have studied and read about, I am convinced this is it! We have arrived at the “time of the end”, soon to officially become the “time of trouble”, or the “days of tribulation”.

For a long time, as I watched the increasing crime, worldwide wars and unrest, incurable illnesses, poverty, continuing natural disasters and moral decay all around, I felt shocked and dismayed. Then, I would hear echoing in my mind the words of a dear lady I worked with years ago.

Her name was Susan. One day, some of us in the office were talking about the way things were going in the world. Susan turned and looked at me, her face glowing, and said, “Isn’t it wonderful?! I get so excited each time I hear the news! The prophecies are being fulfilled, and that means Our Lord Jesus will be returning soon!” I looked at her carefully and saw she really meant it. I could see the excitement in her eyes and hear the happiness in her voice.

I don’t remember what my exact answer was. I think I said something like, “Oh, I never thought of it like that.”, or “Well, I guess you’re right.” But, it doesn’t matter what I said, her response made me think.

I started to “wonder” to God about it, which I guess is one of my ways of asking Him questions. I would think things to Him like, “I ‘wonder’ if we are to really feel like Susan? What about all the pain and suffering? How can I be happy about that?” Then there were times I would think to Him, “I certainly do look forward to Jesus’ return, and that makes me happy; but I ‘wonder’ if there isn’t some way that He could return without all of those terrible prophecies coming to pass?”

Soon, I was “wondering” all sorts of things to God about the end-times. Oh, I had studied a lot about the prophecies; how just before Christ’s return it would be “as in the days of Noah” when the great flood came and destroyed most of mankind; how the plagues would come, etc. But, I wanted to understand it better. I wanted to find something that would bring joy during such an awful time.

After a while, I began to get quiet thoughts about how “the righteous would shine like the firmament”, and how “the wise shall understand”. These were end-time prophecies, too. Then, I would remember about the “rock” that was cut out of the mountain without hands”, and the seven wonderful verses in Revelation that talk about those who overcome.

Suddenly, one day I found myself poring over the scriptures and realized that God was answering my “wonderings” to Him. He had gently and quietly led me to the information that would clear up those “wonderings”.

As I studied His Word, the Holy Spirit began to give me a clearer understanding of some of the prophecies; clearer than I had ever had before. An encouraging picture began to build in my mind. This is what I saw: The world, indeed, is filled with all its bickering, corrupt governments; fallen leaders of the church; crime and sickness. However, I began to see that there was a group of people, mentioned in prophecy, that were very different and very special. I saw that there are two classes of people in this world, and only two: those who love and serve God, and those who don’t.

The ones who serve God are becoming more and more like Christ: pure, holy, humble, loving and radiant with the Holy Spirit. Oh, you may not see them so clearly now, but as time goes on, all will be able to know who they are. They will “shine like the firmament”.

The problem is that the news, entertainment, and public media all focus on those who do not serve God. Therefore, there is an overwhelming amount of negative, distressing information fed to us about our world and what is happening in it. Now, I don’t say stick your head in the sand. Far from it. We need to be aware of what is going on around us and in the world. However, we should focus on the good that is also going on here; quietly, but powerfully; so powerfully that one day those who continue to be a part of that good, and continue to grow in Christ, will rule this world with Our Lord Jesus Christ when He returns.

Right now, God is busy separating the evil ones from the good. He calls it His “strange act”, because always before He allowed the “wheat and the tares” to grow together. He allowed those who did not serve Him (the tares) to move right along with those who did serve Him (the wheat). However, that is changed for the end-times. More and more there will be a polarization of those who serve Him and those who don’t. We will have to be either “hot or cold”, there will be no lukewarm in-between-ness. That is why there are so many blatant expressions of evil in the world today; groups that loudly proclaim their evil intentions and invite others to join them in carrying out those intentions. God is allowing this activity because it is one of the ways the “tares”, the evil ones, are being gathered out, into bundles so to speak. Then there will be no doubt who they are. There will be a clear line of demarcation between those who are of the Light and those who are of the dark, and all will be able to see it.

After I saw what was really going on, I realized there was a bright side to all the chaos we were experiencing in this world. Prophecy shows not only the evil coming upon our world, but the good as well. Indeed, there is a part of our world that is getting worse and worse. However, there is also a part of our world that is getting better and better. There is a way, here and now, to enjoy life and be happy, not only about the return of Our Lord Jesus Christ (which certainly is the greatest thing to be happy about), but also about our circumstances today. All we have to do is join the side that is getting better and better. Remember that serving God and growing in Christ brings us ever increasing happiness and peace, in spite of whatever else is going on in the world. Focus on Jesus and His promises. Live for Him. Pray for God’s love to become the governing factor in your life, and you will be one of those that “shine like the firmament”. You will be part of that “stone that was cut out of the mountain without hands”. That stone is the Kingdom of God that will topple all other earthly kingdoms and fill all the earth.

Now, I can say with Susan, as I focus on the prophecies of the good coming upon our world, “Isn’t it wonderful?! The prophecies are being fulfilled! That means Our Lord Jesus Christ will be returning soon!” Amen.

May God bless you and yours always.

In the love of Christ,
The Author and Scribe

 

(For scripture references for the above, request CC394.)

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