Our news as Christians today is filled with trepidation. It seems all is bad news.
Every aspect of life at present appears on the brink of contributing to the bringing forth of the dreaded Tribulation predicted by God’s Word.
Geopolitically, the world is on the verge of war and freedom seems on the cusp of being snuffed. Even the great bastion of freedom–the United States of America–appears subject to a future of such oppression.
Sociologically and culturally, evil men and seducers are growing worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. Paul’s 2 Timothy chapter 3 “perilous times” are front and center in the news during our every waking moment.
Religiously, even the evangelical body of believers seems to be defecting–moving at breakneck speed into the apostasy of 2 Thessalonians chapter 2 and beyond.
Economically, while the national situation in fiscal matters is pointed out by “experts” as going “great guns,” one doesn’t have to look too deeply beneath the surface of financial/monetary matters to know there is serious trouble brewing. With a national debt of $22.1 trillion and climbing exponentially, how can future prospects be described as looking other than bleak?
In every direction we look on the future’s horizon, we see the last seven years of human history quickly approaching.
So, the news is bad for the most part; there is no other way to put it.
It is with this fact in view that it was brought to mind the good news/bad news plethora of jokes that have assaulted the ears through my life. Here are a few of the clean ones just to give an idea of those similar to the ones I’m sure you’ve heard, too.
These are jokes aimed at pastors for the most part:
Good News: You baptized seven people today in the river.
Bad News: You lost two of them in the swift current.
Good News: The Women’s Guild voted to send you a get-well card.
Bad News: The vote passed by 31-30.
Good News: The Elder Board accepted your job description the way you wrote it.
Bad News: They were so inspired by it, they also formed a search committee to find somebody capable of filling the position.
Good News: You finally found a choir director who approaches things exactly the same way you do.
Bad News: The choir mutinied.
Good News: Mrs. Jones is wild about your sermons.
Bad News: Mrs. Jones is also wild about the “Gong Show”, “Beavis and Butthead” and “Texas Chain Saw Massacre.”
Good News: Your women’s softball team finally won a game.
Bad News: They beat your men’s softball team.
Good News: The trustees finally voted to add more church parking.
Bad News: They are going to blacktop the front lawn of your parsonage.
Good News: Church attendance rose dramatically the last three weeks.
Bad News: You were on vacation.
Good News: Your deacons want to send you to the Holy Land.
Bad News: They are stalling until the next war.
Good News: Your biggest critic just left your church.
Bad News: He has been appointed the Head Bishop of your denomination.
Good News: The youth in your church come to your house for a surprise visit.
Bad News: It’s in the middle of the night and they are armed with toilet paper and shaving cream to “decorate” your house.
When people approach with these good news/bad news matters, they usually ask: “Do you want the good news first, or the bad?” Most, I believe, answer: “Give me the bad news first.” –At least that’s most often my answer.
So, looking through Rapture Ready news recently, I found these headlines that fit in the bad news category. We will have a brief gander at these first.
* Diplomats at the U.N. commit anti-Semitic acts . Global anti-Semitism can best be observed at the General Assembly of the United Nations.
* Mystery E. coli outbreak sickens 72 people in 5 states, CDC says a multistate outbreak of E. coli has raised alarms and questions: As of Thursday, 72 people in five states have become ill, yet the cause of their infection remains unknown, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Friday.
* China is ‘threat to world’ says dissident writer. A dissident writer…said…that his homeland is a “threat for the whole world”. Liao Yiwu, who was jailed for writing a poem called “Massacre” about the Tiananmen Square protests, told AFP that it would be better for mankind if the economic superpower “splits up.”
* Sources: UN nuclear watchdog inspects Iran ‘warehouse’ Netanyahu pointed to the UN atomic watchdog policing Iran’s nuclear deal has inspected what Israel’s prime minister called a “secret atomic warehouse.”
* Convention at major U.S. hotels showcases extreme sexual depravity That weekend, major Cleveland hotels will host CLAW, the Cleveland Annual Leather Weekend It’s a large orgy of homosexual males focused on “sado-masochism.”
Well, we could have found even more significant signs of the approaching apocalypse. But you get the picture. Bad news is everywhere we look–and in every area of life.
Now for the Good News! Good News, of course, is the definition of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Gospel is that Jesus came to die for the sins of mankind so that all people, if they individually accept God’s grace offer of redemption, will not die apart from God, but will have abundant life for all eternity.
Those same Christians are promised that they will not have to endure the Tribulation that is sure to come. They will be kept out of that time of God’s wrath (Revelation 3: 10). –And that’s the entire seven years of Daniel’s seventieth week (Daniel 9: 26-27).
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3: 16)