Distress of Nations
The situation in nations around the world points to end time events taking place as ‘the distress of nations’ prophesied by Jesus for the last days.
Since the beginning of May there were huge forest fires in Alberta, Canada, in Siberia and Russia’s far east, Cyprus and California. 2015 ended up being the worst year for wildfires in all of U.S. history, and since 2016 began, things have continued to get worse. Searing heat has also caused droughts in many parts of the world, including east and southern Africa. Malawi has declared a state of emergency as 2.8 million people face food shortages as a result of drought. In India the month of May saw 330 million people affected by drought. The June monsoon has eased the situation in India but there are doubts about the country’s ability to provide water for its huge population. One source of water, the Ganges River, is now so polluted that the amount of toxins, chemicals and other dangerous bacteria found in the river are now almost 3000 times over the limit suggested by the World Health Organisation as ‘safe’.
There have been unusual floods in France, Germany and Russia, while in the USA West Virginia is dealing with a ‘500 year flood’ after it received approximately a quarter of its entire average annual rainfall in a single day. There have been reports around the world of unusual fish deaths, in particular in Chile and Vietnam where millions of clams, fish and even mammals have been washed up on the beaches. In China a vast number of dead fish suddenly appeared in Hongcheng Lake in Haikou.
The most dangerous volcano in Mexico, Mt. Popocatepetl, has roared to life in spectacular fashion, not far from where Mexico City’s 18 million residents live. Our world is being pummelled by dozens of earthquakes of magnitude 4.0 or greater, and a total of 38 volcanoes are erupting worldwide. Seismologists are warning that the crust of our planet is becoming increasingly unstable. They are concerned that the big quake long feared for California may be about to hit. As well as the spread of the Zika virus in South America, urgent action is needed to combat a yellow fever epidemic in Africa amid signs it is turning into a global health emergency. Nearly a billion people are at risk from the deadly disease in Africa and Latin America and Asia.
The Syrian conflict rages on into its sixth year. Half the country’s pre-war population — more than 11 million people — have been killed or forced to flee their homes. Iraqi forces have pushed back IS from the cities of Ramadi and Fallujah but there has been massive devastation as a result. Fallujah’s population of 300,000 is now in camps in the searing desert heat outside the city. While ISIS is being pushed back in Syria and Iraq, it has ‘celebrated’ the Muslim holy month of Ramadan by launching a series of terrorist attacks causing mass death and injury around the world.
More and more countries are falling into poverty with governments unable to provide their people with the basics of life. Greece, devastated by debt and the Euro crisis, has been abandoned by the EU to a situation of permanent poverty. Suicides have doubled to 3,000a year. Almost one in three people have no work. The young are emigrating and people have lost hope of the situation improving. In South America oil rich Venezuela is now running out of food with people killing cats and dogs to eat. Hospitals have no medicine and the country is in a state of near anarchy. Brazil, about to host the Olympic Games, is also in an economic and political crisis, after the acting governor of Rio de Janeiro state has declared a state of financial disaster and warned of ‘the total collapse of public security.’
Droughts, forest fires, pollution of waters causing fish deaths, earthquakes, famine and epidemics, wars, terrorism, collapse of economies – all this points us to the coming time of tribulation as prophesied in such passages as Matthew 24.7 and Revelation 8.7-12 and the soon coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, the only hope of our world.
Christian leaders today say some very strange things
One of America’s most well-known church leaders, Joel Osteen, recently declared that God ‘absolutely’ approves of everyone, including homosexuals. In his new book ‘Break Out!’ he says ‘It doesn’t matter who likes you or who doesn’t like you, all that matters is God likes you. He accepts you, he approves of you.’ Asked in an interview with the Huffington Post if that includes homosexuals, he replied, ‘Absolutely,’ Osteen insisted. ‘I believe that God has breathed his life into every single person. We’re all on a journey. Nobody’s perfect.’
God does not accept or approve of us in our natural condition. He sees us as ‘children of wrath’, conducting ourselves ‘in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind’ (Ephesians 2.3). Ephesians speaks of God’s ‘great love with which He loved us’ revealed ‘in His grace in His kindness towards us in Christ Jesus.’ As a result of repentance and faith in Jesus Christ we are accepted into the family of God, whatever sins we may have committed. However while we are still in our sins (and the Bible makes it clear that homosexual practice is sinful) we are neither accepted nor approved by God, nor is it acceptable to God to continue in those sins after conversion.
The Pope invited Sheikh al-Tayeb, rector of the Al-Azhar University in Cairo, to the Vatican. He is the highest figure in Sunni Islam and the closest Islam has to a pope. The Pope said, ‘The meeting was the message.’ In other words this is a coming together of Roman Catholic Christianity and Islam. He then said ‘It is true that the idea of conquest is inherent in the soul of Islam, however, it is also possible to interpret the objective in Matthew’s Gospel, where Jesus sends His disciples to all nations, in terms of the same idea of conquest.’
So the Muslim idea of jihad to spread Islam is the same as the great commission to preach the Gospel to all nations? Mohammed sent out his followers on a programme of conquest enforcing its religion on those it subjugates by force. The Gospel message is a spiritual conversion of the soul as people turn in faith to Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord of their own free will. It proclaims the good news, that all people can be forgiven of their sins and set free by faith in Jesus. Unlike Mohammed, Jesus disarmed his followers, saying ‘He who conquers by the sword shall perish by the sword.’ The Pope should have proclaimed the huge difference between the Gospel message of Jesus Christ and Mohammed’s programme of jihad and submission to Islam.
Christian leaders who say such things are compromising the Gospel message and helping to create the ‘inclusive’ world church of Revelation 17 described as mystery Babylon the Great and prophesied in the Bible for the last days.
These things are a sign of the soon coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Now is the day to repent and believe the good news, that Jesus is the Messiah, the Saviour and the Lord who died for our sins and rose again from the dead.
Here is a prayer to accept salvation in Jesus’ name:
‘Dear Heavenly Father, I admit that I am a sinner and need your forgiveness. I believe that Jesus the Messiah died in my place, shedding His blood to pay for my sins, and that He rose again from the dead to give me eternal life. I am willing right now to turn from my sin and accept Jesus the Messiah as my personal Saviour and Lord. I commit my life to you and ask you to send the Holy Spirit into my life, to fill me and to take control and to help me become the kind of person you want me to be. Thank you Father for loving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.`