Dealing with the events of the end-time, the Great Tribulation period, one is forced to paint a dark and gloomy picture. In fact, God Himself so describes it in these words: “That day is 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 1:15). Those who spiritualize and seek to explain away the plain statements of the Word accuse us of being pessimists. The fact of the matter is that we are optimists. We look beyond the gloom of the present and beyond the storm clouds of the coming judgment, and we anticipate that day when the Sun of Righteousness will arise on the world’s horizon with healing in His wings. Christ, the Bright and Morning Star, is coming to bring in the times of restitution of all things. He is coming to straighten out man’s mess and to set all things right.
While the Church of the mystery, Christ’s Body, is not in the prophetic picture, it seems likely that as the dispensation of grace runs out, we would see the shadows of things to come. Even today, as one listens to the world news, it is a sordid picture of human sin and suffering. One hears of acts of terrorism, innocent people being tortured and killed, children dying of starvation, war and strife all around the globe, of wanton murders in our own society, to say nothing of the drug menace, the abortion evil, the increase in crime, the decline in moral standards, etc., etc. Plenty of bad news, but this should not surprise the student of God’s Word, for there we are told that perilous, or ferocious, times would come. Sin and lawlessness will increase, until the sin of man culminates in the man of sin and the end-time judgments.
Just as the current of a river quickens as it approaches a cataract, until with a mighty roar it goes over the precipice, so the current of wickedness in this world will quicken until, with a mighty roar, it will go over the brink.
This age is rushing on to judgment, the terrible judgments of the Great Tribulation. The ship of state is sinking and we are not to think we can save the doomed vessel, either by reformation, education, or legislation. We are to warn men of their peril, to get them off the sinking ship and into the lifeboat, and that Lifeboat is Christ. This does not mean running away from the responsibilities of our time and place. As good citizens we should use our influence for God and for good in this dark scene, but in dealing with the social problems around us, we should make certain we are not acting in the flesh but motivated by the Holy Spirit.
Now, here is good news. Opposed to the abounding sin in the world is the superabounding grace of God. This is an evil age, but it is also the age in which God is dispensing grace. Mercy’s door is still wide open and whosoever will may come. God is willing to save any sinner who will come, who will cast his deadly doing down and put his trust alone in the Lord Jesus Christ and the work He accomplished at Calvary. There He suffered for sins, the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God. The believing sinner is placed in Him, God’s judgment-proof Ark of safety. As ambassadors for Christ let us be making this good news known.