Signs of the Times

This is a short video dwelling upon the environmental and social problems that are increasing, and that these escalating problems indicate that Christ’s second coming is near. The quotations are from the Bible and the writings of Ellen White.

 
There is a right and wrong way to view this. The wrong way would be to interpret God’s actions (through these disasters) as His attempts to crush man’s kingdoms down so He can set up His own. That view would present God as a tyrant who, like carnal kings, uses power to suit His own ambitious desires, regardless of the cost to the lives and suffering of others.

A better way to view these tragedies would be to see that man, by his persistent rejection of God’s laws, is bringing these sufferings on himself. It is man who is rejecting God, and thus casting away the only power in the universe that can control the forces of nature (both within man and outside of him).

At the same time, there is an arch-enemy at work, the fallen angel Satan, who is trying to use these disasters to drive man to a desperate point where Satan can then present himself (either directly or through other men) as having the solution to the problems. Satan’s solution will involve the world recognizing him as the savior, and destroying those who do not accept the solution. Naturally, Satan will not present himself as a demon, but as the real Christ. Men will think they are worshiping Jesus. The ultimate aim is not only to have full dominion of the world, but also to wipe out those faithful few who are standing for God’s truth. In this way, Satan will attempt to “win” the battle between himself and Christ.

From God’s viewpoint, His kingdom is only established by truth and love, not by force. Therefore, He can protect His people, those who recognize His authority and Law; and at the same time, He is forced to withdraw from those who reject His authority and persecute His followers.

So these disasters happen for two reasons: first, God is forced to withdraw from the nations as they descend deeper and deeper into sin and selfishness; secondly, Satan seizes this opportunity to manipulate the forces of nature (whenever he can) to drive the nations to take desperate measures and implement his plans in opposition to God.

How should men then view these disasters? They should see in them the consequences of rejecting the protection and sustenance of a wise and merciful God, and turn back to Him in true repentance, and in faith and obedience to His laws. God is not the aggressor, and therefore we should not turn to Him in slavish fear.

“The goodness of God leads you to repentance” (Romans 2:4). And His goodness is seen in that these disasters are limited, and not covering the whole world, else the human race would cease to exist. He still holds some control, and does not let all the consequences of sin fall upon us, because He knows we are dull of understanding. But this control will not be exercised forever. Therefore these disasters are wake-up calls for us, to bring us back to our senses, and to the true way of health and happiness that God created for us.



This was originally a PowerPoint presentation (which I converted to OpenDocument in LibreOffice), shared by one of our church members at an International Seminar. I’ve added the music from two of our hymns, Be Prepared, and The Last Call of Mercy.

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