The other evening I turned on the national news to see what chaos and mayhem was going on in the world. I really wasn’t surprised by what I heard! Year after year, the headlines are becoming increasingly more ominous. In the Middle East, Syria is embroiled in a major civil war; Israel is repeatedly threatened with annihilation; and ISIS is attempting to build an Islamic State where the beheadings of those who reject their ideology is commonplace. Then there’s Iran, which is nearing the completion of a nuclear bomb, that will undoubtedly result in the nuclear proliferation of other nations in the region.
In Europe, many countries are facing financial collapse. Greece has already declared bankruptcy. Here in America, our government has managed to rack up a national debt to the tune of 17 trillion dollars, which our country will probably live to regret simply because there’s no one to bail us out. If this isn’t troubling enough, most of our cities are becoming more like the wild west where lawlessness has taken over our streets with daily carjackings and shootings being a common occurrence.
The opportunists have seized the moment to run commercials between these alarming headlines to alert everyone to the coming economic collapse that will make the 2008 crash look insignificant. The survivalist takes advantage of this mass hysteria to warn everyone to be prepared for the next act of God or man-made disaster by purchasing a survival kit with a large supply of food.
If you had to take two aspirins and lie down after reading these lines, it is important for you to remember that Paul predicted that perilous times (II Tim. 3:1) and lawlessness (I Tim. 1:9) would be widespread in the last days of the age of grace. These troubling events have caused many believers, who fail to rightly divide the Word of truth, to wonder if we are in the early stages of the Tribulation. But we want to assure everyone who reads these words that if you are a believer in Christ you are delivered from the future Tribulation and wrath to come (I Thes. 1:10; 5:9 cf. Rev. 6:15-17).
Not one Old Testament prophecy is being fulfilled today, including those found in the four Gospels and early Acts. This does not necessarily mean that the stage isn’t being set by Satan for coming world events. The above headlines should remind us that we are living in man’s day and will experience many times the injustices of man’s wrath (I Cor. 4:3). Through it all, we can rest in the peace of God that passes all understanding—it will keep our hearts and minds through the most trying times!
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.