Are We Trying to Escape from the Reality of the Times in Which We Live?
March 22, 2023 by The Remnant Herald Leave a Comment
By The Remnant Herald
As we look at the unfolding situation in our society today, do we feel tempted at times to simply get into our cars and run away from it all? Have we not at times felt like shutting our minds from knowing anything more about the ongoing developments of the Omega of Apostasy, which is ravaging the Seventh-day Adventist Church? Are we inclined sometimes to exclaim about the world and the church, “I don’t care! I’m not interested! What I don’t know, can’t hurt me!”?
When bad news comes, human beings usually react in one of five ways: they are either concerned, outraged, aggrieved in sorrow, apathetic, or seek to escape by turning their attention to other diversions (e.g.: entertainment, etc.). The impending Time of Trouble, which the Bible describes as —
“…a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness…” (Zephaniah 1:14, 15 — see also verses 16-18)
— will have to be faced by God’s people with a faith and a courage that exceeds what we have presently. We are told:
“The season of distress and anguish before us will require a faith that can endure weariness, delay, and hunger — a faith that will not faint, though severely tried. The period of probation is granted to all to prepare for that time. Jacob prevailed because he was persevering and determined. His victory is an evidence of the power of importunate prayer. All who will lay hold of God’s promises as he did, and be as earnest and persevering as he was, will succeed as he succeeded. Those who are unwilling to deny self, to agonize before God, to pray long and earnestly for His blessing, will not obtain it. Wrestling with God — how few know what it is! How few have ever had their souls drawn out after God with intensity of desire until every power is on the stretch. When waves of despair which no language can express sweep over the suppliant, how few cling with unyielding faith to the promises of God.
“Those who exercise but little faith now are in the greatest danger of falling under the power of satanic delusions and the decree to compel the conscience. And even if they endure the test, they will be plunged into deeper distress and anguish in the time of trouble, because they have never made it a habit to trust in God. The lessons of faith which they have neglected, they will be forced to learn under a terrible pressure of discouragement …
“The time of trouble such as never was, is soon to open before us; and we shall need an experience which we do not now possess, and which many are too indolent to obtain. It is often the case that trouble is greater in anticipation than in reality; but this is not true of the crisis before us. The most vivid presentation cannot reach the magnitude of the ordeal. And now, while the precious Saviour is making an atonement for us, we should seek to become perfect in Christ. God’s providence is the school in which we are to learn the meekness and lowliness of Jesus. The Lord is ever setting before us, not the way we would choose, which is easier and pleasanter to us, but the true aims of life. None can neglect or defer this work but at the peril to their souls” (The Great Controversy, pp. 438, 439, 440. 1884 edition).
The reality to be faced by God’s people at that time can only be made possible if we learn to face the reality of our times today. The worsening condition of the world and the church should not lessen our love for God, nor weaken our faith in Him, nor diminish our resolve to do His will.
In 1888, after the conclusion of the General Conference Session in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Sister White was especially burdened for our people as she saw them unprepared for the Sunday Law crisis that was fomenting in her day. She wrote of their neglectfulness to face the reality of the situation which confronted them:
“For years, many have sat in calm expectation of this event, and they will not be working out the purposes of God if they comfort themselves with the thought that what is to come will come, and anything that they may do will not prevent it. They should not settle down in an easy, comfortable indolence, thinking that God will shelter His own people in the day of this calamity. This is the time for action, not for indolence and spiritual stupor. Satan is preparing his forces with a power from beneath, and all heaven is in busy activity, ready to work in the interests of those who are awake to the condition of things and, like faithful sentinels, are doing all they can to arouse the people to avert, if possible, the threatened evil.
“If our people continue in the listless attitude in which they have been, God cannot pour upon them His Spirit. They are unprepared to co-operate with Him. They do not realize the threatened danger, and are not awake to the situation. They should feel now as never before their need of vigilance and well-concerted action…
“The people need to be aroused in regard to the dangers of the present time. The watchmen are asleep. We are years behind…The Lord…bids all to be awake and to watch; for it was while men slept that the enemy sowed tares” (Review and Herald Extra, December 11, 1888).
Time and time again throughout her writings, the servant of the Lord warned of the peril of being apathetic, disconnected, disinterested, unconcerned, and unresponsive to the momentous challenges that threaten our salvation:
“Indifference and neutrality in a religious crisis is regarded of God as an heinous crime, and equal to the very worst type of hostility against God” (Testimonies for the Church, volume 3, pp. 280, 281).
This is why we need to take stock of the unfolding developments in the world and in the church that are in fulfillment of Bible prophecy, and ask God to help us meet, in His Spirit and by His grace, the reality of our times:
“We want to understand the time in which we live. We do not half understand it. We do not half take it in. My heart trembles in me when I think what a foe we have to meet, and how poorly prepared we are to meet him” (Review and Herald, February 18, 1890).
“Those who cannot see the signs of the times in this wicked and adulterous generation will be found with those who perish from the vials of God’s wrath” (Website of EGW Writings: Letter 109, 1899).
We are now living in a most critical time of Earth’s history — the issues arising from the pandemic era will only increase in magnitude, in severity, and in seriousness. As such:
“It is too late in the day to be taken up with the frivolous things of the world — too late for any superficial work to be done. It is too late in the day to cry out against men for manifesting too much earnestness in the service of God; to say, ‘You are excited; you are intense, too positive.’ It is too late to caution your brethren in studying the Bible for themselves, because they may be deceived by errors. We know falsehoods are coming in like a swift current, and that is just the reason why we want every ray of light that God has for us, that we may be able to stand amid the perils of the last days. Brethren, the Lord is coming! And it is time to lift up your ‘voice like a trumpet, and show My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.’
“The people do not like to hear the message of reproof in condemnation of wrong, but it is necessary; we need it; the soul temple must be cleansed from its defilement…It is time the trumpet had a certain sound. The Lord is coming, and we must be ready! Every moment I want His grace — I want the robe of Christ’s righteousness … We are on the borders of the eternal world, and we must have a testimony with which all heaven shall be in harmony. The angel has spoken to us, ‘Get ready, press together; the Lord is at the door!’” (Review and Herald, March 4, 1890).
Dissecting all the sordid details of sin is not the purpose of watching the signs of the times, but knowing the imminence of Christ’s return. Satan’s devices are to be detected; but the Blessed Hope heralds a new eternal reality!
About The Remnant Herald: The Remnant Herald is an Australian publication produced by Remnant Ministries. The current editor and author is Elvis Placer, and we have reproduced this article with his permission. You can contact Elvis Placer through email at email@example.com or call the office clerk at +61 3 9706 2173 to request a FREE subscription to the Remnant Herald.
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