(The following is a reprint of an article that I put out nearly a decade ago in October of 2001. It was timely then, but is even more so now.)
"What a month September was...with the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington D.C. and all! We wish to extend our sincere condolences to any of you receiving this newsletter who have lost family members or friends in this heinous act of violence on American soil. Our thoughts and prayers have been...and will remain...with you. In light of these attacks...I would like to re-run the body of a newsletter that I wrote and put out in September of 1998. Looking back I found it to be particularly interesting. Here it is...
“...This month, in light of the events that are taking place in the world around us, I would like to admonish my dear brothers and sisters in Christ, to sit up and take notice! Time is growing very short and we must get serious people! America, as well as the rest of the world, is entering a period that Jesus speaks about in Luke 21:25-26. He says, “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; (The Amplified Bible says, “...upon the earth [there will be] distress (trouble and anguish) of nations in bewilderment and perplexity [without resources, left wanting, embarrassed, in doubt, not knowing which way to turn]...”) Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.”
Right now the world is experiencing trouble as never before...hurricanes, floods, fires, drugs, violence, crime, hunger, war, economic crisis, countries collapsing before our very eyes...and no one really has an answer as to how to fix it. If that isn’t “...distress of nations, with perplexity...”, I don’t know what is. In all of the madness going on in our world, America appears to be doing well...but looks can be deceiving!
Throughout Bible history, there is a pattern. Whenever a nation turned away from God, He sent them warnings through prophets. If the people didn’t respond, God often sent violent storms and drastic weather changes and plagues to wake them up. If they didn’t work, God sent them one final message...He inundated them with prosperity. It was a last, great mercy call!
Consider the days of Noah. God determined to judge Noah’s society because of its growing wickedness. But first he sent Noah to warn them of coming judgment. In his great mercy, God blessed that society with 120 years of wonderful prosperity. Luke 17:26-28 says, “...in the days of Noah...they did eat, they drank, they married...they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded...” The people feasted, celebrated, had plenty of work, traded their goods. Business was booming! Yet the whole time, a cloud of destruction was gathering overhead...and Noah continued to deliver his prophetic warnings. The people ignored old Noah. They went right on living the good life! They didn’t have time for some religious nut issuing warnings of coming judgment. They could only see good times ahead! And their booming prosperity lasted up to the very day of the flood.
Consider the days of Lot. Sodom and Gomorrah enjoyed the same booming economy as Noah’s society. Yet, Ezekiel writes, “This was the iniquity of...Sodom, pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness...neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty...” (Ezekiel 16:49-50). These people had an abundance of provision...they were prosperous, with plenty of leisure time on their hands...yet they ignored the poor! The people of Sodom and Gomorrah didn’t realize it, but their abundant prosperity was God’s final mercy call to them. Suddenly, overnight, the good times ended and calamity struck. Within 24-hours...the whole society was destroyed!
There are many other examples in the Bible of prosperity being God’s final mercy call...the days of King Josiah (2 Kings 22:11-17, 23:26-27; Jeremiah 25:3-11). What about Jeremiah 44? Overnight, Judah’s good days turned into a hellish nightmare...overpowering armies flooding into Jerusalem, burning the temple and reducing the city to rubble. Yet, in all of this the people, acknowledging God’s prosperity in the past, opted to rebel and remain in their wickedness.
In Revelation 18 the Bible predicts a graphic sense of a prosperous society falling under judgment in a single hour. This society is called Babylon. Although Scripture doesn’t make it clear who this Babylon will be, many theologians have tried to predict who it will be. The Bible describes it this way: “...the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies [luxuries]...How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously...for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen...and shall see no sorrow” (Revelation 18:3, 7). Whoever this Babylon is, its unparalleled prosperity is struck with a sudden economic collapse, and all is lost overnight. Could this “Babylon” be America?
Folks, I don’t know who this Babylon is, and I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know that God can not go against His Word. As a nation, America is in trouble! Our country gets wealthier and wealthier, while federal courts are doing everything in their power to outlaw even the mention of God’s name in public. Judges are banning the symbols of faith at every turn--crosses, manger scenes, prayer in schools. There is even a movement to remove the phrase “In God We Trust” from our coins! We continue to allow the murder of millions of unborn children through abortion, while we march in protest against the killing of whales and rabbits! There are over 100 million television sets and some 100,000 movie theaters in America today--and most are serving as conduits for pornography! Even Disney movies are cashing in on R-rated movies! Most of their films promote cursing and the occult, and it has become popular to curse, mock, and ridicule Christ! These are just a few signs of our nation’s moral decay. Judgment on America is surely on its way...and it sounds scary!
But...there is hope! For God’s children, He has provided a way to have perfect peace in that time of panic! Scripture says that God will keep all who trust Him “...in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee” (Isaiah 26:3). If you are in tune to the voice of God, determine in your heart right now to make a commitment to Him, that no matter what happens, you will seek Him in all that you do...no matter what the future holds. Keep in mind, in each of the situations mentioned earlier, God provided an avenue of safety for those that were truly His own. He promises us that he will “...never leave” us “nor forsake” us (Hebrews 12:5). When ominous news begins to send shock waves of fear across our land, we won’t be able to avoid the normal feelings of human anxiety, yet at the same time, God will put within us the resources needed to take immediate control of every fearful thought and bring it into obedience to the truth of Christ Jesus. His Spirit will fill us with His perfect peace!”
Well, folks...that was the September 1998 newsletter. That ominous news that sends shock waves of fear across our land is here...and I believe it will continue in the days ahead. So...what do we do now? Well...the following is a list of the things that I feel are most important at this time:
#1-Pray. This is the most effective weapon that we have as Christians.
#2-Get into the Word. Build up your faith by spending time in quiet fellowship with God allowing Him to fill you with the peace that passes all understanding.
#3-Ask the Lord to give you wisdom and direction. Ask Him how He would have you to prepare for the coming storm and the days ahead. Follow His leading and put your faith into action.
#4-Ask the Lord to use this time in our nation's history for His glory and to bring ministry opportunities into your path. Ask Him to show you how you can minister to the needs of others, as well as spread the gospel. Ask Him to give you the right words to speak at the right time.
#5-Pray for our President. Pray that the spirit of Josiah would fall upon him and that he would call our nation to repentance.
Folks...I only have one more thing to say and then I’ll stop...and some of you reading this aren‘t going to like it...but in the future...we Christians are going to have to stick together. It’s time to get serious! Get out of your dogma and religiosity! Get out of your little clicks and denominational heresies! Get into the truth of the Word and GET WITH IT! There isn’t any time left to fool around! The day is coming very quickly that you are going to have to make a decision and get off the fence one way or another. We can no longer afford to go around with one foot in the church and one foot in the world. It’s time to make a choice! When judgment comes...which side of the fence will YOU be on?"