How We Should React to Signs of the Times

The following is from an Independent Baptist newsletter I receive weekly. Brother David Cloud gives encouragement in this piece as to how we should think and live in these times. I’ve broken it up into paragraphs and will add a couple of my own comments below it.

* * * * *

HOW WE SHOULD REACT TO THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES
(Friday Church News Notes, November 30, 2012, http://www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) –

The signs of the end times are everywhere. Our upcoming book The Bible According to the Future contains a large chapter on these. The strange thing is that believers often react to the signs the very opposite of how God intends for us to react. As we witness such things as the spread of globalism, the building of a one-world church, the increase of wickedness, the breakdown of the traditional family, the destruction of that priceless bastion of liberty called America, the normalization of homosexuality, the callous murder of babies, the filthy pop culture, the breathtaking increase in governmental surveillance, we become fearful, uncertain, frustrated, angry, and discouraged, but this is because our minds and hearts are too focused on things of this world rather than things above.

Too often we have the same short view that “conservative” unbelievers have rather than the long view that comes from the light of Bible prophecy. Doubtless there will be frustration and discouragement, because we aren’t spiritual robots who are unaffected by our environment, but our response should be tempered by the truths of God’s Word.

We should respond to the times in a dramatically different way than our unsaved friends and neighbors. When we consider what is happening in the world, we should respond in at least the following ways.

First, we should rejoice greatly in our salvation. “But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy” (1 Pet. 4:13).

Second, we should be comforted that Christ’s return is drawing near. “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh” (Lk. 21:28).

Third, we should be encouraged that God is in control. “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way” (2 Th. 2:7).

Fourth, we should stand in the confidence that the present evil is exceedingly temporary and will soon be cut down. “Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace” (Psa. 37:7-11).

Fifth, we must do more praying. “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time” (1 Tim. 2:1-6).

Desperate times call for more praying, but we are witnessing a dearth of prayer in the typical Bible-believing church. There is lots of partying and lots of activities and fun but not a lot of praying. 1 Timothy 2 ties prayer together with living a quiet and peaceable life and the liberty to preach the gospel, the very things that we want.

Finally, we should be busy in the harvest fields. “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day
is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:8-9).

The Bible plainly says that Christ is waiting because He wants to save souls. Instead of fretting at the signs of the times, we need to rededicate ourselves to proclaiming the gospel to every person in every nation and building sound Bible-believing churches where God’s people can be protected, edified, trained, discipled, and where godly Christian homes can be built and children can be prepared as arrows in the hand of the Lord to go out and do battle against the forces of evil.

* * * * *

I agree with the overall sentiment of what Brother Cloud has written, up until the last sentence where he says, “…and children can be prepared as arrows in the hand of the Lord to go out and do battle against the forces of evil.” Doing battle with evil today means having a preoccupation with the world in a way that will ensnare us. It always does.

The better counsel should be like that spelled out in Revelation 3:1-3, where Jesus admonished the church at Sardis.

…I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

I conclude with these selected verses from 2 Peter 3:10-18 because they say quite well how we should live today.

10. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
11. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
12. Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
13. Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
14. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
15. And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation;…
17. Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.
18. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.</i.

Advertisements
Explore posts in the same categories: Christian Life, Thoughts from John

Tags: ,

You can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s