There are many evidences of the fact that the days in which we live are the last days. There is the reality of wars and rumors of wars; there is unrest in the world around us; there is famine and pestilence; there is hatred of the world for the Church manifest in the persecution of God’s people, and there is the hatred of wicked men within the Church manifest in the denial of the truth of the Word of God.
During the life of Noah the spiritual wall between God’s people and the wicked world had broken down. There formed an unholy alliance between the daughters of men and the sons of God. Little difference could be found between the children of the covenant line and those of the wicked world. The sons of God were attracted to the wicked ways of the world. The culture, the entertainment, the industry, and the trends of the wicked world appealed to them, and they were drawn to the world as iron is drawn to a magnet.
On a street in a certain city there are found three houses and a church. In each of the three houses dwell a husband and a wife. In the church dwells… well, we know who dwells in the church. God’s people dwell there. The article which follows has to do with what goes on between these husbands and wives in these their houses. It will focus on the relationship that exists between them—quite a different relationship as we shall see.
It is 9:30 A.M. on a Sunday morning. God’s people, and you with them, are all seated together in God’s house of worship. You are all prepared to worship and serve your God by singing praises to His name, by reading His Word, and by hearing the voice of the Great Shepherd of the sheep speak to you through His herald, His official ambassador, your minister. And you are very eager for that too. Anxiously you await the moment for your minister to come through the door onto the platform and before the pulpit.
The place is not a pretty sight. I.V.’s drip fluid into skinny arms. Doctors and nurses scurry from one wooden-slab bed to another, responding to pleas for help. I am at Ban Vinai, a refugee camp along the Mekong River just inside northern Thailand. It is populated by some 35,000 H’mong (pronounced Mong) tribal refugees from the mountains of Laos. They suffer from severe malnutrition, malaria, amoebic dysentery, tuberculosis, pneumonia and a host of parasites. For many there is a tragic complication: they have been gassed.
Revelation 13 speaks of two beasts: one out of the sea and another out of the earth. The first beast out of the sea represents the Antichrist from the point of view of his political power. In the last days the Antichrist will establish a world-wide kingdom embracing all the nations and peoples of the earth. The second beast out of the earth also represents the Antichrist but from a little different point of view.
As the end of time approaches us the cup of sin and iniquity becomes more and more full; the violation of God’s holy law becomes more and more pronounced, and the horror of sin, as sin develops, is simply beyond belief. As the end of time approaches us, sin is no more called sin but acceptable practice, and almost anything goes.
There are according to the Scriptures many precursory signs which point to the return of Christ to judgment, and which at the same time serve to bring about the kingdom of Christ. They are therefore important to the people of God, not only because they provide an indication of the approach of Christ’s kingdom and its connected events, but also because they help to point out our calling as pilgrims and strangers in a world that is bound for destruction.
As time goes on and as the day of our Lord Jesus Christ comes ever nearer, the Bible as the infallibly inspired Word of God is increasingly attacked. It is attacked by means of asking a very simple question. Is the Bible as it is held in the hand of the individual child of God, God’s Word? Is it trustworthy? Is it accurate? Can it be believed? May the individual child of God take his Bible, read it, study it, and conclude that what it says is what it means?
I lie in bed awake. It is late. The dark of night has encompassed me. But I cannot sleep. My thoughts are troubled. I try to sort out the troubles that fill my heart, but it is most difficult. Where shall I find rest?