A summary of the bad things that are around us today, a Scriptural explanation of the worsening future and the eternal good news that transcends it all.
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THERE IS NOT MUCH GOOD NEWS IN THE WORLD TODAY. For me to say I have good news must sound very,very strange to most people, because everywhere we look the news is bad. If you pick up your paper, turn on your radio, turn on your television, or talk to your neighbor the news that you hear is bad.
The news is bad politically. It seems there has never been a time when there has been so much political corruption, nor when so many political figures have shown bad taste and bad conviction, or no conviction at all. We read and hear of our politicians, or our elected officials being involved in graft, organized crime, political gangsterism, and in immorality ofevery description.
The news also seems to be bad economically. Wherever we look we hear talk of hard times, of tight money, of inflation, of unemployment. When we might tend to feel sorry for ourselves in this area, we can certainly find reason to be personally thankful by just looking around, for we will easily find someone else who is in much worse condition economically than we are. If we have economic prosperity for the moment, however, this is neutralized by the fact that we realize that it is a false prosperity created by economic iniquities that cannot last. We look at other nations around us and we see that they are in economic disaster and that the disaster is deliberately being spread to our nation by large organizations and men in places of great power. As our nation is made poorer, the wealth is not imparted to the poor as isclaimed, but is drained into the corporations of international tycoons around the world.
The ecclesiastical news is no better. We do not hear the leaders of churches and religious organizations across the country crying out against the sin and the debauchery, and the corruption that plagues our nation, but we see them excusing it, winking at it, and in more instances completely ignoring it and acting as if it did not exist. We have seen within the last decade tremendous upheaval. We have seen heresies arise and false, unscriptural practices arise within denominations and groups that at one time were reasonably sound in the Scripture. Everywhere we look the ecclesiastical news is bad. If a group of homosexuals wants a blessing spoken over them, there is always some ecclesiastical leader who is willing to do it. Men with titles of pastor, reverend, etc., are condoning everything from homicide to homosexuality. Abortion has been approved by them, pre-marital sex relationship has been approved by them, as well as homosexuality, perversion and every ungodly thing humanly imaginable. So we see that our news around us ecclesiastically is really a pitiful, pitiful revelation.
Perhaps the worst area of bad news is in the morality of the world. Immorality has always been the nature ofmankind, but in no age before has it been so widely accepted and so quietly permitted by so many people. In most of the cities across this nation women dance and display themselves nude in public before groups of men. A recent trend in thiscountry has been in some circles of society for women to hire young men to display themselves in the nude before a group of women. We are told that some young men make hundreds of dollars a week doing this very thing. Politicians and public officials across the country are openly taking a stand in favor of legalized prostitution, legalized marijuana and everything else that the loose mind could possibly imagine. So we see that there is not much good news to be heard in the world today.
IT WILL NOT GET ANY BETTER. There are those across the land today who seem to imagine that we are on somekind of an upward climb socially, morally and in every other direction. For many years there were those who proclaimedthat the influence of the church would continually improve the conditions of the world until it would become good enough for the Lord’s Kingdom to occupy this sphere. This delusion of an upward, spiritual evolution is voiced in such phrases of songs as, “The darkness shall turn into dawning, And the dawning to noonday bright, And God’s great Kingdom shall come on earth, The Kingdom of life and light.” There are also those who expect to accomplish this by improved human government, but neither will ever work. Visible evidence around us denies that any such thing as this is in the process of coming to pass. Political circumstances are not growing better, they are growing worse. We do not have fewer crooked politicians than a generation ago, we have more. Ecclesiastical circumstances are not growing better, they are growing worse. We do not have more gospel preachers and fewer corrupt ones than we did a generation ago, we have more bad ones and fewer good ones. Economically things are growing worse. Even though we may at this point have a period of temporary prosperity, the national economy is daily approaching closer and closer toirrevocable catastrophe. Morally, things are growing progressively worse. We do not have less infidelity, less homosexuality, less perversion, less rape, less murder, less theft than we did a generation ago. In every one of these things wehave more and more. Nor is this just caused by the increase in population. We have more of all these things per capita than we did a generation ago. Even though this contradicts the interpretation that some people put upon prophecy, it
certainly does not contradict the Scripture for the Scripture foretells this trend exactly. In II Timothy chapter 3, verses 1 through 5, we find the Apostle Paul telling us that in the last days conditions shall wax worse and worse. “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of them that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”
According to this Scripture, the people will not hear the Word of God, but they will heap to themselves teachers having itching ears (II Timothy 4:3) and will turn to doctrines and practices of devils.
THE WORST IS YET TO COME. Some people might at first tend to say, “Well, it has to get better, it can not get any worse.” My friend, if you think this, you are wrong. According to the Scripture, it will grow increasingly worse until the time the Lord comes back and raises His own from the graves, and those who are alive and remain upon the earth, who are in Christ shall be translated and raptured out of this world to be with Him in the air forever. (Read I Thessalonians 4:13-18.) Although this will certainly bring relief to the children of God, it will in no sense improve conditions upon the earth. For those who are left behind, conditions will not continue to grow progressively worse, but they will worsen overnight to an extent such as we could neither imagine nor describe. That great event of His comingfor the saints will mark the beginning of the Great Tribulation period prophesied in so many passages of Scripture. TheBible says in that period of time the great power called the anti-christ will arise. “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God” (II Thessalonians 2:3-4). He will be a man of great diplomacy and for a time will convince the world that he can and will bring peace upon the earth. All people with the exception of those few which God reserves, will be drawn unto him. His influence and reign will not bring peace, it will rather bring trouble both from within and from without. Trouble among men upon the earth will surpass anything the world has ever known. Even from within the heart of the earth, great forces of trouble and judgment will come. From the heavens above, fire and brimstone will be rained at various times upon the earth. There will be plagues of sickness and plagues of disease such as the world has never seen. All of these judgments combined will kill more than 50% of all the earth’s population.The most concentrated area of death and desolation that any past war has produced will be no more than a miniature preview of the terrible things that will take place during this period of time. The Lord said concerning this great judgment, that were if not for the fact that those days were shortened for the elect’s sake, no flesh would be saved. In other words, it would be so grievous that it would literally destroy humanity from the face of the earth. Now, you might begin to say, “Well, if this period only lasts for seven years, it can not be too bad.” But, my friend, for those who are the subjects of God’s judgment, this is not the end. During that seven years, it will continue to grow progressively worse, and their judgment will be death and Hell, but even this is not the end for the wicked. A thousand years after this tribulationperiod ends, when the Lord has ruled and reigned upon the earth for a thousand years, Satan will be again loosed out of his prison and will go about upon the earth to deceive the nations, and fire and brimstone will come down from heaven and consume the enemies of God. “But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.” (Revelation 20:5-9) Then the Great White Throne Judgment will be set up and all of the dead without Christ from all ages will be brought before this great judgment throne and judged according to their works and then shall be cast into the Lake of Fire that burns with brimstone for ever and ever to suffer torments for their sins.
This is a sad picture to be portrayed in a writing that is entitled Good News for the Last Days. Nevertheless, myfriend, I do have good news. That good news is that Jesus saves. In Romans chapter 1, verse 16, the Apostle Paul said, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” The word gospel in this passage simply means good news. Paul was saying, I am not ashamed of the good news of Christ. My friend, the good news that I have for you is Christ. He is good news and Heis basically the only good news that this world has. The Bible teaches that there is no way by which we can safely approach the God with Whom we have to do, except through Jesus Christ. The Bible gives us the good news that on Calvary’s cross the Lord Jesus Christ died to pay for the sins of any man, woman, boy or girl who will come to Him in faith and repentance and receive the forgiveness of their sins that is offered.
About 3500 years ago on Mt. Sinai, Almighty God wrote on tables of stone His demands of mankind. These demands are called the Ten Commandments. If you are not fully familiar with them, please take time to read Exodus 20:3-17.
During the fifteen hundred years immediately following that divine writing and during the nearly two thousand years following that fifteen hundred, mankind has constantly shown his nature to violate and rebel against these divine laws. Nevertheless, the demands of God must stand. Over nineteen hundred years ago on the cross of Calvary, God, Who had manifest Himself in the flesh by the person of Jesus Christ, gave Himself a ransom for sin. As He died on the cross that day, He paid the price for the violations that men have committed against those divine commandments. Not only did He give there a ransom, an atonement, a payment for the sins of men, but He gave His righteousness to all who will receive it. The good news is that you may stand before God forgiven, pure, holy andrighteous.
In Romans chapter 10, the Scripture teaches that there was a religious group of people called Israel, which was lost due to the fact that they went about trying to establish their own righteousness, refusing to submit themselves unto the righteousness of God. In the 4th verse of Romans chapter 10, we are told that Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth. That, my friend, is the good news. Good news that if you will reject and deny yourself and believe Jesus Christ, if you will repent of sin and receive Him, that He is the end of the law, or everything the law demands of you, for righteousness. He becomes your righteousness. You can thus not only escape the spiritual depression that this ungodly society projects upon itself and have peace in your heart through Christ Jesus, but you can escape the great tribulation which is coming upon all the earth, and greater than that, you can escape Hell and the eternal Lake of Fire. My friend that is good news, and it is the only really good news that this condemned world can ever have. There may, from time to time, be other good news flashes, but they will be paralleled and then outweighed, and then overwhelmed by the bad news round about us. On the other hand, this good news of Christ Jesus supersedes and overrides all of these other things because it is of an eternal nature.
The Apostle Paul details the good news of Jesus Christ in I Corinthians 15:1-4, “…I declare unto you the gospel… How that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”
We see here not only that He loved us enough to die for our sins, but that He rose from the grave to give us victory overthe just judgment of death. Moreover, He is alive today in the presence of God, seeing to our every need (I John 2:1-2).
This good news is announced by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself in John 5:24 for He says, “…He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” This is, indeed, good news for the Christian who is constrained to face the disappointments, failures, and persecutions of day-to-day living in this evil world. It is also the good news of all good news for the poor sinner who without Christ has no hope in this world or in the world to come. However, it is the gospel, or good news, only to everyone that believeth. Will you not renounce sin and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ today?