Dear friends and readers,
If you are anywhere near my age, you may be looking at a world that has passed you by, bye-bye ! Actually I know some much younger folks feeling the very same emotions and confusion? Would that be the right word? Maybe. What happened to our world I ask myself?
I am writing this piece from the perspective of being born an American. But I have traveled quite a lot and have seen very many really fine cultures close up. Nice folks from various parts of the planet and all of them proud to be an ??? African, Scottish, English, Mexican, Israeli, Russian, Canadian, Jordanian? Well you get my drift. What we all have in common is that we were---everyone of us created in the image of a Holy and righteous God. Now I know that some of you reading this might not share my beliefs in the Christian Bible, but we can still be friends---and who knows, maybe I will rub off on you? All I ask is that you consider what I am saying.
I was born before Israel once again became a state and raised in my early years by a father who said "don't tell me you can't, figure it out". Had my first job when I was 14, married at 18 and the only job I could get was working in a 1600 foot deep limestone mine for $2.12 per hour breaking big rocks into little rocks with a 10 pound sledge hammer. Been there and done that! I understand calluses.
It was a comfort to me knowing that I could earn my own way. Had a friend in the country high school I attended who became a rodeo "bronc rider" and was bucked off and killed his very first season. He had no regrets because he was doing what he loved. Me too and although I did in fact earn my living for some years with horses and livestock, I did other things to and everything in my world was viewed from the perspective of the American dream. Men who worked for a living, were good for their word and a hand shake was considered gold.
If I didn't open a door for a lady when I was a kid I would get my ears boxed but good. Never made that mistake again. By the way, opening that door did not mean she could not do it for herself, it was merely a sign of respect. I remember in my lifetime when NO ONE NO HOW spit on an American flag with making a trip to the emergency room. The expression and general feeling in those days was "Grandma, apple pie and Old Glory". Neighbors knew each other and all the neighborhood kids were every body's to raise. Men were men when they started working and they married their sweet lady right out of high school and started planning for the future including raising a family. It wasn't too much unlike today in that frequently in order to make ends meet both parents were working. But they were working together toward a better life for their children and had that dream of one day sitting on their front porch around 90 years old while generations of family came for Thanksgiving dinner.
That was a mere 50 years ago. What has happened to our nation (and probably yours as well) is a sincere mystery to me although I shouldn't be surprised because I know what the Bible says and exactly where we are today was foretold by the ancient prophets long before I was born. As a pastor, I taught about this end times stuff for years and yet it is still a bit shocking to see it all happening within my short lifetime.
Today, very many handshakes mean absolutely nothing. We are seeing the 4th and 5th generation of welfare recipients many of whom have never held a job. OLD GLORY is drug through the streets, burned and urinated on. People who want to speak in public are attacked by people wearing masks. Not that the speakers opinions may have been right but it is their right to speak. At least it used to be. Now in stead of "Grandma, apple pie and Old Glory", we see constant hate, neighbors are barricaded behind shuttered and barred windows and doors. Few care about the neighbors kids except child welfare services who have forbidden parents to spank an errant child.
Of course I should mention here that the Bible tells us Not to spare the rod else we spoil the child. The result? kids raised in one parent households, belligerent, in some case physically fighting with teachers, grammar school kids receiving condoms from school officials and parents are not allowed to know about it. This is now the country of POLITICAL CORRECTNESS. P.C. has ruined an entire nation and people are now in very real fear of offending someone.
Now I believe in being polite, honoring other people, respecting a man or woman regardless of color or ethnic background. But P.C. says that is no longer enough. Now it's bad for some folks to be white. Bad for others to be black, terrible for people of God to teach the scriptures exactly as written. Christians, because we do believe in God's word are called hate mongers. Everything is upside down. In 50 short years.
My only solace is reading my Bible and knowing that all the answers are there for those who want to find them. Matthew chapter 24:4-14 uses this kind of language. (Jesus speaking), Many will come in My Name. Wars and rumors of wars. Nation will rise up against nation and kingdom against kingdom. Famines, pestilence, earthquakes, BUT THE END IS NOT YET!
In these same verses there is a warning. ALL THESE THINGS ARE THE BEGINNINGS OF SORROWS.
This is only one man's opinion but I think the world has already passed through THE BEGINNINGS OF SORROWS. Why? Because look at what comes next and ask yourself if we are not already there? Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you (NOTE) Christians being martyred worldwide is on the steepest rise perhaps since the Roman Empire. You will be hated for MY NAMES SAKE. That is happening right now, right here in the good ole US of A. And many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Kind of sounds like our Congress and Senate don't you think? Or how about all those "leakers" spilling national secrets and NO ONE is doing anything about it? Or, seems to care. So much for the Red, White and Blue!
And how about false prophets? Rising up to deceive many? There is some downright bad gospel being taught on T.V. these days (although there are some good pastors teaching in that venue as well).
And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. We are there at this minute folks. No question about it. But then Jesus mercifully gives us some hope in verse 13. "But he (or she) who endures to the end will be saved". Then comes the coup de grace, "And this gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to the nations, and then the end will come". To clarify, the coup de grace part is directed toward a sinful world who will learn the hard way when the end finally does come.
The gospel being preached in all the world? THAT is happening right now. Between the internet, satellite information, T.V. and radio not to mention very many blogs like mine, the Lord is literately sending out His word to the utter most parts of the world as we speak. Then there are thousands upon thousands of missionaries working all over the planet and untold numbers of pastors, teachers and evangelists working constantly on the Great Commission. Millions of Bibles printed and being distributed in just about (perhaps All) the languages of the world. WE are seeing these things in our generation. Things that no other generation in the history of the world has ever seen.
Folks if you remember what the world and particularly the US was like just 50 years ago, the verse in Daniel chapter 12:4 will now make perfect sense to you; Daniel is told by a heavenly messenger to "seal up the book (that he was given) until the time of the end": MANY SHALL RUN TO AND FRO, AND KNOWLEDGE SHALL BE INCREASED.
Just 50 years ago it took days to fly around the earth. Today satellites do so several times each day and I can travel from Los Angeles to Israel (on the exact opposite side of the planet), in one single day. Did you know it is estimated that the sum of all human knowledge may be doubling every 12 months? My wife's cell phone is an iPhone 5 and it has more computing power than BIG computers during the golden age of putting a man on the moon. Her iPhone is now drastically out of date. It is estimated that it may not be long before human knowledge doubles every 12 hours.
This is fulfilled Biblical prophecy. Our brains today are not one whit more powerful or intelligent than was Daniels in the 6th century B.C. But for some reason VAST knowledge is rapidly increasing. Why? Because the Bible says it will happen in the end times exactly that way.
The Bible is a perfect document that really does have all the answers. The prophecies contained therein are coming true daily. In other articles I explain exactly what I mean but in the meanwhile, I for one intend to endure to the end. How about you friends?
I surely do miss the old days but guess what friends? We, you and I are blessed to see so much Biblical prophecy being fulfilled in our life times. We are seeing things happening that prior generations only dreamt of. I for one am looking back at pleasant memories but I am living for today. doing everything I can to glorify my Lord. How about you?
I want to leave you with a thought today. Before I do please know that what I am about to say is only a suggestion to think about. The question is whether or not we may actually be living in the "end times"? NO date setting here!!!
Are we possibly in the zone?
Remember that Before the flood of Noah, Methuselah lived for 969 years. Noah himself lived 950 years which included 350 years after the flood. But in Genesis 6:3 God set the lifespans of future generations of man at 120 years. That change in Psalm 90:10 in which God said "The days of our lives are 70 years: And if by reason of strength they are 80 years, yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; For it is soon cut off, and we fly away. Fly away? Hmmmm.
Obviously some men and women can live longer than 70 years (I have myself) but that is the average set by God and nothing in God's word changed that anywhere after Psalm 90:10.
Consider the following; ONLY for the purpose of determining whether or not mankind may be "in the zone" to see the end times;
In Matthew chapter 24 verses 32-35 Jesus is speaking about the end times. He speaks about the fig tree (which many consider to be Israel in this context). If Israel becoming a nation once again really is the "branch becoming tender and putting forth leaves, you know that summer is near---So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near---at the doors"! "ASSUREDLY, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till ALL THESE THINGS TAKE PLACE". Of course verse 36 says clearly that of that day and hour no one knows. That means for sure that no one knows so lets keep that straight!
So is there any Biblical evidence that Israel is EVER referred to as the fig tree? Hosea 9:10 "I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the FIRST FRUITS ON THE FIG TREE IN IT'S FIRST SEASON". There is also mention in Joel 1:7 if you understand the context.
Israel became a nation once again on May 14, 1948. Add 70 years to 1948 and what do you come up with? If your calculator is the same as mine you should have come up with the year 2018. However we may have to add another 10 years to that according to Psalm 90:10 "If by reason of strength".
Woe now: CAUTION!!! No predictions here in the slightest way. The Lord could tarry another 100 years if He so chose to do so but I for one don't think so based upon Biblical prophecy. I am only demonstrating the possibility that we could really be in the zone. And it should be noted that there are probably a gazillion scholars who would disagree with me. In reality I cannot know for certain myself so let's not have any rush of little theological footies to throw me in a pit and stone me to death. This information is merely meant for two reasons; 1). Interesting coffee klatch fodder. 2). If there is any validity here at all it should make us all sit up and know that we need to get busy and accomplish the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20).
Bottom line, this is a dangerous idea to put on paper. On the other hand truth usually is dangerous to lot's of folks. I am fully aware of that so please just keep it in the context of my intentions and then you decide for yourselves. One way or another, I do believe we are in the end times and my generation could see some fascinating things happening in the future.