As we enter the new century and millennium, it is interesting to consider where we are headed - as a world and as individuals.
There is an emerging worldwide vision and hope for a New Age of prosperity when mankind will finally bring about a peaceful world in which all men can live as brothers and share the earth's bounty. But can mankind bring about such a world by their own power? It hasn't happened during the entire history of man! Could it possibly be that men will now be able to pull together and bring such a utopian state into existence?
In the Bible, the Book of Revelation speaks of a time when a final world dictator, called the Antichrist, will through his world-changing ideas and Satanic power, signs and lying wonders, usher in a world of peace and prosperity. But it is only a temporary and false peace (about 3.5 years) and he will then demand that every human being worldwide take a mark on their right hand or forehead.
Those individuals who take the mark of the Antichrist are signifying acceptance of the one world government that he will establish, and their devotion to him and worship of him as their "God". Those refusing to accept the mark will not be able to buy or sell and will be hunted down and put to death by the Antichrist. Those who take his mark will have a place in the "New Age" of pseudo-prosperity under his leadership. All in opposition to him will be eliminated!
Jesus told His disciples that the world situation would get worse and worse (not better and better) until He Himself returned to the earth to prevent a catastrophe through which all flesh would be destroyed! This is recorded in Matthew chapter 24:3-42
And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.
Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my nameís sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:
For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the electís sake those days shall be shortened.
Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before.
Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.
Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
But it is even more important to keep in perspective that God is in full control over the events of the world and has promised to be a place of refuge and source of help to all those who call upon Him.
Two thousand years ago God sent His Son into the world to provide a cure for the life-threatening problem that we all share as human beings; the problem of sin that separates us from God, and eventually results in death. This disease is 100% fatal. There is only one cure!
Jesus was born in Bethlehem, just as the prophets of old had predicted. Jesus came to proclaim the wonderful Gospel to all that would listen - the good news that God loves us! His mission, as the promised Savior, was to reconcile to God all people who would place their trust in Him.
His future mission, perhaps sooner than we might think, will be to return to earth and bring judgment on sinful man (those who have rejected his gift of salvation). He will then set up his kingdom where His followers (those who have placed their trust in him) will live in his presence for ever!
As you contemplate these things, I wish you all the peace, joy and hope that come from trusting in Jesus, the Light of the world. As you reflect on the reasons that we celebrate our Savior's birth, death and resurrection, may your life in Him also shine brightly to all those around you as you touch their lives with the Light and Love that come from Him!
God's greatest gifts to us are His Son, Jesus, and the eternal life He gives to all those who trust in Him. Praise God for His awesome gifts!
Our gift to God is how we use the life that He has given us. May our lives bring much glory to Him!!
God, by His grace, has given each of us a choice - to enter the Kingdom of God by faith in Jesus or to reject His offer. Please don't miss the Kingdom of God for the world!
If you have not received Jesus as your Savior and Lord, why not do so right now? What a great way to enter into the New Millennium - saved and secure as a child of God!
If you would like more information on how to receive Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord, and receive God's free gift salvation, please visit the Life Quest Gospel Message page.
God bless you as you study His Word and draw close to Him.