Urgency of the times stresses the importance of a continued relationship in the Lord that will overcome all obstacles faced in these trying times! It was noted that in time of seemingly the darkest defeat victory may be nearest (William McKinley)!
Jesus described the characteristics of the time leading to the end of the age. He said there would be religious deception, political unrest, natural disasters, wars, and the persecution of believers in Him. In the face of all these happenings, Jesus encouraged His disciples to persevere in faithfulness!
Jesus said: All these are the beginning of sorrows (Matthew 24:8); then spoke of a time of great tribulation such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, nor ever shall be (Matthew 24:21). We are rapidly seeing the fulfilling of Bible prophecy; which requires Nineveh type repentance, but instead witnessing a withdrawal from God’s umbrella of protection and provision, as man pursues his own destiny!
The writer of the Book of Hebrews noted: See that you refuse not him that speaks. For if they escaped not who refused him that spoke on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away him that speaks from heaven; whose voice then shook the earth; but now he has promised, saying, yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.
And this word, yet once more, signifies the removing of those things that are made; that those things which cannot be moved may remain. Wherefore (take note) we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved (shaken), let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear; for our God is as consuming fire (Hebrews 12:25-29)!
It was noted that these verses contain the fifth and final warning! The danger lies in refusing to hear the warning of Him who speaks from heaven, for if those at Mount Sinai did not escape God's wrath much more shall not we escape! One may escape God's warnings now, but once more refers to a time that God will once more shake the earth and no one will escape!
The writer of the Book of Hebrews introduces us to the foreseeable future (urgency of the times), which we already are experiencing, with a reminder as to who we are to turn to in these troublesome times! Jesus said: They shall deliver you (the believer in Christ) up to be afflicted, and shall kill you; and you shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake (Matthew 24:9). Because iniquity (lawlessness) shall about, the love of many shall wax (grow) cold). But he that endures to the end the same shall be saved (Matthew 24:12-13).
It was noted that Christians in America, and in other similarly free nations, can be thankful to live relatively free from persecution. Nevertheless, the increasing hostility toward Christians may be a sign of worse times to come. As nations of the world move steadily toward living entirely by secular values, God’s Word is being ignored! In this environment, Christians who adhere to the Bible and Christian faith will be hated by the world.
The urgency of the times is noted by Jesus in saying: There shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations (very much so in this hour), with perplexity, and sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them for fear; for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
And then shall we see the Son of man (Jesus) come in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads for your redemption (deliverance) draws nigh (near) (Luke 22:25-28).
It was noted that eventually kingdoms crumble because they ascended to dominance on the shaky foundation of human ingenuity, political intrigue, selfish interest, and human economy. The time is coming when all powers and principles will collapse under the weight of God’s judgment.
Urgency of the times indicates this is already taking place as we see nations no longer bearing loyalty to Almighty God but allowing the ungodly to gain the upper hand and demanding acceptance by all!
It was noted that God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever (Thomas Jefferson).
Urgency of the times reveals a failure of godly leadership with nations taking a plunge towards the wrath of God through ignoring His Word and pursing their own desired path!
Apostle Paul revealed a concern in his time: Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel (a present day nation could be stated as well), that they have zeal of (for) for God, but not according to knowledge; for they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, are going about to establish their own righteousness, having not submitted themselves to the righteousness of God (Romans 10:1-3).
There is a price to pay for departure and casting aside godly influence for one’s own ill-conceived way! We are seeing evidence of a withdrawal, even of some churches, as those who Paul addressed when he used the term “Brethren!”
The words of the Prophet Isaiah are being fulfilled today: Woe (take warning) to them that call evil good and good evil; that put darkness for light and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe to them that are wise in their own eyes and prudent in their own sight (Isaiah 5:20-21); which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him (Isaiah 5:23)!
Isaiah then pronounced: As the fire (tongue of fire) devotes the stubble, and the flames consume the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust; because they have cast away the law of the Lord, and despised the word of the Holy One (Isaiah 5:24).
The Prophet Amos revealed there will be a time that the fruit of righteousness will be turned into hemlock (Amos 6:12). It is interesting to note that the word hemlock refers to a plant that poison is derived from. Poison infects or pollutes the body until injury, illness, or death results. It can be of a harmful influence such as will ruin, taint, inhibit, or embitter.
When this influence creeps into a church, oftentimes unawares, it creates “A powerless church.” A dream captivated this thought in which the righteous man was ridiculed, of whose influence no longer had any effect. A church of pomp, splendor, where true worship was taboo and sin no longer identified. Lives were without change or with little endurance if change occurred.
It was noted that if the fires of freedom and civil liberties burn low in other lands, they must be made brighter in our own. If in other lands, the press and books and literature of all kinds are censored, we must redouble our effort here to keep them free. If in other lands the eternal truths of the past are threatened by intolerance, we must provide a safe place for their continuation (Franklin D. Roosevelt).
Urgency of the times is seeing the very things warned against (by voices of the past) and being instituted today! Thank God that there are voices of godly opposition coming forth in an attempt to offset what is being described as healthy but in reality unhealthy to any nation or individual!
There is an inbred injustice that is consuming many lands; with stamping out of any opposition! Deception is being planted making such such appear as healthy when in reality it is sinful and ungodly; filled with fleshly desires and ambition! There is an inbred desire to captivate on man’s desire for lust with morality being tossed aside!
There in an inbred corruptness of the political arena through election or appointment of ungodly individuals who promote ungodly lifestyles condemned in God’s Word! There is an inbred unleashing of filth and degradation through the entertainment industry that brings forth what is warned against by Apostle John: The lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, which is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passes away, and the lust thereof, but he that does the will of God abides forever (1 John 3:16-17)!
Urgency of the times instilled with hope is noted: In a world full of shadows, it is sometimes difficult for us to believe we can really make a difference. Sometimes a little light seems small indeed. Sometimes the darkness looks overwhelming. But throughout history of the church has always been as a community of light that cannot be quenched!
Though there is an withdrawal from the Unadulterated (Pure) Word of God by some churches; in addressing Simon Peter, Jesus said: You are Peter, and upon this rock (foundation) I will build my church; and the gates of hell (forces of evil) shall not prevail against me (Matthew 16:18)!
The darkest hour has only sixth minutes (Morris Mandel). Long as the day may be the night comes at last (Irish Proverb). King Solomon noted: To everything there is a season, and a time to very purpose under the heaven (Ecclesiastes 3:1). Apostle Paul: Redeeming the time because the days are evil (Ephesians 5:16).
The writer of the Book of Hebrews: Seeing that we are compassed (surrounded) about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin that does so easily beside us, and let run with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us; looking upon Jesus as the author (originator) and finisher (perfecter) of our faith (Hebrews 12:1-2)!
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