In many places around the world, persecution of Christians is increasing. China’s government is cracking down on house churches and even harassing registered churches. In a number of countries where radical Islamists have taken over or are fighting for control, Christians are being fined, starved, robbed, exiled, imprisoned, tortured, or beheaded. Someone has stated that in sheer numbers, more Christians are being persecuted today than ever before in history.
Prophecy and End Times
It may seem strange to think of “the last miles” as we start a new year. We usually think of last miles being at the end of a hard journey. Those miles are the ones that are the hardest to endure and stay awake for. Maybe it is unusual to talk of these at this time. We could be talking of new beginnings, resolutions, and new goals. This would not be completely inappropriate. But we are in unusual times. Even a casual observer of current events, with only a small understanding of the Word, can see that we are walking the last miles.
The book of 1 Samuel opens with a spiritually dark picture. In Chapter 3 Verse 3, we are told that the Word of the Lord was precious. The Word of the Lord should always be precious to His people, but this is not what this word means in this context. Here precious means rare or uncommon. Why would God allow His Word to become rare or uncommon?
In the Old Testament, God’s Word came to His people through the medium of faithful prophets. The Holy Spirit would also come upon certain individuals at specific times for specific needs.
From day to day, our lives revolve around the future. We live moment by moment in anticipation of what the morrow may hold. Many of the anticipated events are quite mundane such as meal and work schedules; however, others we may look forward to with trepidation or concern such as looming crises or obligations.
Noah was in his 600th year, when torrential precipitation burst from the skies and erupting waters from deep in the earth began purging the rampant, contiguous, human corruption of the day. Sinners had been sinning blatantly, evidently just as unashamedly as today. It appears God warned Noah of this approaching catastrophic event some 120 years in advance and as far as we can tell about 30 years prior to the birth of Noah’s three sons therefore making the boys in their nineties by this time.
It was May 9, 2008, and I was delivering mulch into Western Cor rectional Institute, a State minimum and maximum-security prison facility in Allegheny County, Maryland. This prison houses approximately 3,000 inmates and covers an area of 30 acres. I needed to arrive before 2:30 p.m., since the inmates would be in the yard all going back to the mess hall. I was to be out by then.
They rise high above the treetops. They emit an electronic glare that brightens the night sky. Their daily message changes even slightly and we take notice. We anxiously share our thoughts concerning recent sightings and give attention when others share their interpretations of the ominous messages blanketing our land. It seems that many of my friends have recently turned into sign seekers. Have you been noticing the signs recently? "I saw it for…" I was able to fill up for…" I think by summer it will be…"
The Postponed Kingdom of Christ(?)
From the beginning of time, faithful believers have looked forward to the future when the trials and the stresses of the present age pass, and entry into the eternal state becomes reality. Revelation 21 and 22 are not only a dramatic climax to the written Word, but they give us a tiny glimpse of the Heavenly glory that shall envelop the stage on which the final events of the dispensation are played out.