'Christ in You...'
by Dale Krebbs
There is a much different world coming - one developing out of this present world that we all know - a world like no one has ever seen before, or will ever be seen again.
One that is not expected, except perhaps by those who are striving to bring it about. However they may see what they do not expect to see or envision. It will be ruled by a one world government; one religion; one world economy. Government, Economics, and Religion. These three aspects of the "new world order", are even now slowly becoming a reality, and beginning to position themselves, eventually to fall into place. They will all three come together sooner or later in some form. It is now being planned somewhere by someone. Meanwhile, there continues the cry "Peace, Peace", when there is no peace.
The two worldwide initiatives receiving the most interest now are the push for one world economy and the interest in promoting one world religion. Various economic crises have thrust upon the minds of some the imperative for a worldwide central control of all world economies and activities. Regarding one world economic system, one official very high in a world-wide economic position recent emphasized the need for such a worldwide authority.
Interest in one world religion is more subtle but just as prevalent. For centuries Christians worldwide have dreamed of unification. Attempts of various types have been promoted to that end, but seemingly with not much results. Ironically, the rise of Muslim radicalism has provoked some to advocate finding some kind of neutral ground between Christianity and other religions. There would need to be an amalgamation of all religions - including "Christianity" - at least Christianity in name, brought about by pressure and persecution, or perhaps a modern one with no spiritual power, devoid of the Spirit (2 Timothy 3:5). Competing religions will be seen as a destabilizing factor - hindering "world peace". This is already being pondered and considered in various circles.
It is still very subtle, and perhaps for away, but there is a rising undercurrent of feelings to accommodate all religious beliefs. It finds its legitimacy at first in post-modern thought, as well as many other philosophies and ideologies - such as "one opinion is as good as another" and any religious belief is "as good as another". Also, the increasing specter of the capacity of the world to destroy itself is extreme pressure for a "one-world" effort. There will be deceit, trickery, and enormous pressure to conform (2 Timothy 2:8-12; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-11; Revelation 13:7-18).
The third element in the equation for world order and "world peace" would of course naturally require a world government of some type. Many feel that this is logical, unavoidable, and desirable - if our world is to be preserved. Whoever or whatever controls these three elements - government, economics, religion - will control the world. Government would of necessity need to be capable of enforcing the other two world elements by military power. The question is not if, but when. God's Word is very clear concerning these things occurring. But it does not say exactly when, set dates, or specify conditions. Jesus Himself gave us very general and yet certain series of events to watch for. Religious pundits have speculated, set dates, envisioned time frames, etc. for generations. How this can be done in the light of Jesus' plain statements is strange indeed. What God has decreed to be uncertain cannot be made certain by man (Acts 1:6-7, etc.). Many genuine Christians down through the ages felt that Christ would return during their lifetime. All felt the pressing need for the return of Christ. But He did not return. He still has not returned.
There is however, one absolute certainty: each day, hour, moment, second, we are that much nearer to His return.
The only uncertainty is - when...
Events leading up to Christ's return are just as certain. The world coming will make what has occurred in past ages pale by comparison (Matthew 24:21). We are commanded always to "watch". Jesus is calling all Christians in all ages to watch - watch how we live our lives, and all ages to watch for pressure or subtle influences to lead us astray, or caught up in destructive beliefs and practices of this present world system. In order to do this, we must watch world conditions and events (Matthew 24:42-43). We must be able to discern the signs of our times (Matthew 16:1-3).
History can be understood more clearly if we realize that history occurs in a kind of elongated stair-step fashion. There is a great crisis - whether worldwide or local - and many feel that the end is near. Then, eventually things seem to get better. If there are wars, somehow after great suffering, loss of lives, and struggle, somehow through it all, relative "peace" is restored, along with great displacement and changes. The status quo continues for a length of time - sometimes for many years, at other times stability seems short-lived, and chaos and threats of imminent destruction appear again. Each time in history, the disturbances become more widespread and intense and with each stair-step, the threat of worldwide destruction seems more eminent and more likely to be uncontrollable. Hence, need for a worldwide solution. A worldwide control mechanism. It will come. It will not last long by comparison, but the effect will be so traumatic as to cause past history to be almost forgotten. It will be a counterfeit of the world rule of the Christ, Who must return at that juncture, or all of mankind would be destroyed which is not part of God's great plan for humankind.
Revelations from the Word of God are progressive. Many times, prophecy is only understood by looking backward. Jesus told His disciples that some things He had not disclosed to them because they were not able to receive it then. There is great wisdom in uncertainty. God uses uncertainty with infinite wisdom for His great purpose, and eventually for our glory. God never gives us dates. Jesus simply has said "...when you see these things coming to pass, then know...". Many are at least beginning to come to pass. Most of the world has no idea what is coming down the road of the future. Some have uneasiness about where everything is headed, but in general most are preoccupied with the stresses of the world as it is, or trying to make this world better. Many are being mesmerized by this present world into spiritual drowsiness and sleepiness (Luke 8:14;1 Thessalonians 5:2-3,6-7).
Someday, God's witness to the world will end. World history may seem like a very long time. But not for God. A thousand years are like a day with Him. The world is not and will never be "out of control". Almighty God is always in control. His plan cannot be thwarted. His purposes cannot be altered, delayed, or stopped. Another world is coming that will replace "this evil world" (Psalm 2:10-12; 22:27-31). Whether near or far, ten years, a hundred years or a thousand years, we must live and watch humbly and obediently before our Lord. That time is nearer than it was yesterday (Romans 13:11).
Let us not sleep, lest many things come upon us unawares (Matthew 25:1-13; Luke 21:34-36). This world is a counterfeit of that world that Christ will establish. Jesus has said that except those days have been shortened, there would be no flesh saved (Matthew 24:22}. They will be shortened by His coming to conquer and destroy the evil world system then holding sway over the entire earth. He will set up the next - and final - world order (Revelation 11:15).
Christ is coming for judgment, punishment and destruction of all evil. He is also coming to resurrect those who have died believing in Him, and to instantly change those still alive who belong to Him (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18). Eventually, heaven itself is coming to earth. God Himself will dwell with us and we with Him forever (Revelation 21:1-3).
Until then, we must stay awake and alert, and obedient as Jesus commands us, that we may not be deceived along with the world (Luke 21:34-36). If we do, we can share the confidence of the Apostle Paul:
"For I am persuaded beyond doubt (am sure) that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things impending and threatening nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." - Romans 8:38-39 (AB)
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