The Current Scene
The Russian leader is offering the world what every sane person craves for, a nuclear free world. His proposal is to come in stages so that by 1999 there will be no nuclear weapons upon the earth. The first step is to rid each side half of half, “the nuclear arms that can reach each other’s territory.” The vision suggests a millennium commencing with the turn of the century. Is this to make Russia appear as the champion of peace and make Reagan with his insistance on “Star Wars” the real trouble? Certainly those who must reply to this proposal cannot refuse to look at it hopefully and at the same time warily. Does Gorbachev really mean it? Even if he does, does the West want it?
If history is any guide no peace pacts have lasted any longer than ambition or grievances were sufficient to ignore a bond made in a yesteryear. Just now we have two formulas for peace. Gorbachev’s disarmament and President Reagan’s Star Wars — lazer rays, to destroy offensive intercontintental war heads before they reach their target. Reagan’s philosophy is probably the most realistic. The arms race can lead to financial suicide. Abandonment of nuclear weaponry, which is highly improbable, would leave Russia with superior means for conventional warfare. Here is another of those predicaments we are getting used to — a no way situation.
We live in a fallen world and Utopia is simply beyond human attainment. When God says, “The whole world lieth in wickedness” (1 John 5:19), God is determined to force that fact home. Man can disbelieve the doctrine, but not the fact. Again, God has said, “I will overturn, overturn, overturn it: and it shall be no more until He come whose right it is; and I will give it to Him” (Ezek. 21:24). There can be no peace until the Prince of peace comes, even our Lord Jesus Christ. He is going to unify the fragmented church at the rapture (1 Thess. 4) and regather and reinstate Israel, all 12 tribes and the Gentiles to boot (Isa. 49:5-6). Then will be fulfilled the words, “That in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ; even in Him” (Eph. 1:10). The Christian seeks to adjust to the circumstances in which providence has placed him, seeks the good of the land, is prepared to make a contribution thereto and prays, “Thy kingdom come.”
A Silent Heaven
Most of Europe has been described as a spiritual wasteland. The teaming masses rush by the darkened doors of stately churches. Certainly few are taking any expression of Christianity seriously. It’s an aftermath of two world wars. How could a John 3:16 God allow such carnage and destruction. Lately we have had floods, earthquakes and terrorism and thousands of innocent people swept into eternity. Conditions everywhere are not hard to find that seemingly contradict a loving God. Heaven was not silent when the Son of God walked on this earth. He said, “All things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you” (John 15:15). The response was “Away with Him, crucify Him.” God now speaks through the Bible. There alone will we get explanations for the present imponderables.
Many who feel that their sins are not that bad would gladly judge others who are so much worse. They are the ones who merit God’s judgment. They forget God will judge all, not just a few. Also, God’s standard of judgment will be according to the amount of light that has been rejected. “What wilt thou say when He shall punish thee?” (Jer. 13:21).
God is certainly going to set things right. It is a question of time. Peter speaks of “the times of restitution of all things.” There are dispensations, or different ages. Already we have witnessed Eden, prior to the flood, and the giving of the Ten Commandments. Now we are in the age of grace and faith. It is characterized by an absence of miracles. God has spoken in His Word. Mankind is responsible to believe this well-founded testimony. As to events God sends His rain upon the just and unjust. Believers and sinners in many respects suffer alike. Intelligent Christians adjust to the character of the present dispensation — a kingdom of tribulation and patience as John discovered it to be (Rev. 1:9) until Jesus Christ takes His rightful throne for a thousand years. This is the dispensation yet to come of which Peter speaks. Then it will be a rule of “the rod of iron.” Mankind would like kingdom conditions without the “rod.” That would never do. They would only continue in their own indulgences. The trials of the present age are often disciplines to check the otherwise in-rush and on-rush of evil. A hold up from the eventual apogee, “as it was in the days of Noah.” All do well to heed Micah 2:10: “Arise ye, and depart; for this is not your rest: because it is polluted, it shall destroy you, even with a sore destruction.”
While the pro-lifers are rightly concerned over the protection of the unborn the National Taxpayers’ Union has prompted seven children in age from 1 to 14 to sue the government for saddling them with debt. This suit filed against Treasury Secretary Jamie Baker is on behalf of 60 million American children under the age of 18. The chairman of the taxpayers’ union said, “Today at our children’s expense, we enjoy a government that gives us one dollar’s worth of services for every 77 cents we pay in taxes. If that isn’t a violation of the constitutional spirit of equal protection, what is?” The Bible plainly teaches that what has been sown will eventually be reaped. Everything that is wrong will eventually reach its climax. A famous preacher won notoriety over a particular sermon, “Payday, Someday.” This is inevitable. All prodigals must eventually lie in the bed of their making. Third World Nations are in debt and in danger of defaulting. What a need there is for an international financial wizard! If we read prophecy aright we see him in that second beast out of the earth that appears to have the whole world tied to his program. A situation must develop of such proportions that his arbitrary decrees will be accepted, “And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name” (Rev. 13:17).
In desperation the two houses of government have passed the Gramm-Rudman act promising a balanced budget by the end of the present decade. Some draconian cuts in government spending are inevitable. All of the probable victims are crying, “not me.” The act is going to be challenged in court; others have little faith in its success. Otherwise there will be a collapse that will eclipse the great depression. The opening of the sixth seal (Rev. 6:2) depicts a black sun, the moon as blood and stars falling from heaven. This seems to require a spiritual application and not the conclusions of the victims who decide that it’s the end of all things. A market crash of world proportions could spell the end of the amenities of civilization. Consequent anarchy would call not only for a financial wizard but a world czar.