People who are paying attention have noticed a recent remarkable shift in in the United States, if not the world. It seems that we're on the verge of some significant changes that will affect the way we live. This isn't unusual. It seems to happen in almost every generation. When these major events unfold, those who experience them will look back astonished at how much the world has changed.
In my lifetime, such monumental changes include:
• The fuel shortages of the early 1970s. If you were around, you remember the long lines at gas stations, and odd-even rationing based on license plate numbers.
• Proliferation of personal computers. Did anyone reading this use an Altair 8800? My first PC experience was with the Commodore 64. As the name implies it boasted 64 megabytes of RAM. In contrast, the iPhone 15 is equipped with 6 gigabytes of RAM! In a relatively short time we've seen the power of a computer that filled a room built into a computer that fits in your pocket.
• The use of commercial aircraft in terrorism September 11, 2001. Remember when you could accompany your loved ones to the gate, or meet them at the gate when they arrived? Since 9/11 areas beyond security checkpoints became restricted to ticketed passengers and authorized personnel only. Government surveillance of the population also increased. Many people have sacrificed their privacy for assurances they will be safer.
• U.S. military continual involvement in conflict. Since the Gulf War to free Kuwait in 1991, the U.S. has been constantly engaged in military interventions around the world, leading to the expense of thousands of lives and billions of dollars to spread "peace."
• The rise of Amazon. In 1995, Jeff Bezos started shipping books out of his garage to fulfill online orders. The e-commerce giant rivals the U.S Postal Service in the number of packages it delivers each day. The marvel of Amazon is if you want a product, you can likely find it in their online store and have it delivered to your home within 1-2 days.
• COVID-19. Do I need to say more?
This is a short list. Many other seismic shifts have rocked our world in the last 50 years. Some of these changes have been positive, others negative. What's next? I'll be happy if I'm wrong, but I don't think it will be positive.
It's a good time for us to pay attention to the Apostle Paul's warning, "So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and be clearheaded," (1Thessalonians 5:6 NLT). If there's a storm coming, here are 3 mistakes you don't want to make:
1. Waiting to see prophecies fulfilled before going all in. Jesus described Christians who are not fully committed to Him as neither hot nor cold. “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!" (Revelation 3:15-16 NLT). There's danger in waiting for evidence that the world is on the verge of Jesus'
Second Advent before making your citizenship in this world secondary to pledging your allegiance to God's kingdom. Many who are live today will sleep in the grave before Jesus returns. Our opportunity to get ready for Jesus' return is today. It''s a tragedy every time someone enters the grave before they’re ready to meet our Maker.
2. Embracing faith that doesn't produce good works. Many people calling themselves Christians have embraced an incomplete faith. It's a faith that claims Jesus as one's Savior and doesn't save them from their sins. A gospel that promises only to save sinners from eternal death but doesn't save sinners from the sins that lead to eternal death is a weak gospel. Ellen White wrote these inspired words about God's end-times church, "The last
message of mercy to be given to the world is a revelation of His character of love. The children of God are to manifest His glory," (Christ's Object Lessons, p. 415 ). And the Apostle James wrote, "What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless," (James 2:14-17 NLT).
3. Neglecting daily devotions. Don't fall into the trap of neglecting daily time in prayer and nourishing your soul with the spiritual food of the Bible. Christians who become complacent and neglect putting themselves where the Holy Spirit can empower them become easy prey for Satan. This is the purpose of prayer and allowing Scripture to speak to your heart--to put yourself in the presence of God who protects us from the poison of evil. "Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour," (1Peter 5:8 NLT).
Sooner or later, big changes are coming. How prepared are you to meet them?