The world is not becoming a better place. Every day, we see new evidence of 'man's inhumanity against man' - wars in all parts of the world, murder, genocide, drug use, and abusive behavior of all kinds. War is tearing up parts of Africa, sectarian violence is causing lives to be lost in Iraq. Our soldiers are losing their lives defending U.S. interests in other countries. North Korea and Iran are threatening the world with their nuclear weapons postures.
Not to mention other situations of growingconcern like the AIDS epidemic, famines and droughts and effects of greenhouse gases on our environment. In America, we have our own set of problems. Sure, we live in one of the most advanced countries in the world, but what has it brought us? A life of gluttony, overindulgence, soaring crime rates and a growing gap between the haves and have nots. The preliminary results of the FBI's Uniform Crime Report for January - June 2006 indicate that
...as a whole, law enforcement agencies throughout the Nation reported an increase of 3.7 percent in the number of violent crimes brought to their attention in the first half of 2006 when compared to figures reported for the first six months of 2005. The violent crime category includes murder, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault.
Natural disasters about. China Daily says, "Natural disasters last year took the heaviest toll on lives since 1998...Ministry of Civil Affairs figures show natural disasters, such as typhoons, floods, landslides, mud-flows, hailstorms and earthquakes, claimed 3,155 lives in 2006, a quarter more than the previous year." The International News reports, "Major cities of Pakistan including Karachi, Quetta, Peshawar and Islamabad were in great danger of receiving earthquakes in the future..." And we can never forget the devastation caused by Hurricana Katrina.
Things are not getting better. And, with the confluence of all these events, I realize that many of the signs indicating we are nearing the end of our time here on earth are now present. The Bible is quite specific about what we are to expect during the end times. Matthew 24:6-14 says:
And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that ye be not troubled: for these things must needs come to pass; but the end is not yet.
For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be famines and earthquakes in divers places.
But all these things are the beginning of travail.
Then shall they deliver you up unto tribulation, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all the nations for my name's sake.
And then shall many stumble, and shall deliver up one another, and shall hate one another.
And many false prophets shall arise, and shall lead many astray.
And because iniquity shall be multiplied, the love of the many shall wax cold.
But he that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved.
And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a testimony unto all the nations; and then shall the end come.
You can't help but to see the similarities between those predictions and worldwide conditions today. And - contrary to popular belief - Christians are not blind or naive. We simply know the Truth - that being in the arms of a Loving God is the safest place to be. Bush can't guarantee our safety. Nor can our guns, our house alarms, our local police departments or the air bags in our car. David says it best in Psalms 23:4:
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Safety can only be found with God.
And that is why it is important to believe.
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