6 a.m. on Tuesday, February 9, 1971. The moon was setting in the west just as the sun was rising in the east. This was the day for the return of the astronauts from the moon with the proud boast of what man had once more accomplished. This was also the day for a complete moon eclipse visible in this entire area. But something quite different became the headlines in the news and occasion for concern for many.
Do you read your Bible? Likely you wonder whether I am addressing this question to you. Maybe you even wonder why this question should be put to any reader of the Standard Bearer. Is it not a presupposition that any one who reads this paper also reads his Bible? Yet now that you are confronted personally with this question do not brush it aside; still more, do not be too ready to answer in the affirmative.
No one need remind us that we are living in significant times, the like of which this world has never known. We are experiencing upheavals, change, revolution of every sort. We see changes everywhere; we experience upheavals in every sphere of life, in governments, industry, commerce, society, and church. We witness revolutions in every nation, among young and old alike, in the ghetto and on the campus of the university, terrifying in their proportions and in their number.
“The Abomination Of Desolation.” Does not the very name send the cold chills up and down your spine? Scripture tells us of the coming of the Abominable One, who is so foul, so detestable in the sight of God that only God’s forbearance causes Him to wait until the day when this Beast has served his purpose and has made full the measure of his iniquity, then to be cast with the devil into the lake of fire and brimstone where he will be tormented forever.
As I am writing this we are still in the old year. By the time that you read it we will already have passed into the new year.
About a decade ago, a poem appeared in the Netherlands which was entitled, “The Message.”¹ In this poem the author writes about the mandate that comes from God to the faithful minister of the Gospel, “Go, tell the church. that a severe storm is approaching.” To this the minister responds: “But there have been many storms raging for many days and many years.” He is told: “Though that may be ever so true, the Great Storm is about to break loose.” But the minister counters: “Lord, the people have heard that so often that they disregard it entirely.”
You may recognize this heading as taken from the Scriptures. Maybe you even recall that it is part of Jesus’ summons to His disciples. In its entirety it reads, (Mark 16:31): “And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.”
“Behold, he prayeth.” This was said by the exalted Christ to the prophet Ananias about Saul of Tarsus, who was sitting blind in Damascus and praying to God without ceasing day and night.