|Vol. V Number 41||December 30, 2001|
Every year we celebrate a new year with parties, frivolity, and parades. People crowd Times Square to watch a lit ball descend from the building top. The parades celebrate every form of debauchery there is. We see dragons, idol worship, and every evil that man imagines. All of this just for the passing of another day where we have arbitrarily set the start of the new year.
At the start of this year we are facing dire times with people being laid off and jobs disappearing. Some in the economics profession are claiming that this is the start of a depression. Also, there is India and Pakistan saber rattling and both nations have a nuclear arsenal pointing at each other. If Pakistan finds itself in a bind, they just might start the third world war. These are really perilous times. What will the new year bring? Will it bring peace and prosperity? Will it bring the onslaught of world war three? Will some of the unstable nations of the world launch a terrorist war against the United States? These and other questions are being asked by some.
Many view the new year as a time to make resolutions and change their way of life. Some will say that they will give up smoking, while others will try to give up drinking. All of these endeavors are good, but without the Lord Jesus as the source of your resolution it will come to nought. Many want a better life without the Lord, but without the Lord that will be impossible.
2 Timothy 3:1-9
1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.
9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.
Just look around and this is the condition of the last days that we are living in. Also we have seen a dramatic increase in knowledge within the last century. In just a 100 years man has gone from riding horses and communicating only with his neighbors to a era of space exploration and international communication via the Internet. We are living in an era where all commerce is being done on the Internet. Look at what the Bible says about the last days.
1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.
4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.
5 Then I Daniel looked, and, behold, there stood other two, the one on this side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the river.
6 And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?
7 And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.
8 And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?
9 And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.
10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.
11 And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.
12 Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.
13 But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.
Most people do not even think about the growth of knowledge in the past 100 years. Some of the younger people think that the radio, television, telephone, stereo, and computer has always been here. Some even have have a hard time remembering a time before the Internet along with the World Wide Web (WWW) has only been with us since 1993. Just a little less than 9 years ago was the biggest experiment in world wide communication and access to everyone in the world via computer. In the past nine years commerce has went from small business to companies being able to sell their goods to a world wide audience. Even the small business operating out of a home can start an international business by the Internet.
At the start of this new year it is the time for the Christian to reflect on what the Bible tells us about the last days and the calling of the church home. We are living in the time of the promise in 1st Thessalonians.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
As this year expires and a new year begins it is time for us to evaluate our walk with the Lord. If the Lord would call the church home today, would you rise to meet him in the air or would you be one or the majority who are left behind? Jesus is looking at your heart tonight and if there is anything that would hinder your ability to hear the call of the Lord, and rise to meet him in the air. These are perilous times and there are many temptations that are present to create an environment where the born again Christian could miss the call. Jesus is coming soon for his church. Where will you be when the Lord calls his church home? Would you rise to meet him in the air? Would you be caught up with the cares of this world and not even hear the call of the Lord? Jesus is calling his church home, and that is one call that you would not want to miss.
3014 E Street Philadelphia, PA 19134 Church Office Phone: (215) 634-3637 Published by: Rev. LeRoy D. Cressy (215) 535-4037
Sunday School . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11:30 AM
Sunday Morning Worship . . . . . . . . . . 12 NOON
Sunday Evening . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6:30 PM
Wednesday Evening . . . . . . . . . . . . 7:30 PM
Copyright © 2001 LeRoy D. Cressy
Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of this transcript as long as the copyright and this permission notice appear.