The Middle East - 1991
This seems a long time ago... How one's thinking looks from a different perspective!

Three Sunday nights ago I sat down after church and watched two young men swim 1500m, breaking the world record by four seconds. The following Sunday night I sat down and pondered the action in the Middle East. How quickly the world can change, how fragile the world community, I thought.

The events of the past few weeks have renewed speculation about the Lord's return: surely it must be nearer now than ever before! It is not too remote a possibility for Israel, then China and Russia to become involved in this conflict, and the end result being total destruction unless something (or someone) intervenes. But what does scripture say? "You will hear of wars and rumours of wars... Nation will rise up against nation... many will turn away from the faith... the one who stands firm to the end will be saved." (Mt 24:5-13) A time of endurance, a time when many will lose hope, says scripture. But how do we respond, what are we to do? Jesus did not leave us uninformed: "And the gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come." (v 13). Our mandate in these times is to continue to proclaim the gospel. In times like this, we stick with the basic message of the gospel: live it and proclaim it.

Sure, the Lord's return is nearer today than it was yesterday. It will be even nearer tomorrow. Scripture tells us to expect it at any time. No matter what the world situation, our task is to proclaim the good news at every opportunity. God's grace is freely available to all! Today may be the last day we get to tell someone.


February 3, 1991

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