Saturday, January 16, 2010
What on earth is going on?
Joel Rosenberg is in Manila today, ready to open the Epicenter Conference. He writes that the Filipinos are wondering "what on earth is going on?" The magnitude of the Haiti disaster has made the world sit up and take notice, but the Filipinos have also been struck this year. They have endured multiple floods, devastating typhoons, economic decline, and a volcano exploding under their noses. Rosenberg writes: "many Filipinos have been shaken by recent events and are wondering what they all mean….where is God?….is there any hope?….is there a certain way to know we can go to heaven when we die?….are we living in the End of Days?….are things going to get worse?" What IS going on?
Jesus warned us the end of time would come. He called it the Tribulation. He said it would be preceded by a series of events that would increase in intensity like birth pangs do. Rapture Ready defines birth pangs thus: "Birth pangs, in terms of Bible Prophecy, refers to certain convulsive geopolitical, geophysical, astrophysical and world-wide socio-economic events and issues scheduled to occur in the time leading up to Jesus Christ's Second Advent (second coming). These are likened to the contractions experienced by a woman about to give birth, with those episodes increasing with frequency and intensity. Jesus' foretelling of these birth pangs use the word "sorrows," in His Olivet Discourse on end time things to come." These events are the signs of His soon coming.
The end time's purpose is to awaken the nations, and to awaken individuals, to the correlation between sin and judgment, Jesus and redemption. God said that "there will be earthquakes in diverse places" that there will be "wars and rumors of wars." He said that there will be plagues and pestilences, signs and terrors. We do not know specifically that Haiti is under judgment but we do know specifically that we are all cursed and deserve judgment. We should not presume to speak of the mind of God as if we know it. We cannot say with finality that Haiti is under a curse. But we are to point to God's power, His holiness, and His intolerance of sin and rebellion through a Godly and truthful witness. We know that he said He would use earthquakes as a sign of His growing impatience with sin. So what can we do if we are asked what on earth is going on?
The bible says it is the Christian's duty to love God. Second He said, love your neighbor as yourself - and we know who our neighbor is, it's everyone. We are to witness to the Good News of Jesus work on the cross and make disciples. And we are to pray. We can open the bible, and open our hearts, and with love ask, "what if?" ...
By Daniel Lim Buenafe
"Many think very little of the Bible, considering it a book of myths and legends, hardly worth taking the time to crack open. Others rate the Bible as a good piece of literature and nothing more. Assuming they even have a copy lying around at home, far too many are content to leave it on a bookshelf to gather dust. But have you ever wondered if what it says might, in fact, be true? What would you think if I told you that there is much, much more to the Word of God than a collection of fables and nice stories? And that what the Bible teaches has profound implications on your life, and your family’s lives, that will no longer allow you to just go on ignoring it?"
"What’s worse is that your nation may be making political decisions that carry with them spiritual consequences, some of them not at all desirable. Your country’s leaders may have been making alliances with enemies of God’s Plan as outlined in that Bible, cutting deals with people who stand in the way of what God wants to do and is already doing, and who will only reap the whirlwind for the poor choices they have made. But what about you? Will you align yourself with Him, or will you stand in His way?"
"Think about that for a minute. Either Bible truths invade your life with your cooperation and understanding, or without it. You may not know it, but the invasion has already begun." What if God was dead serious when He proclaimed to the nation of Israel in Genesis 12:3, “I will bless those who bless you,and whoever curses you I will curse?”
(more at link)
As Joel Rosenberg opens the Epicenter conference in Manila today, he will be addressing these issues of 'what are the end of days?' and 'are we in them now?' He will be offering answers from the Bible. He will be praying and the participants will be praying. As the end times become more difficult, peoples' questions will keep coming. Are you ready to offer The Answer?