A Glimpse

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Have you ever been given a glimpse of something? Perhaps you were at a party and saw someone who had been drinking too much. He started saying things he would not normally say and you had a glimpse of what might be hidden deep in his heart. What about a glimpse of something on a larger scale? Have you ever been given a glimpse of something like that?

Those of us who study prophecy and end-time events have been given several glimpses in the last few decades of what future events might look like. To name a few, there was the tsunami that occurred in the Pacific and Indian Oceans several years ago. We had a glimpse of how hundreds of thousands of people could be wiped out in less than a day. It was staggering to see the incredible loss of life and economic damage that occurred. After that, we saw a person running for national office and watched tens of thousands of people worldwide turn out to listen to him. We had a glimpse of how people could be totally enamored by a charismatic figure they believed could rescue the world from its own destructive tendencies.

Now, God in His infinite mercy has given us another glimpse. With the current worldwide pandemic, we have seen how a disease can spread around the globe in a relatively short amount of time. We’ve watched how it can affect healthcare systems and how economies can be on the brink of collapse within a matter of weeks.  I even heard a commentator speak of how this epidemic could crash the world economy. Surely, if our hope is in our money, stocks, securities or 401 Ks, we must realize they will become worthless in the face of a total economic collapse.

Those of us who believe in end-time events, the Tribulation and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ see these glimpses as precursors of what is to come in perhaps the not too distant future. If you are a materialist and believe that none of these events have any spiritual significance, I would implore you to take a second look at what is happening. Perhaps there is more to all of the turbulence in the world than simple naturalistic cause and effect. 

At some point, the current crisis will pass and the world will return to business as usual. As the inconvenience of our current situation fades, will we forget about what we have seen and what we have experienced? Again, God in His infinite mercy has given us a glimpse of what is to come. He wants us to turn to Him, seek Him and look to His Son, Jesus Christ, for our ultimate Salvation. In the end, other than Him, there will be nothing left to protect us from what might be approaching on the horizon. 

Image by Lisa Runnels. Courtesy of Pixabay.

Strategic

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Historic: The twentieth century was a historic time. After WWI, the geopolitical landscape of the world changed dramatically. For centuries, the Ottoman Empire ruled most the Middle East. Following their defeat, its empire was then ruled by the British. In 1917, Czarist Russia became engulfed in a civil war that ended when the Communists gained control. Sweeping changes again happened after WWII. The Middle East was parceled up into different countries. Chinese culture was upended after their Revolution when the Communists took power. Africa moved from a continent ruled by colonialism to one whose countries were ruled by self-determination. In the 1940’s and 50’s, the Soviet Union began to occupy its neighboring countries. This went on for decades until near the end of the century it broke up and those countries were liberated. Just a cursory glance at world history during those one hundred years show the epic changes that happened on the geopolitical landscape.

Prophetic: From a prophetic standpoint, the single most important event happened in 1948 when Israel became a nation. With its rebirth, the prophetic clock began ticking. Fast forward seventy years and we see political entities lining up in a way that resembles Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 38 and 39. Add to that the increase of major earthquakes, the moral breakdown of societies, the epic rise of conflicts between nations and ethnic groups and you have a scenario for the birth pangs of Matthew 24. One’s vision does not have to be 20/20 in order to see that we could definitely be living in prophetic times.

Strategic: So what do we do when we believe we are living in historic and prophetic times? How can we make the most of our gifts and talents in order to make a difference in the world we live in? We must learn to think strategically. We must take stock of what we have and pray about how we can best use those resources for the Kingdom of God. Then we can strategically aim our lives towards that eternal goal.

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

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When I think of change, David Bowie’s song “Changes “comes to mind. The chorus is especially catchy and is expressive of time and the changes we all experience. Which generation would you say has experienced the most technological change throughout history? When I think about it, I believe it is the generation that was born at the beginning of the twentieth century. 

Before the dawn of the twentieth century, men primarily travelled on horseback. They may or may have not had indoor plumbing and they had few machines to help them in their daily lives. Life was still very labor intensive, for both men and women, and their lifespan was considerably shorter than it is today. They were old by the time they reached sixty, if they made it that far at all.

Think about the changes the generation born around 1900 saw during their lifetimes: automobiles, airplanes, indoor plumbing, electricity, washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, the atomic bomb, telephones, jets, rockets, satellites, televisions, computers, the lunar landing, and list goes on. They spent their lives adapting to more and more change and by the time they shuffled off this mortal coil, they had adapted to several stages of the burgeoning technological revolution.

When they looked back to what life was like when they were children or even young adults, they must have shaken their heads at what they had seen and experienced. Little did they know that the time they were living in had been predicted in the Bible. The prophet Daniel had several visions and was given prophecies concerning the end times, but he was told by an angel to “shut up the words and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro and knowledge would increase.”

If that isn’t an apt description of the last one hundred and twenty years, I don’t know what is. The technological revolution has brought about an ability to travel to any part of the earth in a matter of hours. In 2017, there were 102,465 flights per day in the world; think about how many more there are today. Knowledge has increased and continues to increase at an exponential rate. What’s interesting about the knowledge explosion are the statistics. To quote David Russell Schilling, When “Buckminster Fuller created the Knowledge Doubling Curve; he noticed that until 1900 human knowledge doubled approximately every century. By the end of World War II, knowledge was doubling every 25 years. Today things are not as simple as different types of knowledge have different rates of growth. For example, nanotechnology knowledge is doubling every two years and clinical knowledge every 18 months. But on the average human knowledge is doubling every 13 months. According to IBM, the build out of the “internet of things” will lead to knowledge doubling every 12 hours.”

When I read the angel’s description of the time of the end, I would say we are definitely living in the end times. How does that strike you?