Weariness sets in at the end of each day for most of us. Under normal circumstances –i.e., if we are basically healthy in body and attitude—we awaken each morning with a fresh outlook, ready to begin the day. This approach to life, I realize, can vary with us, individually, from time to time, with even the most optimistic among us.
In our minds, many of us begin a new “day” (clean page in our lives) on January 1 of each year. It is, for many, a time of resolutions, promises, and a new determination to make the new year better than last. And, we don’t have to put too much effort into reflection to know that this year could be improved over the one just expired. Again, some are excepted from that generalization.
On the other hand, from a prophetic perspective –and, after all, that is most generally the theme of this column—things are scheduled to get worse from this point forward. Much worse, as a matter of fact. Think with me for a moment in terms of dispensations, which, despite detractors from dispensational viewpoint, is precisely the way God deals with this earthly realm, so far as human history is concerned.
This present dispensation–the Age of Grace—or “the Church Age” as some would have it, can be likened unto a single day in the life of the human race. According to all of the signals given in God’s prophetic word, we are in the late hours of this single day God has given humankind to live upon this mortal sphere. Like in the literal 12-month periods we call years, we don’t have to reflect long or hard to know that the next dispensational day could stand improvement over that which is now passing into history.
Those who look at current issues and events –at history of the last 2000 years in general—must conclude, if looking through a prism of reality, that ours has been a day of bloody conflict and rage. Just as the Apostle Paul prophesied: “But evil men and seducers shall [become] worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived” (2 Tim. 3:13).
Paul’s forewarning is fulfilling in our time. Dictators abound, whether looking at North Korea, Iran, Syria, or –some are convinced—China and even Russia, evil men and seducers are indeed growing worse and worse.
It might be difficult to imagine these types getting worse than the likes of Nero, Ivan the Terrible, or even Hitler, Stalin and Mao Tse-tung. But, the technologies available to today’s mass murderer dictators are so ghastly that they cause the swords, arrows, bullets and bombs of the past to pale by comparison. For example, the now executed Iraqi genocidal maniac, Saddam Hussein, murdered 180,000 people in one chemical/gas attack. Basher Al-Assad of Syria is thought to have murdered even more of his own people in that heinous fashion.
There are those in the world today who would wreak even greater havoc, had they the capability. And indications are they might soon have the means. So, as we look to a new year, with a clean slate upon which we can write a better personal history than 2013, let us remember that we are in a fatally flawed–even deadly–world.
There is a Person –and only one Person—who can guide us into a better future. We celebrated His birth just a couple of months ago. His name is Jesus. Jesus is calling out a people for himself from this quickly downward-spiraling world. He, alone, can see to it that we who name Him as our Savior and Lord will awaken into a bright new day, rather than move into the next dispensational day reserved for God’s wrath –the seven-year tribulation era.
Here’s what Jesus Christ tells all who will heed His call for redemption: “Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Cor. 5:17).
“And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful” (Rev. 21:5).
Let us put Christ at the forefront of our lives while thinking on the new year. He truly assures a new beginning –both now, and for eternity.
As we near the end of this dispensational day it is a great tragedy that even the evangelical wing of the Church is splitting into two camps. One – dispensational with an emphasis on a pre- trib. rapture and the other a covenant theology that believes the Church has replaced Israel and all the “end -time prophecies” leading up to Christ’s second return were fulfilled with the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD. Now more than ever Christian leaders need to teach their flock the literal end -time meaning of the Bible which was the healthy emphasis of the early Church. Now more than ever we need to prepare our people to be “rapture – ready” On this point I would recommend Mark Hitchcock’s 2012 book “The End” but emphasizing a foundational study of the Bible -particularly Daniel and Zechariah which will help the lay person understand the Book of Revelation. A healthy emphasis on End – Time teaching will lead to Holy living now as we are all in “training for reigning”