Contending for the faith | Making Disciples | Equipping the Saints for Ministry

A Time Such As This
by Rayola Kelley

The 2012 election is over. For some, it marks a great time of uncertainty. The path we have been on as a nation, for at least the past decade, marks what implies financial ruin on the horizon. If we continue on the way we have been, we will end up being like the Titanic, hitting the iceberg of financial insanity and sinking in the waters of utter destruction. We will indeed become a third world country which will fade in with the rest of the world and cease to have any sovereignty. Fox News’, Brit Hume put it best when he said we are becoming more like Europe.

This type of scenario is not unusual. Israel wanted to be like the pagan nations around her by having a king (1 Samuel 8:4-22). The people of Jehovah God did not like the burden of standing distinct as the light in great darkness. In the present situation, some would tell Americans that the digression of America is what the world planners have had in mind all along and have been working towards in the most corrupt ways. America must lose her sovereignty in order to come into line with the one-world government, economic, and religious system.

The attempt to bring the world under a central world government to be ruled by the god of this world, Satan, clearly manifested itself in Genesis 11 when man built the tower of Babel. He believed that nothing could stop him from gaining supremacy. However, God threw a wrench in his plans by confusing the language of the people. Since then, there have been many attempts to take over the world by one man. For example, in the twentieth century there was the likes of Adolf Hitler.

Whether we want to face the facts or not, we are in the last generation. The world is winding down to a climatic event that will usher in the rule and reign of the King of kings. However, the initial picture looks precarious.

I am sure it is the desire for most Americans to see this precarious time as being stayed or put off for a bit longer. This attitude is understandable and explains why many prayed and hoped that this election would change the course of this country. I am sure some of those same people are wondering why God allowed America to continue down the course of imminent destruction. They may be shaking their heads and asking themselves why others can’t see what looms in front of this nation. However, the iceberg does not just point to the financial aspect of this country, it also consists of many other elements such as moral issues.

When moral issues are part of the equation, the first thing people must remember is that without sharpness of morality or integrity of character and the truth and principles it maintains, people become blinded to the obvious danger in front of them. They cannot see in the distance due to the short-sighted twisted glasses of selfishness, indifference, and fantasy. They have no way of understanding the reality that looms before them for they live in the moment and not in light of the principles and consequences that govern the actual outcome of decisions and actions.

This moral blindness is nothing new. It was present during Jesus’ day. He said of many who followed Him that they did so because He gave them bread to eat (John 6:26-27). It is easy to cheaply sell the soul to gain something that has no lasting value (Matthew 16:25-27). The question is what percentage of the people in this country voted the way they did because of the promises of free bread, cell phones, and being financially equal with everyone else? However, this does not mean promotion for them; rather, it points to demotion of the middle class who are willing to work and sacrifice to obtain what they possess. This demotion is referred to as Social Justice, but it is nothing more than Communism. In Communism, you have two groups, the few who are very rich tyrants and despots, and the masses who have become slaves and who are very poor and completely oppressed by fear and hopelessness.

Richard Wurmbrand, a martyr of Communism and founder of the Christian organization, The Voice of the Martyrs, put the satanic idea of Social Justice in this way, “In Communist countries, farming has been collectivized. No man possesses a hundred sheep anymore. Who cares if one is lost? It is state property. Fathers don’t have inheritances to impart to profligate sons. When they get into trouble, there is no one who possesses swine who might hire them. They must be state employees, and they would not be free to leave their job to return to the father. Kings cannot arrange marriage feasts for their sons anymore; they have been dethroned. Beggars can no longer hope for alms at the door of rich men. The capitalists have been expropriated, deported to some slave labor camps. They would be willing to beg for a piece of bread themselves, but for a situation epitomized in a little joke: What is the difference between a pessimist and an optimist? The optimist says, ‘With this regime, we will all become beggars,’ to which the pessimist replies, ‘But from whom will we beg?’”

Let me state, it is not my intent to depress anyone, but we must be realistic about what is happening so we can prepare ourselves. The truth is that this time was clearly prophesied in Scripture (Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21). The events we see playing out on the world scene must come to fruition in order to bring about the culmination of all that God has promised His people. We have been warned that this culmination would be a prelude to a great tribulation that would be introduced by birth pains. The idea of tribulation should not surprise us. Jesus said we would have tribulation in John 16:33. We also have the profound words of Acts 14:22, “Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.”   (Emphasis added)

As I pondered this election, I asked myself, why did I want a certain candidate to win? Jeannette and I stated if our preferred candidate won, it meant that we were given the opportunity to work longer in the harvest field. But, is this true? I had to admit that I wanted my candidate to win so that I could keep up the status quo. In other words, I could sit comfortably in my present lifestyle and continue on as always. Such comfort zones often point to that which has become mediocre.

As I considered my attitude, I realized that it was wrong. Granted, Jeannette and I are about to mark 23 years of full-time ministry together. We have availed ourselves faithfully to share the Gospel and disciple believers. However, we have benefitted from the prosperous American lifestyle in that we have always had our basic needs met in spite of different times when even that looked dubious. However, now we must face the harsh reality that nothing is secure in our nation.

Even spiritually, we can see rumblings because of the outcome of this election. Through the years, we have met those who were hardened towards the Gospel, while often meeting with the indifference of others who were content with where they were in their religious lives. We wondered what it would take for God to crack through the hardness of hearts, and cause others to wake out of a complacent state. However, we know the answer. The Lord will do what the Bible declares. He will shake people’s foundations (Hebrews 12:26-29).

Due to the election results, there are those who are in a state of confusion and fear. Their confidence and hope was in the “right” candidate winning. They cannot understand how this could happen. Foundations are clearly being shaken. These individuals are beginning to realize that nothing will be the same again. Out of this confusion and fear have come many questions that we have received via our e-mail. Questions mean people are open to hear the answers that make sense. The truth is, as Christians, we possess the answers, but are we ready and prepared to boldly answer these people’s questions with Scriptural, loving precision?

As I consider this incredible opportunity for ministry that is being presented to the living Church of Jesus, I cannot help but think of another time. Man’s struggles and failures have not changed. As Solomon stated in Ecclesiastes 1:9, there is nothing new that happens under the sun. Regardless of cosmetic changes that come with the different cultures, unregenerate man remains the same in his heart, thinking, and doing.

The time I speak of was appointed for the specific purpose of fulfilling what had been spoken by the Lord (Matthew 1:22). Likewise, we have to remember that the time we live in has also been declared by the Lord in Scripture. Such matters will come to pass so that God can fulfill His purpose and plan.

The second thing we must remember about an appointed time is that the environment must be correct for God to bring forth a matter to completion. In the first incident, all the different factions, such as the religious and political parties, were primed to come together in an unholy agreement to preserve their different kingdoms. As a result, there was much corruption going on behind closed doors.

Today, there are many factions coming together with a common focus. As a result, much is being corrupted. According to different reports, it appears as if the latest election in America was predetermined and rigged. Due to the corruption at the highest political level of America, this would not surprise me. If this is true, we can get even more clarity as to the type of environment that is being nurtured in the darkness of corruption and evil that would have to be present in the last generation in order to usher in the ultimate event promised by heaven. Keep in mind, that eventually both the wheat and the tares will come forth together at the same time to be separated by the righteous Judge (Matthew 13:47-50). The wheat (believers) will have fruit unto everlasting life to be brought into the storehouse of God, but the tares (unbelievers) will have come to full season as well, for they will be in full bloom. However, the tares at this point will be ready to be cut down in judgment and cast into the fire.

In the first incident, man-made religion was full of legalism and traditions, but in the present situation such religion is marked by apostasy. In the first incident, one known as the Voice crying in the wilderness was sent to warn and prepare the people for the fulfillment of God. In the present situation we have His Word and those who are truly watchmen warning people about the days we live in, and exhorting them to spiritually prepare for God to once again bring all matters to a climatic fulfillment.

The event that was ushered in, in the past and that will be brought forth, is the same. What was the event that ushered in the fulfillment of God? The coming of Jesus! In the first event Jesus came as a baby, born to a virgin who laid Him in a manger, and who grew as the Man who was brought forth as the Lamb of God to be sacrificed. However, in the second event, Jesus will come as King of kings, Lord of lords, and all consuming Judge.

In the first advent He came as the light that penetrated the darkness, and in the second He will come as the light that will consume the darkness with His holiness. In the first advent, He came to save, and in the second He will come to judge and set all matters right. In the first advent He came to call people to Himself and in the second He will separate people unto His wrath.

As Christians, what must we keep in mind? Jeannette best summarized it the day after the election. She stated three things: 1) The election is over with, along with all of its polls, speculation, and commentaries, 2) it is time to take off the sackcloth of mourning and intercession for this nation, and put on the full amour of God in order to stand in the great darkness enveloping this world with the light of His Gospel, and 3) it is time to seek the Lord, to know our God, be strong and do exploits as Daniel prophesied.

For two thousand years God has been establishing a witness in and through His people. Time may be short, but the Gospel message still has the power of God unto salvation(Romans 1:16). The message of the cross can still draw hopeless people to once again discover hope. The lost still need to be found, the wounded need to experience healing, and the captives receive blessed liberty.

As I consider the time we live in, I realize that each of us has been, or will quickly be, prepared for a time such as this. However, we must recognize that we must be part of the preparation. Here are a couple of things we must examine to ensure spiritual preparation.

Born Again: Each of us needs to make sure we have the witness of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us (John 3:3, 5). There are those who are associated with Christianity through relationships, affiliations, and works. However, the Bible is clear that a person must repent and be born again with the new life of Jesus. The new life is marked by the seal and presence of the Holy Ghost.

Purify: Christ is coming for a church that is without spot or wrinkle (Ephesians 5:26). Fire is often associated with purification. There are three fires that can bring such purification: 1) The Word is considered a fire, but a person must believe what it says and act accordingly to ensure its work (Jeremiah 23:29). 2) The Holy Spirit is a fire that sets apart and empowers a person to walk a victorious life (Matthew 3:11). 3) Persecution is a fire and those who live godly lives will encounter this fire in some way (2 Timothy 3:12). The key to purification is that we must allow the Lord to have His way.

Treasures: We must examine what is important to us. It is easy to put too much emphasis on the matters of the world, while losing sight of our eternal purpose and inheritance.

Attitude: We must become sober and serious about getting our spiritual houses in order. The casualness that has largely been a trademark of “American” Christianity is dangerous. In many ways it has demoted who God is, while making Christianity a matter of worldly happiness or useless vanity.

Watch and Pray: We must be watchful over our own souls by being firmly hidden in the ark of Jesus, as well as aware of what is going on around us with the intent of preparation. And, asLuke 21:36 declares, we must  pray about being found worthy to escape the things that will come upon the world.

Occupy: We must learn how to be faithful in our life before God whether times are good or bad. We must be faithful with our commission and our high calling. Regardless of the time we find ourselves in, today is the day of salvation for those who are potentially heirs of salvation, but who are still in the throes of sin and death (2 Corinthians 6:2). As Romans 10:14 states, how can they hear unless there is a preacher to deliver the message?

      Seek the Lord: We must seek the Lord while we can. The night is coming, and we do not know how much longer we can work in the harvest fields of the world. We must become opportunists. This means we must avail ourselves to the work of God that He wants to do during this time, knowing that it will present itself as a great opportunity to fulfill our commission.

In closing, I do want to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas. However, I pray this Christmas is marked with the knowledge and hope that we are truly citizens of another world. We are simply passing through, while noting and marking certain times as a means to remember who we are to serve and represent in this world.