Jul 16, 2008


By Jan Markell

I recently saw a newspaper headline stating that, "Everything is spinning out of control." The underlying sentiment seemed to be that we should pin the tail on the worst issues going on in the world today. Quite frankly, there may not be enough tails!

Then to add to the distress, The New York Times printed an article, "Are you ready for the next disaster?" All natural disasters in the last 6 to 12 months have been preceded with headlines such as "unprecedented" or "record-setting."

This may sound depressing but keep reading. It isn't just gloom and doom.

The points are accurate that prices are skyrocketing and home values are abysmal. Airline costs, college tuition, and health care are becoming unaffordable.

Both U.S. presidential candidates want to add a sense of order to all of this and have their own solutions. No one has the slightest idea if any of their suggestions will make things better or worse and if God is maneuvering the world for His greater purposes, what world leaders do or say matters very little.

We live in an age of risk assessment and risk analysis, when doomsday scenarios have become daily anxieties, and planning for improbable but world-changing events has become a focus of disaster policy. Now with renewed jitters about a post-election terrorist attack, government officials are urging us to plan for the next catastrophe. Nobody said it would be easy to be born for such a time as this!

Maybe what the 21st century is all about is the great unraveling of some things long taken for granted.

The Bible indicates that right before the Lord's return many things will spin out of control. Most scoff at such suggestions as predicted in II Peter. And it does not help to have church pulpits totally silent on issues that relate to the predicted "end-times" and some of the things that will unfold in those days.

I maintain the unbelieving world cannot connect the dots when it comes to much of this. They will blame it on man-made global warming, whoever is in the White House, Rush Limbaugh, and a host of other issues. It is difficult, if not impossible, for the unsaved world to arrive at a satisfactory answer to life's great mysteries. While this is not a suggestion that the unsaved world has no hope, they surely do not have the "blessed hope" (Titus 2:13).

So the next time you hear the suggestion that the sky is falling, tell them that, no, the sky will some day open up for the King of kings to appear in the clouds and call forth His church. Some of the calamities occurring are reminding us that the hour is late and the door of the Ark may close. We have little time to waste.

If you are a part of a church that is sleeping at the wheel, move on. You will likely not hear of the Lord's glorious returning in 95% of the churches today. It does not encourage church growth they will tell you. Others will say it is divisive or impractical for this generation.

As Dr. David Reagan, one of our "Understanding the Times" conference speakers in 2006, 2007, and 2008 says, "Although prophecy constitutes almost one-third of the Bible, its importance is constantly downplayed by those who dismiss it as having no practical significance or by those who object to it on the grounds that it is a 'fad' that takes people's eyes off Jesus.

Revelation 19:10 says that 'the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.' Thus, if prophecy is properly taught, there is no reason for it to divert anyone's attention away from Jesus. In fact, it should serve to emphasize the centrality of Jesus.

Reagan asks, "Is prophecy practical? Consider that all the New Testament writers testify to the fact that the study of prophecy will motivate holy living. What could be more practical than that?"

He concludes, "Prophecy does not have to be faddish, other-worldly, or impractical if taught properly. Nor does it have to be a playground for fanatics. It can and should be green pastures for disciples.

"God's prophetic Word is food for our spiritual growth. We need to take it off the shelf. We need to open it up and feast upon it, and we need to do so with believing hearts."

Somebody get excited. The King is coming!