Many verses in the Bible reveal that life on earth, as we know it, will not continue forever. There is coming a day when God will step back into our realm and supernaturally conclude His plan for the ages.
The Bible is very descriptive about the last days. For example, according to 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, the next event on God’s prophetic calendar will be the Rapture (Latin for “catching away”) of the true church. It will be signaled by a shout and the sound of a trumpet. Graves will yield the bodies of deceased believers and they, along with the living saints, will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air.
In the chaos that follows, a man empowered by the devil, referred to in the Bible as “the Beast,” will step forward as a major political leader with a message of hope for Israel and the world. He will perform miraculous events to blind the eyes of men from the coming judgment of God. In the middle of a seven year period called The Tribulation, he will break a covenant with Israel and claim to be God (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12).
The terror of those seven years will end with the return of Jesus Christ to destroy wickedness in the earth and reign as King of kings for a thousand years. We are told that even with God Himself sitting on a literal, physical throne in Israel, the masses will reject Him. In the end, all who reject Him, from the beginning of time, will be judged and cast into the eternal lake of fire (Revelation 19:11-16, 20:10-15).
Now, the answer to the question, “What’s the world coming to?” Very simply, it is coming to an end. No one knows exactly when these final events will begin to unfold, but they will, and everyone should be prepared.
Preparation begins with realizing that you are at odds with our Creator because of your sin. You need a Savior! There is only one; His name is Jesus. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved (Acts 16:31).
In these often troublesome times, we would all do well to understand what the Bible has to say about the devil, the enemy of our souls. To defend ourselves, we will need to put on the “the whole armor of God” as it is described in Ephesians 6. With this armor, we become soldiers of God.
First, the belt of truth. The Bible says, “Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth” (6:14). The belt consists of the truth of God as it is revealed in His Word. When Satan hurls his lies, we who are girded with truth will not be easily shaken. Secondly, we should armor up with “the breastplate of righteousness” (6:14). This breastplate consists of practical righteousness, or a resolve to obey God’s Word. With the soldier’s unbending determination to do right, temptation quickly loses its power.
Thirdly, we should have our “feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace” (6:15). The gospel of Christ gives assurance of peace with God. The soldier has total assurance of his soul’s salvation; nothing Satan can do or say will move the Rock on which he has planted his feet. The fourth piece of armor is called, “the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. (6:16).” Someone has said, “Faith puts God between you and the enemy.” This soldier of God is able to trust his Commander for everything and in every situation.
Fifthly, we are told to “take the helmet of salvation (6:17).” Our Salvation involves victory over sin: past, present and future. With knowledge that he has already been declared victor, the soldier of God is not likely to surrender one inch of spiritual ground to the enemy. The last piece of armor is called, “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: (6:17).” The sword of the Spirit is both given and wielded by the Holy Spirit of God, who is at home in the heart of every Christian soldier. The Word of God is the Christian’s powerful, offensive weapon.
Armor Up Soldier! …The Battle Rages!
Some years ago it was pretty common, in the circles in which I lived, to hear someone lamenting the commercialization of Christmas, the celebration of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. “Why do they have to rob the season of its true meaning?” some would say. To escape the worldly merriment, many decided to make Thanksgiving their holy day (holiday) of choice. They supposed that it would be much more difficult for the world to corrupt the theme of “Thanksgiving.” Unfortunately, they were wrong. It’s not the emphasis on turkey and dressing, or family and feasting that is troubling, but the fact that most of the world has forgotten the One to whom we owe our debt of gratitude. You would not have to search very hard to find an article that encourages thanks to family and friends, or dentist and doctor, mailman or maid, with no mention of God, the Giver of every good gift. (James 1:17)
The Psalms are replete with verses to help us focus on the proper recipient of our praise. For instance, Psalm 92:1 declares, “It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High:” Another very fitting call to thanksgiving is Psalm 105:1, “O give thanks unto the LORD; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people.” Psalm 106:1 suggests a worthy theme for our gratitude, “Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.” Nor should our Thanksgiving be limited to times of festivity if you consider Psalm 119:62, “At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee because of thy righteous judgments.”
I for one, refuse to surrender yet another day of our national tradition of recognizing God and His wonderful gifts to men. As a matter of fact I believe I’ll just start celebrating the Lord’s goodness early this year. “Praise God from whom all blessings flow; Praise Him, all creatures here below; Praise Him above ye heavenly host; Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost!” Amen!
I watched them tearing a building down,
A crew of men in a busy town,
With a Ho heave Ho and a lusty yell,
They swung a boom and a side wall fell.
I asked the foreman, Are these men skilled,
The kind you would hire if you had to build?
He gave a laugh and said, No indeed,
Just unskilled labor is all I need.
I can easily wreck in a day or two,
What has taken builders years to do.
Then I thought to myself as I went my way,
Which of these roles have I tried to play?
Am I a builder who works with care,
Measuring life by the rule and square,
Or am I a wrecker who walks around,
Content with the labor of tearing down?
This little poem reminds me of something our Lord has said: “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad. (Matthew 12:30).”
To which crew do you belong? Perhaps many will see themselves as neither builders nor wreckers. Their lives are filled with cares and ambitions of their own; they don’t have time for God or the things of God. But according to these scriptures, there is no middle ground; if you are not working for the Lord and His cause, you are working against Him.