We live in horrifyingly paradoxical times! Under the threatening shadow of the mushroom cloud, thousands of people lose their sanity, while other thousands serenely ignore the threat and go about their everyday business, unconcerned about world events.
It has almost become a cliché to say that we live in a world walking a tightrope on the brink of nuclear annihilation. Great juggernaut atomic powers are poised at each others throats, bristling with atomic and hydrogen weapons, and yet, never have people been so crazed for entertainment, for pleasure, never has the sporting goods business enjoyed such booming demands! Never have people been so unconcerned! It doesn’t make sense! It is a paradox!
Does it really matter? What should our attitude be toward critical world events? Why should we, God’s people, be concerned about them? How do you react when you hear the latest news bulletin? Are you watching world events, keeping abreast of world affairs? Are you watching the Middle East (send for our FREE DVD, “Watch the Middle East”)? Are you watching the economy, the developments in the European Union, the rapid decline of morality in our world, the rise of the Muslim religion throughout the world? All these events are mentioned in your Bible.
Brethren, it is time many of us snapped out of the complacent rut into which we have allowed ourselves to drift! Now is not the time for sleepy and drowsy living! God is going to hold us responsible for knowing what is occurring in the world.
The reason most people pay no attention to world events is because they feel it does not concern them. They think the world is going on as usual and everything is normal. If wars flare up, politicians are paid to handle such matters, it is their business!
People ignore the world situation also, because they feel so utterly unable to cope with the problems. They reason that they could not do anything to change matters anyway – that prophecy is going to march on regardless of whether they watch or not!
Is your attitude like that? If it is, then you are not facing reality and you will not qualify to escape the day of doom prophesized in God’s Word!
God says “WATCH!” Understanding how important it is for God’s people to be on the alert and vigilant, Jesus Christ declared, “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man” (Luke 21:36).
Those words were spoken to the disciples, but they were spoken for the benefit of all God’s people! They apply to each individual among us today! Jesus warned, “Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all “Watch” (Mark 13:35-37).
Unless we of God’s Church are zealously watching, and praying we will not be ready when Jesus Christ returns! Unless we are keenly watching the prophecies of God’s Word coming to pass, with each drought, each earthquake, each disease epidemic, each outburst of warfare, in some remote part of the world, unless we are seeing and noticing these signs of Jesus’ second coming and are taking warning from them, the rush of events will take us by surprise and someday, too late, we may wake up stunned to find that we missed out because we were sleeping!
Christ explained in the Mount Olivet prophecy, “But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage (the word giving means that these marriages were warped, winding, perverse, crooked, froward and untoward), until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” (Matt. 24:37-44).
When the Flood came on the world, (and the fossil records prove that there was a worldwide flood), humanity was caught fast asleep. And so it is today! People are oblivious to the frightening, dizzying portents of our times! They ignore the world threat, becoming wrapped up in their own little lives, and plunge onward toward destruction!
Today, scientific marvels are taken for granted. The automobile, the steam engine, the airplane, when first invented, caused people to shudder and proclaim the “end of the world.” But today we have become calloused to such things. Nothing could make us turn our heads or blind with wonder! Everything – rockets, missiles, bombers that can travel at supersonic speeds, laser rays, poisonous gases and toxic chemicals, everything is taken in stride, without so much as bated breath! The reality of the arms race is cast aside, ignored and relegated to the limbo of forgotten things. Our age might aptly be designated the “Age of Apathy”!
But, although the world at large is sleeping during these nightmarish times, brethren, we in God’s Church, have no excuse! We have been WARNED: Jesus declared in Mark 13, “Take heed lest any man deceive you” (v. 5); “but take heed to yourselves” (v. 9); “but take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things” (v.23); “take ye heed, watch and pray; for ye know not when the time is” (v. 33).
Do you take that warning seriously? Paul also warned, speaking of our day today, “For when they shall say, peace and safety; then sudden destruction comes upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others: but let us watch and be sober” (I Thess. 5:3-6). That is a warning for our day, today!
When nations cry, “peace, peace,” when the world proclaims, “peace is here,” “peace in our time,” and similar slogans, when statesmen shout the glad tidings of disarmament, unity, non-aggression, then will be the time of GREATEST PERIL in the history of this planet! Then will be the hour of maximum danger! Then is when “sudden destruction” will strike, quickly, craftily, cunningly, powerfully – overwhelmingly! Then is the moment World War III will erupt in frenzied chaos and madness!
Guided missiles will hurtle out of the heavens and plummet towards America’s heart! Rockets armed with H-bombs will flash out of the sky! Blinding flashes will occur simultaneously on America’s greatest cities, - New York, Seattle, San Francisco, Dallas, Kansas City, perhaps your home town!
Think of it! In the wake of the blitz, America’s leading cities will suddenly be left incinerated relics, twisted mounds of indecipherable ruins, charred rubble and ashes. Gaping craters will be where once renowned cities stood. Huge mile-high fire storms will race through the hulks of have-been cities, whipping up winds of hurricane velocity, destroying everything within their vicinity. Such a scene will simply defy description!
America and Great Britain and Canada will be left in shambles. Can your mind’s eye see it? Unimaginable! But these things are going to happen!
Awe-struck, shell-shocked Americans – the few who will survive the attack will wander aimlessly, groping for relief and searching for shelter, but finding only suffering, agony and heartache. The maimed, the blinded – people staring out of blackened faces with vacant expressionless eyes, crippled, gaunt and haggard refugees they will have been shocked into complete insensibility!
Stunned! Bewildered! Uncomprehending masses of humanity, with smashed homes, pulverized cities; some of these will be people you have known!
Such a scene sounds incredible, but it is prophesized! Then after the holocaust has struck the aftermath will produce disease, starvation, radiation-poisoning and death! Huge, deadly clouds of lethal radioactive sodium and cobalt will sweep across the nation. Even those people who escape physical injury will find they cannot escape radiation sickness and fall-out! And millions more will die a lingering death.
Everywhere the eye falls the gaze will be greeted by the bleakness of desolation, lifeless ruins a barren landscape!
Brethren, such a scene will be reality in the not-too distant future. It is not a macabre story of gruesome make-believe. It is going to happen – and it very well could happen in your lifetime!
Can you begin to see the urgency of watching world events, and praying diligently? Can you see the need to be alert, vigilant and on top of world news? Are you heeding Jesus’ warning? Are you observing prophecy being fulfilled daily around the world? Are you keeping abreast of the revival of Europe and the growth of the Common Market? Are you aware of the continuing toboggan slide of the morals in modern-day Israel, juvenile delinquency, premarital sex, rising crime rates, murder, divorce, scandal, rape, and riots?
Some will read this article, and will sink right back into the rut they were in before reading it! Brethren, some of you will nod in agreement - think “Well, that’s interesting, and then promptly fall back into the normal routine of your personal lives. Don’t let that happen to you!
Can you begin to see how tremendously important the onward march of world events is to you? Your spiritual growth is at stake! Many of God’s own people, today, in the midst of this pulsating, gyrating age, are becoming increasingly lethargic, lazy, and oblivious to world happenings! Many brethren are lagging in spiritual growth and lagging in zeal for God’s Work! Why?
Because they are unaware of the overwhelming importance of world affairs to their personal lives! Not fully grasping the urgency of the world situation, ignoring the tempo of our times, being totally preoccupied with their own petty lives and being wrapped up in their day-to-day routine, some of God’s people, perhaps, YOU! – are going the way of all flesh, strolling arm in arm with the vast majority of people today who “don’t give a hang” about the world situation or prophecy being fulfilled! And because of this sleepy, apathy-filled attitude, some of you are going to be swept straight into the horror of the Great Tribulation which is coming soon!
Such a thought should appall you, and should slap across your face with stunning, smarting forcefulness! Such a thought should wake you up and instill real drive, motivation, and zeal within you. It should make you cry out to God to inspire you, fill you with an awareness of the urgency of our times. You need more of God’s Holy Spirit so you can prepare for Christ’s coming, overcome your carnal human nature and be accounted worthy to escape the prophesied time of travail!
Watching world events is vitally important. If a person is ignorant of what is going on around him or her, how can they be spurred into action? What can convince them that they must drive, push, and put a prod upon themselves? The truth is, such a person’s horizon is limited to themselves, their daily routine, their immediate surroundings, and the seemingly “permanent present” situation they are in -- they are selfish! Nothing can snap them out of their humdrum lethargy, except the stinging severity of the Tribulation itself!
Do you see the big picture? Do you comprehend the need of watching world events and observing prophecy being fulfilled? Can you look into the future a few years from now, visualize what is going to happen, right here, and begin to change your life?
Watching prophecy being fulfilled will put more vitality and meaning into your prayers for God’s Work. Seeing this present world tottering on the brink of destruction will add significance to your Bible study. Observing the onward rush of prophecy will cause you to fear to slack up in prayer, Bible study, striving to overcome your personal faults and idiosyncrasies.
Jesus Christ – our coming King and Saviour – declared, “Let the fig tree teach you a parable. As soon as its branches turn soft and put out leaves, you know summer is at hand; so, whenever you see all this happen, you may be sure that He is at hand, at the very door” (Matt. 24:32-33)! Now is the time to prepare! Not tomorrow, not when you feel more like it, but today!
This world is headed for COSMOCIDE! It is already too late to turn back the clock or try to halt the maddening rush toward national oblivion! But it is not too late for you to beware of the lethargic, complacent attitude which grips the world.
Paul warned, “Knowing the time, that now it is high time to AWAKE OUT OF SLEEP: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand; let us therefore cast off the words of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light” (Rom. 13:11-12).
Now it is high time! It is not possible to take these warnings too earnestly. We in God’s Church need to keep abreast of current world events. Prophecy is rapidly being fulfilled throughout the world! Are you watching world events? Remember, lest you be suddenly ensnared in the evil day, Jesus Christ commanded, “WATCH!”