Then the voice that I had heard from heaven spoke to me once
more: “Go, take the scroll that lies open in the hand of the
angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.”
So I went to the angel and asked him to give me the little
scroll. He said to me, “Take it and eat it. It will turn your
stomach sour, but in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey.” I
took the little scroll from the angel’s hand and ate it. It
tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it,
my stomach turned sour.
For years now Christian commentators have warned that the USA is due for
judgment. We’ve pointed to the redefining of homosexuality as
merely an alternative lifestyle and the murder of 50
million pre-born children in the name of responsible family
planning as major indicators that Americans are in the final
stages of rebellion against God. Even Billy Graham, who is not
noted for inflammatory rhetoric has been quoted as saying, “If
God doesn’t judge America,
He’ll have to apologize to Sodom
We who study prophecy have regularly warned that the
stands in the way of the fulfillment of a major End Times sign,
the ascendancy of a
European Super State
to world dominance. Whether it’s seen as a form of the European
Union or an Islamic caliphate, everyone agrees something has to
happen to get the US out of the
way before it can take center stage. (With conditions in
Western Europe being what they are, it’s looking more and more
like the Islamic option will prevail, but that’s a discussion
for a different day.)
Lately the combination of social, economic, and political woes
in the US make it seem like our time of judgment is
arriving, as a growing number of experts are predicting even
darker days ahead for
America. There’s a
feeling that our government isn’t being exactly honest with us
about things like unemployment rates, borrowing costs, the
declining dollar, etc. and the “man in the street” is beginning
to wonder if the situation is worse than we’ve been led to
What’s That Got To Do With Me?
Pre-trib scholars often teach that the church will be snatched
away before any serious judgment happens. But the millions
who can’t find work and have lost their homes or seen their
savings wiped out can tell you it seems to be getting pretty
serious already. (And let’s not forget believers in other
parts of the world who are facing even worse conditions, with
hundreds being martyred for their faith every day.)
Nowhere does the Bible ever promise that we’ll disappear quietly
from the lap of Earth’s luxury into the eternal bliss that
awaits us without ever suffering a moment’s uncertainty.
On the contrary, Jesus said we’d have trouble in this world (John
We all know the
is officially in open rebellion against God. There are
many areas of our national life that don’t pass muster. I
mentioned abortion and homosexuality above, but the list also
includes dozens of other things like governmental corruption,
sexual depravity as entertainment, a broken judicial system,
etc. And how about our appeasement strategy toward Islam?
It’s nothing short of the kind of flirtation the Jews conducted
with Greek philosophy and religion during the reign of the
Selucids 2200 years ago. It led to complete subjugation by the
Greeks. Do you think this will turn out any differently? They’ve
already publicly stated their goal is subjugation as well.
As long as the coming judgment remained out in some undefined
future, it was easy to agree with those who say it’s what we
deserve. But as news reports and Bible prophecy converge,
telling us that the time for judgment might be a lot closer than
we thought, it becomes a different matter. Suddenly it’s not so
exciting any more, and that’s what John meant by saying the
scroll was sweet as honey in his mouth but turned his stomach
sour. He knew that the judgment he was told to prophesy about
was just and righteous (sweet as honey) but watching it take
place made him sick to his stomach.
We all love the idea of being the generation that sees the
Lord’s return, and it is the most exciting time in all of human
history. But it’s also a very unsettling time to be around, one
that places us way out of our comfort zone and requires the kind
of faith most of us have never had to muster up before.
So What Can We Do?
I’m not a financial adviser so I won’t offer any advice in that
department. The kind of advice I can give you is
spiritual, and that’s good because this is a spiritual matter.
If you haven’t already done so, study the promises of God,
especially Matt. 6:24-34.
I don’t mean just read them. Really study them.
“No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and
love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the
other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you
will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is
not life more important than food, and the body more important
than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or
reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds
them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by
worrying can add a single hour to his life?”
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the
field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not
even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.
If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here
today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much
more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying,
‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we
wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your
heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his
kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be
given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for
tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of
To help make these promises come true for you, seek to honor God
in all that you do. Take care to avoid behavior that will
disappoint, embarrass, or offend Him. Sure you’re saved by
grace, but that doesn’t give you a license to sin. Show some
gratitude. You shouldn’t bite the hand that feeds you,
after all. When you do sin, confess early and often,
confident that you’ll be forgiven.
If we confess our sins,
he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify
us from all unrighteousness. (1
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down,
shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.
For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
Give generously with a grateful heart. And remember, your tithe
is not a measure of your generosity. No one, having
enjoyed a great dinner, would be considered generous for leaving
a 10% tip. It’s what you voluntarily do beyond your tithe
that makes you generous. And remember this as well.
Through your generosity on Earth, which is your temporary home,
you’re storing up treasure in Heaven, which is your permanent
home (Matt. 6:19-21, 2
Cor. 4:18). Would you rather be well off for a little while
longer here, or well off forever there?
In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you
are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold
Don’t let your anger over some offense, no matter how justified,
put you out of fellowship with God. It’s not worth it.
Forgive those who’ve wronged you and seek forgiveness from those
you’ve wronged. If it is
possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with
When our ways are pleasing to the Lord, He makes even our
enemies live at peace with us (Proverbs
Maintain an attitude of gratitude.
Do not be anxious about
anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with
thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of
God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts
and your minds in Christ Jesus.(Phil.
4:6-7) Worry about nothing, pray about everything, be
thankful for anything. It’s true, Jesus said we’d have trouble
in this world. But He also said,
“Take Heart! I have
overcome the world” (John
16:33). Because He has, we will too. Keep things
in their proper perspective. In just a little while this
will be all over and we’ll be embarking on the adventure of a
This is just a beginning, but it’s a good one. Assuming that the
course has already been set, and powerful nations will be
reluctant to change their strategies, we can expect things to
become more and more unsettled. A growing number of
experts from across the spectrum are predicting that life will
likely become noticeably more difficult very soon.
And for those of you who’ve already written this article off as
just more religious fluff when what you need is some real world
advice, I’ll say this. The fact that you think you can
survive whatever is coming in your own strength just shows how
far you have to go in rebuilding your faith in the only One who
can see you through. Following the advice of
Matt. 6:24-34 is the
one sure way to keep your bearings in the days ahead. Seek
first His kingdom and His righteousness and let Him take care of
the rest, like He said He would. Selah 07-02-11