Saturday, December 31, 2011

Keep Strong in Your Faith in the Lord as We Enter the Times Ahead

An email I recently received stated at its conclusion, "Keep strong in our faith in the Lord as we enter the times ahead." There seems to be so much truth in that brief statement.

The calendar year, as we know it from January 1 to December 31, is man's calendar, not God's. Man's calendar has a beginning and an end, but God's calendar is one of cycles (winter, spring, summer, fall) with neither a beginning nor an end. Under the old covenant, God gave the Israelites a calendar that began with what is now called Rosh Hashanah. In fact, January 1st is not an official holiday in Israel although many treat it as such.

To those of us that understand the end-times scenario, we see God's cyclical calendar taking a new form as described in the book of Revelations. The beginning, if you want to think of our current age, began at the tomb site in Jerusalem. The end of this age is approaching, and seems to be approaching rapidly.

FEMA, that is the Federal Emergency Management Agency, maintains a public record of severe disasters from 1953 to 2011, identifying 2011 as the highest total over that period. By looking at the list for 2011, it shows hundreds of major disaster, emergency, and fire management assistance declarations: floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, severe winter storms, straight-line winds, wildfires, etc. FEMA ran out of money in 2011, indicating the extent of this year's tragedies.

Outside United States, there were horrific tsunami, earthquake, volcanic and other disasters in 2011, including the event that nearly led to the collapse of four nuclear power plants in Japan. Major flooding in Thailand was just one of the many 'natural' events this year.

Socially, the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) was to many an unexpected uprising, as was the Arab Spring movement. Both movements hope to overturn the existing status quo governments, and to some extent they are having their degree of success.

Christine Darg, in her excellent book from 2007 entitled Miracles Among Muslims, wrote about large numbers of Islamic believers being converted to Christianity. She describes how dreams and healings are playing an important part in convincing muslim believers that Christ is still alive! This pattern of an end-times harvest has continued through 2011.

With all of these events, the world both physically and spiritually is shaking. Will this next year be even more significant? Will the end as described in the book of Revelation take a new form? We certainly seem to be pointed in that direction.

I don't know any more than you, but it certainly seems appropriate to follow the advice given by my friend, "Keep strong in our faith in the Lord as we enter the times ahead."