Prepare for the momentous changes prophesied for this new century.
Most of us are conservative (small `c'), whatever the color of our politics. We don't appreciate change. But change is corning - for all of us - as we enter a new century. Leaders around the world are hell-bent on making life suddenly different, casting off age-old traditions in favor of half-baked "modernizing".
The foundations of stability are being excavated by powerful men and women devoid of sound wisdom. Civilized concepts that have been hewn from barbarism over centuries of slow change are undermined. The heart of nationhood, the family, is being torn to shreds. The natural functions of men and women are twisted in demented topsy-turvy reversal of sexual roles imposed by godless leaders. Divinely sanctioned sovereign nations are submerging in a super-state to satisfy the lust for power and influence of would-be dictators.
Century twenty-one, then, will be different.
Twenty-first century man sees himself as the pinnacle of an evolutionary process. Despite the evidence, we believe our civilization is vastly superior to what has gone before. Yet the world is in chaos. As we enter a new millennium we survey a century of barbaric warfare - reportedly the worst in history. So where, in all this, is God?
Civilization can be traced no further back than six thousand years - a time period that closely matches the Biblical account! But the Bible - again matching the historical facts - depicts the decline of true civilization, typified in Daniel's vision as an image of gold declining in our day to a fragile society made from iron mixed with clay.
Through the Christian Scriptures runs a scarlet thread of continuity - a divine plan. God has by no means lost control of history! Mankind was created free. We can choose to follow "the manufacturer's (read Creator's) instruction manual" -the safe operating system of His Law. Our choice was to ignore those fundamental principles of human behavior -hence today's chaos.
And we have not yet seen the full degrading depths to which human choice can descend. Prophesied in Scripture is the final drama. On the world stage will be enacted the final scene before the curtain falls on man's ignominious and bloody past. [See the articles Before Jesus Comes and Time of the Signs for a preview of coming events.]
God has throughout His Word made clear that He will not permit His beloved creation to self-destruct. The scarlet thread of His promises is unbreakable. In the end it will be "all right on the night". But though in sight, that end is not yet.
Ahead, however, lies another "end". The Bible term is "the end of the age", a period at the climax of mankind's mis-management of the world entrusted to us. And we are plunging headlong down into that abyss. At the bottom is a world ruled by Satan and his forces of darkness. When that crunch time arrives we will long for "the bad old days of yore".
Picture a world where water is so polluted it may as well be blood. A world where at high noon there is only a third of normal visibility, and where global warming actually scorches you. Picture a world in which your economic survival, your life, depends on allegiance to the Devil - and in which life is so unbearable you want to die, but can't. A world in which there are "few men left" (Isaiah 24:6) -perhaps over five billion dead in a few short years from devastating war, famine, disease and upheaval of the ground beneath our feet.
Not bizarre science-fiction, but a preview of the consequences of pursuing our current path. Are you prepared?
Forty years on from the penning during World War II of 1984 the dire predictions of the author were yet in embryo. Numerous predicted dates for "the end of the world" have passed un-noted. Nor did it end on January one, 2000! The end, however, is certain!
The Bible's preview of "the end" is of content, not precise time. A symbolic seven thousand years were assigned by the Creator to human tenancy of Planet Earth - seven long ages, during the first six of which man, from his own choice, has been given an almost free hand to do as he pleases. Hence the predicted chaos, for we have thrown away the Manual. God's instructions for successful living - detailed in the Bible - have been trampled, as swine would trample precious gems. And the way forward requires we restore His revelation to the heart of national life. At her coronation. Queen Elizabeth II pledged allegiance to maintain the laws of God. What happened to that pledge?
The nation isn't ready, but you can be! Coming soon is a great divide -a choice which each of us must make. Commit to God's revealed way - and perhaps face physical death followed by a resurrection to unending life. Or choose the way of the unseen hand that steers mankind, Satan. The latter choice may win a short respite - but the end play is almost certain destruction, possibly for eternity.
A New Dawn
But the "end" isn't the end. For the Creator promises a new world "wherein dwells righteousness". After the coming night a new day will dawn when God Himself in the person of His Messiah, Jesus, will reign as King of all earthly leaders. He will universally apply the Instruction Manual, resulting in an end to war, the restoration of earth to its pristine purity, the transformation of the very heart of man.
Symbolized by the weekly seventh day Sabbath, the new dawn will see the culmination of God's grand design for mankind. At last all the world will be at rest. During the coming millennia] "day" the survivors of the coming holocaust and their succeeding generations will be gently shepherded by Jesus Christ and his servants into "paths of righteousness".
Hear the prophet Isaiah:
Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the LORD's house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills, and all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, `Come and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways and we shall walk in his paths'. For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations and rebuke many people. They shall beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more (Isaiah 2:2-4).
Our world will change - for the better, and far beyond our imagination. Until then expect an increasingly turbulent passage through boisterous seas of deception. natural disaster, war and civil unrest.
To comment on this article or request more information, please contact James McBride by e-mail at the comment form below.
For PDF or mailed copy, see CGOM. Excerpt from New Horizons Volume 4 No. 3, January/February 2000. Edited by James McBride of the Churches of God, United Kingdom.
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