Inside View Jan/Feb 2018
A friend recently told me, “When I look at all that is happening in this world, I have to believe we’re getting very close to the end.” He was referring to the end of this age, when God will begin a new time on Earth that will pave the way for the Messiah.
Prior to that new time, the Lord will return to snatch the church out of this world. He will meet us in the air, and we will forever be with Him (1 Th. 4:13–18). This is the blessed hope we are encouraged to keep before us always—the at-any-time return of our Lord and Savior (Ti. 2:13).
This world is in bad shape and getting worse every day. Radical Islam is a growing challenge that world leaders seem inept at handling; and mass Muslim immigration into Europe and, to a lesser degree, the United States further complicates the situation.
For years Israel has been sounding the alarm alone. Now the world is waking up to see Islam’s ambitions go far beyond little Israel. It seeks dominion over Europe and eventually America. Iran is growing into a nuclear power, pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into developing nuclear weapons and spreading terrorism around the world. And Russia is emerging as a major player among key Muslim nations in the Middle East.
The Western civilization that has dominated the world economically and politically for centuries is declining before our eyes. Europe suffers from a leadership void, as many nations face economic crises and immigration problems. They fail to make the changes necessary to preserve their sovereignty and historic culture. Due to an inability or unwillingness to stop terrorist attacks, we continue to witness violence across the continent.
In the United States, the Left is gaining greater ground in its efforts to transform the country. Even though we have a new administration that wants to “make America great again,” America has not returned to what it once was; and we are witnessing the decline of our great nation.
Religion, particularly Christianity, is under direct attack. Leftists seek to eliminate it completely from the public arena. We’ve seen the Ten Commandments, Christmas nativities, and prayer removed from public display; and many want to forbid all public expressions of Christianity altogether.
The Judeo-Christian values upon which this country was founded and that have guided it for much of its 240-plus years are disintegrating. People committed to creating a socialistic, godless America are swaying the younger generations. They want an America that no longer leads the world but, rather, sits idly by the wayside. They embrace globalization, which sets the world up for a one-world government.
Consequently, the obvious question is, “Are we imminently close to the end of this age?” Although events seem to be aligning, we cannot say with absolute certainty the end is near. There have been other times in history when the end also seemed near. Prior to World War II, we seemed desperately close to the brink. Yet it was not the prelude to the end of this age.
I’m reminded that, while Scripture encourages us to discern the times, our calling has not changed. We are to share the life-transforming message of the gospel of Jesus Christ to all who will lend an ear to hear it. If the end is near, the need to make the love of Christ known is all the more urgent. So we must continue to preach the truth until the Lord takes the church home.