The year 2016 more than lived up to the anticipation it harbored back when I wrote my Nearing Midnight commentary at the beginning of last year. I want to present that article here, with the caveat that I anticipate even more profound prophetic unfolding in 2017.
Piercing the Perils of 2016
Never in my own memory has a new year appeared at its beginning to be more prophetically interesting. Never–in my thinking, at least–has one portended more perilous times, as the apostle Paul would have it. Yet I wouldn’t trade my time on this darkening planet with anyone of any other generation.
The fact that the Lord of Heaven has put me here at this strange, ominous, yet immensely fascinating time in history makes it all the more intriguing–even riveting, in terms of wanting to know what happens next. He has put you here, too, at this time when the final curtain is about to fall. He has trusted you to be an actor in at least part of the final scenes of this great, cosmic play called human history. No illustrious personages of the past–not Julius Caesar, not Napoleon Bonaparte, not Alexander the Great, not even Winston Churchill, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, or Ronald Reagan were so privileged. We are about to serve as active members of a most especially commissioned cast who populates the end-times stage.
There is about to occur a schism–a separation–of cataclysmic proportion. It will rend one part of humanity from the other. It will not be a natural catastrophe that will inflict the humanity-dividing rift. It won’t be great political upheaval in America and around the world that will cause the tearing apart of life upon the troubled planet. Those things will certainly happen. But it won’t be acts of nature or of man that will bring about the very last scene of the age. That last act will be orchestrated by the Master Director of all Creation–by the Lord God of Heaven who is the final judge of good and evil.
The excitement presaging that grand climax of the age is building. Momentous events, written on the pages of Holy Scripture, are about to come alive. The final curtain will rise when Jesus steps out on the clouds of glory and calls all believers–His Bride, the Church, to Himself. If you are a believer in Christ alone for salvation, you will catch the grand finale as you watch from the luxuriant balconies of Heaven.
We see the drama building all around us for the tumultuous scenes set to play out during the times just ahead. The year 2016 is cloaked in the fog of malevolence this world continues to wrap itself in–an increasingly anti-God, anti-Christ vesture that embraces humanism forewarned about by the psalmist.
Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. (Psalms 2: 1-3)
A quick scan of the news just the past week exposes, I believe, the arrogance of those the Scriptures call “earth-dwellers” who incessantly strive to break asunder the governance God rightfully placed upon His creation called man. The reports are laden with prophetic indicators.
One such report is seen in the prideful claims by a U.S. State Department spokesman, as the boast involves the increasing call for “peace and safety,” While the situation in Syria grows intensely worse by the hour, with the Syrian people torn violently between the forces of Syrian dictator Basher Al-Assad and the hordes of ISIS murderers, Secretary of State John Kerry is lauded as bringing about a peace that just isn’t happening and will never come to pass.
State Department spokesman John Kirby wrote under the headline, “Bringing peace and security to Syria”: “Under Secretary of State John Kerry’s stewardship the United Nations passed a U.S. sponsored resolution to create a road map for Syria.” Again, the problem is that like in all of the humanistic efforts at bringing true peace, the only “peacemaker” is kept out of the peacemaking. Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, is denied at every turn by the president of the very country that speciously purports to be making the peace. (President Obama, remember, upon his very first week in office, proclaimed that the United States is not a Christian nation.)
The president of the United States of America, in effect, proclaimed regarding the governance of the God of Heaven: “Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.”
We can believe what that omniscient, omnipotent, governing authority has to say about such arrogance and willfulness. The message is chilling for the planet’s inhabitants who will be left behind when the great schism aforementioned takes place.
He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. (Psalms 2: 4-6)
Details of what is about to take place in 2016, of course, lurks in the murkiness of an ever-increasing pall of trepidation. But, for those who are secure within the unshakable, impenetrable shelter of their Lord and Savior, there is no reason to fear. Piercing that black uncertainty is an effulgence that lights the path to the brightest of all possible futures. It is that Blessed Hope of Titus 2: 13!