civilization coming to an end?
Malcolm Muggeridge suggested, "The basic condition
for a civilization is that there should be law and order. Obviously this
is coming to an end. The world is falling into chaos, even perhaps
especially our western world... There are many other symptoms. The
excessive interest in eroticism is characteristic of the end of a
civilization because it really means a growing impotence, and fear of
impotence. Then the excessive need for excitement, vicarious excitement,
which of course the games provided for the Romans and which television
provides for our population. Even the enormously complicated structure of
taxation and administration is a symptom of the end of the civilization.
Above all, there is this truly terrible thing which afflicts materialist
societies - boredom, an excessive boredom which I note on every hand."
secular as well as religious authorities recognize ...
are extraordinary times."
Wall Street Journal headline read, "Millennium Fever: Prophets
Proliferate, The End is Near." A New York Times book review began,
"Some 50 million Americans share a belief that these are the last
days." Even the Chicago Tribune ran a front-page story about the end
times in a recent Sunday edition.
Dr. Linus Pauling, winner of
Nobel Prizes in 1954 and 1963, has said he believes the greatest
catastrophe in the world is approaching. This looming catastrophe might
well result in a world war which could destroy civilization and spell the
end of the human race. Or, it might take the form of mass starvation among
a world population that has been doubling every 35 years. Civilization
might end because of the collapse of the systems on which it depends; or
the end of civilization might result from weather changes induced by
governments to improve the yield of crops.
Even the most seasoned
newsmen who have "seen it all" are in awe of the world developments in
recent years. All of them realize that something unique in the history of
the world is happening today. And what's most stunning about it all is the
breath-taking rapidity of these recent developments.
- The crumbling of the Eastern Bloc of Europe and the Communist
- The unprecedented vote by the Soviet communist party to relinquish
its absolute hold on power for the first time since it seized power 70
- The opening of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of a divided
- Events transpiring in the Middle East.
- The failing ecosystem of Planet Earth.
- Changing weather patterns worldwide.
- The breathtaking pace of technological advancements.
- The collapse of ethical and moral values.
- The weakening influence of our churches and their leaders.
The world has entered a time
of dramatic and ominous change. At the present moment of history, the
planet Earth is in grave crises. This celestial ball is on a collision
course with its Creator. We have reached the day which the prophet had in
mind when he wrote,
"Woe unto them
who call evil, good, and good, evil" [Isaiah 5:20]
Man has pushed the
self-destruct button. Foundations of godliness have crumbled; things
sacred have come unzipped. We are trying to build a peaceful world, but
there is no peace within people's hearts.
We must have an
outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Somehow God must reveal himself to this
lost generation. Everything else has failed. Education has failed our
youth. For the most part, parents have failed them. Government has failed
to reach them. Dead religion has turned them off.
quoted John Walvoord in his book, "Storm Warning":
world crisis is not a result of any one factor, but a concurrence of
causes and effects which combine to set the world stage for a conflict
which may quickly bring an end to hundreds of years of progress in western
civilization and establish new centers of international power. Whatever
the future holds, it is going to be dramatically different than the past.
In this dark picture only the Scriptures chart a sure course and give us
an intelligent explanation of worldwide confusion as it exists
Where does it all lead?
Even though we see it all so clearly,
it's still difficult to comprehend. What does it all mean? Where is it all
leading? Why is there so little peace in the world when we have such
unprecedented knowledge and unlimited potential?
The book of
Revelation describes the end times. It speaks of a one-world
government, a godless dictator, total regulation of all business,
plagues, crime and rebellion, and devastating
disasters. To many, it seems like a far-off time. But there are
"signs of the times" in today's headlines - signs Jesus
said would herald His return.
Some people argue that the
characteristic of 'end time' people have been our character throughout the
ages and that people haven't really changed. In its simplest form, that is
true. It's not that we don't do the same things, what's relevant is that
we do it with increasing intensity and we are teaching new ways of doing
it. Certainly, these things have been happening since the beginning of
time. However, the intensity of these things today is such that we dare
not blind our eyes to their meaning.
and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show
them a sign from heaven. He replied, "When evening comes, you say,
`It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,' and in the morning,
`Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.' You know
how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret
the signs of the times. A wicked and adulterous generation looks for
a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of
Jonah." Jesus then left them and went away. [Matthew 16:1-4]
Jesus said, "You can read the signs of the weather
in the sky, but because of spiritual blindness you cannot
read the signs of the times." Our Lord was saying the
Jews of that day were blind to the signs of their time. He indicated that
only those who have spiritual illumination and discernment from the Holy
Spirit can hope to understand the trends and meanings of history.
Cannot we learn a lesson from
After his first
imprisonment in Rome, Paul wrote Timothy, "The Spirit clearly says that
in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits
and things taught by demons." [1Tim. 4:1] Writing to the church in
Ephesus (A.D. 66-67) while he was imprisoned under Emperor Nero, Paul
again wrote Timothy, "...There will be terrible times in the last
days." [2Tim. 3:1]
In the context of these verses, Paul's use
of "the last days" is referring not to a period of time in the future, but
to the times that began with the first advent of Christ (Acts 2:17;
Hebrews 1:2) and ending with His Second Coming. That the 'last days'
referred to in 2 Timothy does not refer only to the time just prior to
Christ's return is apparent from Paul's command to Timothy to have nothing
to do with the unbelieving and unfaithful people who characterize this
time (2Tim. 3:5).
We are now living in the "last
The only way to understand
the big picture is to look at the Bible and the various categories of
signs that the Bible predicted would come together just before the return
of Christ. The key to understanding current events is in some familiar old
scriptural passages. Jesus Himself gave us the best insight shortly before
his execution on the cross.
General 'signs' Jesus said
would be visible prior to His return.
Our Lord told us not to be
troubled, because these are only the beginning of "birth pains" [Matt.
24:8]. I believe that God is warning the
world. The world has broken His covenant and has gone away from Him
and these events are warnings designed to turn us to Him. And what we have
seen thus far is just a prelude. The warnings are going to continue during
the next few years, even building in intensity. After these warnings, the
real judgment is going to come.
"So when you
see standing in the holy place 'the abomination that causes desolation,'
spoken of through the prophet Daniel--let the reader understand-- then let
those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no one on the roof of
his house go down to take anything out of the house. Let no one in the
field go back to get his cloak. How dreadful it will be in those days for
pregnant women and nursing mothers! Pray that your flight will not take
place in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great distress,
unequaled from the beginning of the world until now--and never to be
equaled again. If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive,
but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. At that time
if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or, 'There he is!' do
not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and
perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect--if that were
possible. See, I have told you ahead of time. "So if anyone tells you,
'There he is, out in the desert,' do not go out; or, 'Here he is, in the
inner rooms,' do not believe it. For as lightning that comes from the east
is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather. - Matthew
Original article: The Jeremiah Project
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