Pastor Christian Becker (pictured) of the Grace Brethren church in Buena Vista, Virginia, says, “Beginning this Sunday, our church will be hosting a prophecy conference on ‘Understanding the Times’ with Rev. Mike Wingfield from Roanoke VA.
“I wrote this article to raise the issue and get people thinking about the times we live in.
“Please pray with us that God will use these meetings to help the church understand that time is short and the urgency that is needed to reach our world for Christ.
“If you live close enough to attend, I invite you to drop by and hear Mike.”
Understanding Our Times
It’s the best of times. It’s the worst of times.
Two terrible wars are going on in Afghanistan and Iraq. Terrorism is spreading around the globe. But, in spite of worldwide market fluctuations and the mortgage mess, people are still buying flat-screen televisions, new cars, iPods and iPhones like there’s no tomorrow.
Well, what if there was no tomorrow?
Frankly, I think there will be a tomorrow. But what if tomorrow brings a very different world than today? That’s a more likely scenario.
Now hold that thought for just a minute. Could the world be all that different tomorrow?
We know from recent history that the world can change overnight. It happened several times in my lifetime. It’s just a matter of time before it happens again.
The day after President Kennedy was assassinated, our world was a different place. It changed forever the day after the Columbine School shootings. After 9-11-2001 people talked about a “New Normal.” And six years later we’re still learning to cope.
It seems like every day the newspaper or television reports a catastrophe somewhere: Earthquakes and hurricanes; terrorist attacks planned, thwarted or perpetrated. Every night the news from the Middle East is more disturbing than the day before.
Does anyone really understand the times we live in?
Someone does. More than 2,000 years ago, God told the prophets of Israel about what would happen in our times. They recorded this “future news” in the Bible for our benefit. Author Joel C. Rosenberg calls prophecy “Intelligence intercepts from the mind of God.”
God revealed to the Old Testament Prophet Ezekiel that in the last days Russia would enter an agreement with Iran. For more than 2,000 years there has not been a Russian-Iranian treaty–until now. God says that Babylon (in Iraq) will one day rise again to be a world power.
Jesus Christ spoke to His disciples about the end times. He described worldwide wars and earthquakes. He talked about the rise of false religions and cults. He said evil would increase and then there would come a time of great distress, unmatched in human history.
The Prophet Joel talked about all the nations turning against Israel and seeking to divide it. In the New Testament book of Revelation, one of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse brings a devastating worldwide food shortage, which leads to massive inflation.
These events sound as if they could be ripped from today and tomorrow’s headlines!
One of the purposes for the Bible is to help us understand the times in which we live and to enable us to see history from God’s perspective. It tells us that part of God’s plan is for Jesus Christ to return one day and fix the mess we’ve made of planet earth.
Students of Bible prophecy and signs of the times tell us that recent history and current events seem to line up with many of the Bible’s predictions. Our world could change overnight.
What should we do? How should we live in such a time as this?
The Bible gives us the answer. Peter, the disciple of Jesus, wrote that since “the day of the Lord will come like a thief,” that is unexpectedly, “you ought to live holy and godly lives.”
I don’t know where you are in your relationship with God. Maybe it’s been a while since you were in church. But consider this: Now just may be the right time for you to seek the Lord.
Listen to the Bible; it’s great for your soul!