DOES THE BIBLE OFFER A REMEDY FOR A WORLD
Warm greetings to all who may be reading. The Bible will be the source of our messages from time to time. We ask you to consider carefully what is said and search the scriptures to see whether the things stated are true or not.
You like many others may be perplexed when you take a look around the troubled world. The horrible wars of the 20th Century have brought chaos instead of peace to the 21st Century. Those who have the rule over us are doing all in their power to improve conditions and to bring peace to a world in distress. As we enter the 21st Century, though many of us in the United States enjoy unparalleled prosperity- poverty, disease, distress and unrest are widely seen in all countries of the world.
The advancement made in science and engineering have given hope to many people that civilization is on the upgrade, and that peace, prosperity, and plenty will come to all people. The growth of knowledge in medicine, scientific farming, better sanitation and living conditions, the spread of knowledge by radio, television, and computers- All these held out hope for a better world- All the devices of men- the United Nations and all other efforts of man have failed. Is there a reason? Does the Bible tell us? Do you believe the Bible? Please consider carefully: "The Lord bringeth the counsel of the nations to naught, He maketh the devices of the people of none effect." (Ps. 33:10) "Associate yourselves, O ye people, and ye shall be broken in pieces- Take counsel together and it shall come to nought." (Isaiah 8:9,10)
All the devices of men and all counseling together in efforts to bring world peace have failed. The very real and terrible threat of global terrorism, constant turmoil in the Middle East, an unpredictable Russian government, unspeakable violence and unrest in portions of Africa, and growing tensions between the U.S and her Central and South American neighbors as the war against drugs continues to fail miserably. As men pride themselves in great advancements in medicine the medical establishment is in great fear as once promising antibiotics and drug treatments now fail against ever changing diseases and infections, including the AIDS virus. Is there no physician to heal the sin sick world?
The "wisest" men today advocate ONE WORLD- one central government. A Bertrand Russel declared in 1947, "There must be one central government possessing a monopoly of the more dangerous weapons, and strong enough to insist on the substitution of law for anarchy. If we fail in this, we must expect a world-wide disaster surpassing in its horror all that past misfortune enables us to imagine. So long as no such central authority exists, war is sure to recur."
We all know that such central authority does not exist. Wendell Wilkie advocated ONE WORLD- One central authority. Since the atomic age was ushered in along with other weapons of mass destruction, many people declare that if we do not have ONE WORLD that we'll have no world.
But where is there a man or set of men wise enough to settle all the perplexing questions that would arise in social, religious, national and international affairs? Would it be possible to enforce their decisions? Human remedies have failed so far to bring peace and happiness to all the people. Again, we press the question, does the Bible offer a remedy to a world in distress? If you believe in God's word then there is good news. God's plan and purpose exactly fits the needs of humanity. Man's extremity is God's opportunity- a careful study of our times shows that God's plan is about to be fulfilled.
"But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the Glory of the Lord" (Numbers 14:21) Also in Habakuk 2:14, "For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea." If we believe the Bible, we know that some day God's plan will be realized and the song of the heavenly host, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and good will to men" will be a reality. But how is God's purpose to be brought about? This is a very important question. A world ruler, strong and powerful enough to subdue all enemies will be required. He must rule in righteousness. His influence for good must extend to the uttermost parts of the earth, helping the needy and breaking the strong hold of the oppressor, and that is exactly what God has planned. In Acts 17:31 we read, "Because He (God) hath appointed a day in the which he will judge (i.e. rule) the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained. Wherefore, he hath given assurance unto all men in that he hath raised him from the dead." Peter said to the Jews on Pentacost, "This Jesus hath God raised up" (Acts 2:32) and again in Acts 3:15, "You killed the Prince of Life whom God hath raised from the dead."
So you see who it is that is to "rule the world in righteousness". It is Jesus Christ, God's son "in whom God is well pleased." Psalm 72 gives us a picture of Christ's future work. "He shall judge the poor of the people, He shall save the children of the needy, He shall break in pieces the oppressor. In his day shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth. He shall have dominion also from sea to sea and from the river unto the ends of the earth. All kings shall fall down before him, all nations shall serve him, all nations shall call him blessed- Blessed be His glorious name forever; and let the whole earth be filled with his glory."
Where is Christ now? At the right hand of the Father. Will he ever come back to this earth? "He (God) shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you; whom the heaven must receive until the time of restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began." (Acts 3:20-21)
CHRIST'S FIRST COMING
The date of every letter, paper and deed declare in no uncertain terms that Jesus was born some 2,000 years ago. Many of the prophets wrote of His first coming- first of his birth- "unto us a child is born" This was said about 700 years before he was born of the Virgin Mary, "A virgin shall conceive and bear a son." Second, the place of his birth, "Thou Bethlehem......out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel" He was born in Bethlehem, but has he ever been ruler in Israel? Not yet, but he will yet be King of the Jews. At his first coming he was to be rejected by his own people- the Jews- condemned, crucified, hands and feet pierced, cut off from the land of the living. God raised him from the dead, placed him at his right hand until his enemies be made his foot stool. You cannot fins a single prophecy referring to his first coming that has not been literally fulfilled.
CHRIST'S SECOND COMING
Christ's second coming is mentioned over 300 times in the New Testament alone. We read, "He shall come", "He shall reign", "He shall execute judgment and justice in the earth." "He shall sit on the throne of his father David and reign over the house of Jacob (12 tribes of Israel restored) forever and of his kingdom there shall be no end." In apostolic days the people turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God and to wait for his son from heaven. (I Thessalonians 1:9).
HOW CAN ANY ONE KNOW THAT CHRIST
IS COMING BACK TO EARTH?
1. He said he would return- "If I go....I will come again". (John 14:3)
2. The angels said he would return- "Ye men of Galilee why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." (Acts 1:11)
3. Paul said, "The Lord himself shall descend from heaven," (I Thessalonians 4:16). Paul speaks of "them that look for him shall appear the second time without sin unto salvation" and again, "For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come and will not tarry." "Behold I come quickly" and "surely I come quickly" are some of the last words given the world by Jesus in the Book of Revelation.
THE MANNER OF HIS COMING
It is to be personal, the Lord himself, and bodily. He went away bodily and is now at the right hand of the Father and will come again and the Jews will "look upon me whom they have pierced." (Zechariah 12:10).
WHEN IS HE COMING?
Although many would like to know, still we cannot tell when Christ will return, for it says in Matthew 24:36, "But of the day and hour knoweth no man, no not the angels of heaven, but my Father only."
Through the writings of the prophets and of Jesus Christ himself, we can, however, approximate the time and are enabled to know that we are now living in the "latter" days. Christ encouraged His followers to watch the "signs" lest He come in an hour when He was least expected, and find them unready. (Matthew 24:42, 44). Christ rebuked those who could easily read the signs indicating goo or bad weather but could not discern the "Signs of the Times" (Matthew 16: 1-4).
What then are the signs that we should watch at the beginning of the 21st Century to mark the nearness of Christ's coming. They are many.
In Luke 21 Jesus draws a picture of world conditions just prior to his second coming, "Upon earth distress of nations with perplexity." The sea and the waves roaring. The sea here is the sea of humanity- the waves roaring represent the movements of humanity as seen through the general unrest continuously found among mankind. We also see the fulfillment of Bible Prophecy such as the reestablishment of the Nation of Israel in 1948 after almost 2,000 years of dispersion. A reestablishment that was foretold by all the prophets of the Bible and would precede the return of the Messiah (Christ). We also see a Middle Easter situation, along with the meddling of Russia, Europe, and the United States into the future of Jerusalem and Israel that could erupt into chaos at any time.
It is during "this time of trouble" that Christ speaks of that he tells us that "the Son of Man" is seen coming in a cloud with power and great glory. "When these things begin to come to pass, then look up and lift up your heads- for your redemption draweth nigh." "Behold the fig tree and all the trees." The fig tree is a symbol of the Jewish nation and "all the trees" point to nations not Jewish. The Land of Israel is in the limelight as never before. It is recorded "Israel shall blossom and bud and fill the face of the world with fruit" (Isaiah 27:6). Though Israel is a very successful country in both agriculture and technology, this passage will not be fully realized until the Jewish nation acknowledges Christ as their Messiah. Those who understand God's plan can see why the Jews have returned and continue to return from all around the world to Israel. "He that scattered Israel will gather him." (Jeremiah 31:10).
THE GOOD NEWS OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD
"The Kingdom of God" to which Jesus refers in Luke 21:31 will constitute the Bible remedy for a world in distress.
Here then we will have a world governed by One wise enough, powerful enough, and with Divine authority to settle all the perplexing questions that now have the world on the verge of chaos.
So, the only hope for the world is the hope of the Bible, and God's plan fits the needs of a world in distress. "Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven", is our prayer as it was the prayer of Jesus to his Father.