Pastor F. W. C. Neser (South Africa)
WHERE DO WE STAND AT THIS MOMENT?
In this last World Affairs of this year it would be a good thing for us to stand still for a moment and to reflect on where we stand. At the end of 1999 and at the beginning of the year 2000 there was great excitement and all kinds of predictions of the greatest and most terrible events that are due to occur in the New Year, especially because it was said that we have arrived at the end of the twentieth century and that the twenty first century will now commence. But that was not the case at all. The twentieth century will only end now at the end of the year 2000, and the twenty first Century will begin on January 1, 2001, at least according to our calendars. There may be a difference of a few years one way or the other.
The fact is that if we look at our present world situation, it will be clear to any person with eyes to see and ears to hear, that conditions as they are at the moment, cannot continue for much longer. Let us have a closer look: Here in South Africa the A.N.C. says one to another in our corridors of Parliament, that the white man has no resistance left. Our white people are confused, dumfounded and overwhelmed politically, economically and ecclesiastically. We are going through a hard and trying time. There is great need, even starvation and impoverishment. The murders on our farms and in our cities are on the increase. There is great sorrow and fear, most of us are disheartened and see no future for ourselves and our children in this country. The cream of our whites are leaving. Economically conditions are just as bad. Our country has an incompetent government. They are inept and give the clear signal that they do not know what they do. There is nepotism and reversed apartheid. Ex-president Mandela admitted himself that many of those who are in executive positions today were still in the bush a short time ago.
The rich are getting richer and the poor poorer. There is a small elite group who are having a wonderful time. They have no regard for God and His commandments. And because there is no respect or regard for the laws of the Bible, there is no morality left. That which is right does not count at all, all that counts is, what profit is there in it for me. There is no regard for God who is the Creator of all. They do not realise, and also do not want to know, that His will still has the last say. I want to warn you, the day of reckoning is near. The Churches play with the Word of God. They only preach (and that mostly for their own profit) the grace of God. They do not know, or do not want to know, that the day of the vengeance of our God (Isaiah 61:2) is at the very door.
THE DAY OF THE VENGEANCE OF OUR GOD.
When I look forward to the commencement of the twenty first century, I do not see a pretty picture. It is not only in South Africa that the view is far from encouraging. In other countries the grass is not much greener. All over the world conditions are unsafe. The case of a Callie and a Monique Strydom of our own country is a very appropriate example. A couple who had enough money looked forward to a very pleasant and exotic holiday on a far away island in a very excluded part of the world. What happened to them has been very dramatically portrayed to us by the mass media. In other places in the world all kinds of deeds of terror like motor car bombs for instance, take place in the most unexpected places. The economies of the world are balanced on a knife edge, earthquakes occur in diverse places more and more frequently.
There are wars and insurrections in many parts of the world. We have become so accustomed to the unrest in the Middle East, that we hardly notice it. And also because we do not know the prophecies of the Bible, we do not realise that the greatest and most frightening predictions of the prophets are on the point of fulfilment in the area. The prophet Zechariah says that the LORD will in that day (the day of vengeance of our God, Isaiah 61:2) make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces (Zech. 12:3). The world waited with bated breath for Yasser Arafat to declare an independent Palestinian State with Jerusalem as capital, on the 13 September. The Jews, threatened to resist this by force. This could easily have set the whole Middle East alight and pull in all the nations of the world. That would mean World War 3 with all its devastating modern weapons. The Palestinians apparently moved the date slightly forward, but by no means abandoned their intention. In the meantime the powder keg is filled up even more. The world is just dreaming on blissfully oblivious to what is at the very door. The prophets of the Bible are not heeded at all.
WHERE ARE WE HEADING?
That is more or less where we find ourselves here at the end of the second rnillennium after Christ, and at the beginning of the third. What lies ahead for us? The world and its resources are rapidly being depleted. Our forests almost do not exist anymore. The luxurious vegetation which is the chief supply of our oxygen, has almost been destroyed and the world is getting greedier for the available supply of this substance because of its rapid industrialisation and surface and air travel. If you can still find an isolated spot on earth where you can breathe deep and freely and inhale fresh air, enjoy it and thank God for it. It is getting less and less.
Our coal and oil resources are not going to last much longer. And that is where all our energy comes from. Water is getting scarce. There are already right now tens of thousands of people on earth, who have real difficulty in getting enough water for their daily needs. Agricultural soil is getting scarce and very expensive. Not only does mankind multiply, but main roads, growth of big cities and industries and the exhaustion of our soil, makes food production difficult and expensive. People are killing one another already for soil and water.
The heathen with their strange beliefs, or with no faith at all, are flooding the earth. Europe is fast turning Moslem, and the United States of America will within the near future not be predominantly Anglo-Saxon Germanic. These nations have been the bearers of the Christian Faith, but they are diminishing and becoming indifferent to the Faith of their fathers. It was faith in the living God, the God of the Bible, that had made these nations the great nations of history. It was they that filled the earth with the fruits of civilisation and the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. With their fall, which has been in process for a long time, without them noticing it, the world had become more and more wicked and unsafe. The prophet Amos prophesied about the time immediately ahead of us, that there will be a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD (Amos 8:11). There are enough of the other prophets of the Bible that also predict great famines and pestilences for our days. Great tribulation awaits us, on a scale such as has never been before or ever shall be again (Matt. 24: 21-22).
BUT, THE BEST 1S YET TO BE:
But be of good cheer, the best is yet to be. After the storm, comes the sunshine. The tears will be wiped from our eyes, and peace and rest and comfort will be restored. But to see it however, there is only one place where you will find it, and that is in the Bible. The tragedy is that even the very demons believe it and shudder, but the so-called Christians do not. That is why iniquity is so on the increase: demons know their time is short, that is why they are going all out to put out the light of the Gospel and to make the Bible completely irrelevant. You will have to go very far as it is to find the pure exposition of the prophets, it is almost non-existent in the preaching of today. 0 yes, there are tons of news commentaries, all based on human understanding, but not on the Word of God. Oh no, as soon as the Bible is mentioned, scornful comments are made.
This News Commentary (World Affairs) is based on the infallible Word of God. The prophets tell us very clearly what to expect, and that is very soon. Our Lord Jesus clearly told us that when we see these very things that are taking place right now, namely wars and rumours of war, pestilences (Aids for instance), famine, fear, violence, corruption, the possibility of the wiping out of all life on earth, etc., then we must know that the end is at the very door.
The heathen are on the march and have advanced very far already. But the Bible tells us that there is a God in heaven that does not slumber or sleep. He created this earth for Himself, and to fill it with His image. Thank God, He will never forsake the work of His own hands. We read in God's Word that the heathen will be allowed to go so far, but not a step further. Then the God of Israel will enter the conflict, shatter the heathen and come and establish His Kingdom of Righteousness here on earth and come and dwell in our midst. He will wipe away all tears and destroy even death itself. He will remove all violence from nature itself and make even the lamb and the wolf to feed together.
'The true meaning of Scripture has almost become lost to this generation, even us who need it in these days the most. But thank God that as in the days of Elijah when He reserved for Himself a remnant of 7000 who had not bowed the knee to Baal so He has a small body of believers in these days that teach the pure Word of God to this tried and tested generation, and can say to them: 'Be of good cheer, for we believe God, that it shall be even as it is told us in His Word.'
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