What are we witnessing in our lifetime? Are we not witnessing the militarization of the police, the polarization of political ideologies, our nation’s overdependence on credit, the rising hostility of the poor against the rich, an antagonistic atmosphere on virtually all issues, the rise of mob rule, and terrorism by hostile parties and governments? These issues are not occurring in a vacuum or happening to a singular nation. They are happening all around the world and they are occurring at such an exponential rate, even the media cannot cover them all.
All of these issues are testifying to both God’s people and to the secular world that something is coming. We are witnessing the imminent rise of a global crisis. A crisis is defined by Oxford Dictionaries as:
“A time of intense difficulty, trouble, or danger: A time when a difficult or important decision must be made…”
Crises are intensely difficult times. What happened in biblical times when God’s people experienced the crisis of Jerusalem’s destruction? By reviewing Jeremiah’s lamentations, we can see that God’s people lived in terrible times. The elders and the virgins of Jerusalem could only sit in silence and bowed heads. Their children fainted from hunger and thirst: they were even devoured by their own starving parents. No one within its broken walls could escape the effects that such a catastrophe brought upon them.
The people of Judah didn’t believe that such a disaster could happen to them. They defiantly dismissed the repeated warnings that God’s prophets gave them and continued to rebel against their Creator. But when the crisis happened, even they could not ignore what was in front of them.
This crisis came upon them as a complete surprise and it will come in like manner upon our generation. They who dismiss the faithful warnings of God will be completely unprepared for the things He told them were coming. But the faithful, despite the terrible times they will live in, will be prepared by their God to meet them. More on this later.
What do crises do to people? They drive them to desperation. They think and act in ways they would never consider for the purpose of self-preservation. They do things they would not normally do. But most important of all, it makes them vulnerable to the influence of those who seek to implement solutions that they would never consider in peace time.
This is where the lamblike kingdom of Revelation 13 comes in. In this coming crisis, it will convince the world to do something that it would not normally do. It will convince them to worship the antichristian kingdom, the first prophetic beast who presumes that it holds on Earth the place of God Almighty. In their desperation to restore normalcy, the people of the world will consent to observe the law that will make it impossible to buy or sell without the mark of the beast.
The ability to buy or sell will be a key point in this crisis. Many will take this mark out of desperation to obtain provisions for themselves and their families. Even among God’s people, there will be many who will do this. They will buy into this final deception and sell their place in the kingdom of heaven, all out of desperation to return things “back to normal.”
I will say this plainly: A crisis is coming to our world and God’s people need to get ready for it. Your spiritual preparation (or lack thereof) could help (or hinder) the world’s response to an imminent time of trouble. When one considers the crisis to come upon the world, we (and even the secular world) question why we would need to do such a thing at such a time.
We answer, “Because spiritual preparation is necessary. It will even be more necessary than obtaining provisions in the time of trouble.” Spiritual preparation will help us make sound judgment at a time where many will act in desperation. Through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, God’s people will not be tossed to and fro by the winds of calamity. They will act in harmony with His will and effectively minister to the people around them.
This cannot be done by those who are caught in the heat of the moment or worried about “looking out for number one.” They cannot teach others how to rely on the Lord to provide for them or learn important biblical truths that will bring salvation to them before the coming of the Lord. This is why God’s people must study the biblical prophecies and why they must have greater communion with their Lord in these times, the times before these things happen.
Many of God’s people are caught in the same trap the people of Jerusalem were in before their city’s destruction. They do not believe that these things can happen to them or will happen to them. They look to the various systems of man’s devising to disregard the prophetic warnings of God. Others trust in erroneous teachings that promote the idea that Christ will not allow the world to enter such a state.
But He in whom they professedly place their trust taught the world that the days of His return will be like the days of Noah before the Flood and the days of Sodom before its judgment. Daniel wrote that the world would be in a “time of trouble” before the coming of the Lord. The Revelation of Jesus Christ also points to a time of persecution before His return. Dare they to live and act in contradiction to such plain teachings? Dare they to call Jesus Lord and not do what He says before these times come upon them? I tell you that they will surely hear the testimony from Him in the last days, “…I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
God’s people must first prepare individually before we can prepare others. The coming crisis is fast approaching and this message must go out to all the world. They must study the Scriptures and pray without ceasing, that they may be prepared to stand in the global trials to come. These things will prepare them to witness to the world and make sound judgments in a time where many people will be guided by a spirit of desperation. It will help them encourage others to make the important decision to serve God, not the powers that seek to turn them against Him. Most importantly, it will bring His people through this coming crisis and to their coming salvation. Our salvation is nigh, will you be ready?
Until next time, Class Dismissed!