Collated by B. Michael Bigg
On 3 July 2014, news.com.au reported a story about a photo of a child that was used for Nazi propaganda, the perfect Aryan (i.e. Hitler's master race) baby, on the cover of Sonne ins Hause magazine. Unknowingly, the child was actually a 6 month old Jewish baby. As the story goes, the photographer had knowingly and deliberately submitted the photo “to the most beautiful Aryan baby contest on purpose” and ironically it was “thought to have been specifically picked by Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels”.
God does have a sense of humour.
The wicked plots against the righteousAnd gnashes at him with his teeth.The Lord laughs at him,For He sees his day is coming.The wicked have drawn the sword and bent their bowTo cast down the afflicted and the needy,To slay those who are upright in conduct.Their sword will enter their own heart,And their bows will be broken.
– Psalm 37:12-15
Know This First...
Both the apostles Peter and Paul warn about the ‘Last Days’; and yet their words still take us by surprise when they come to pass.
Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.” For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. – 2 Peter 3:3-7
But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men of depraved mind, rejected in regard to the faith. But they will not make further progress; for their folly will be obvious to all, just as Jannes’s and Jambres’s folly was also. – 2 Timothy 3:9
When we read the Bible and the events that took place historically and those that are foretold and yet to happen, it is not uncommon to think of such events as being restricted to the geography of the Bible – to be limited in scope to Europe, the Middle-East, North Africa, and parts of Russia. After all, this is the scope of what is meant – at times – by the “whole world”; it is, or was, the whole world from a perspective of Old Testament Israel and the general worldview at that time. There are obvious exceptions when Scripture explicitly talks about the whole world and gives descriptions to illustrate this (such as Noah and the flood, when “the mountains were covered”). Nevertheless, when we read or listen to the news we are sometimes relieved to think, “Thank God that that’s happening over there, and not here”. But where that was once true, that distinction is becoming less certain. That doesn’t mean that we – especially in Australia, New Zealand, and some other Western countries – experience the same level of conflict, turmoil, and hardship as Christians living in other parts of the world, but that we too are starting to experience the sifting and tribulation that was foretold.
Much of the events going on in the world many of you will know – the mainstream media is certainly covering the big stories. But do we recognise the cascading effects of what, collectively, is happening?
In Australia, in years gone by, many of us objected to the federal government’s proposed Australia Card – in which every person would be uniquely identified, and in effect traceable. Meanwhile, everyone already has a unique number with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), a unique Driver Licence number, and you need to produce sufficient specifically recognised documents for identification (such as Birth Certificate, Driver Licence, etc.), photocopies of which are taken, when opening bank and other financial accounts. The government, with its computer systems, already has a unique number for everyone – which just has a cross- reference list for other account and licence details on other government systems. Then there are other related computer systems and programmes which perform a myriad of cross-references and checks. This is just part and parcel of the modern technological age in which we live.
Consider the ramifications of such technology as these Last Days progress, and what the future may hold for Jews and Christians in a world which is becoming more openly hostile against them and the Bible.
What do Electrolux, Ericsson, Skype, and Ikea have in common? They’re all Swedish companies. Wikipedia notes that, “In 2000 the Church of Sweden was separated from the state and Sweden ceased to have any official church”. A 2013 census clocked Sweden’s population at around 6.5 million, and that, at the end of 2012, (according to Wikipedia) 67.5% of the population was Lutheran (Church of Sweden). Islam is also present in Sweden’s demographic, with estimates of around 500,000 members (or about 7.5% of the population).
In 1947 Sweden was one of the countries which voted IN FAVOUR of the “United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine” which is regarded as leading to the creation of the modern State of Israel. It must be note that this partition plan included Jordan for the Arabs and Israel for the Jews.
In September 2014 Sweden’s Social Democrat party won the national election; and on the thirtieth of October 2014 Sweden became the third European Union country (after Cyprus and Malta) to recognise “Palestine” as a state. From modern Israel’s outset, the Arab world has declared, “We will push the Jew into the sea,” and with the changing demographic of many of the world’s nations – particularly European countries – the cry is being heard more and more throughout the world. Here a bit, there a bit, but the end goal is there for all to see ... but who sees it?
Birds of a Feather
An interesting recent news story out of Europe is that Europe has an estimated 421 million fewer birds today than it did thirty years ago.
The article notes that “Around 90 per cent of the losses have affected the most common and widespread species, including sparrows, skylarks, grey partridges and starlings”, though, “Not all common birds are declining. Populations of great tits, blue tits, robins and blackbirds, are all going up, the study found.”
The thing I find interesting is that though overall bird numbers have declined, the article noted that rare species, including a number of birds of prey and scavengers: “marsh harriers, ravens, buzzards, storks and stone curlews had also shown increases in recent years, probably due to conservation efforts”. It is some of the predatory birds which are increasing. One could almost suggest that it is for a future time and purpose.
Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds which fly in midheaven, “Come assemble for the great supper of God, so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great. – Revelation 19:17-18
Obviously such a heavenly invitation is NOT dependent upon European birds, but the information itself is interesting.
Defending Terrorist Philosophy
A lot of the news of late concerns IS, ISIL, ISIS, Islamic State, or whatever they want to call themselves; similarly Boko Haram in Nigeria is still being reported (especially in regards to the kidnapping of schoolgirls for forced marriages).
There are reports out of Nigeria in which girls aged just 13 years are being divorced, some less than a year after being married. Why? Because these girls are “educated”; and their education, having “had too much ABCD” (as one ex-husband put it), means that the girls are disobedient to their husbands. Far be it that they just don’t want to be treated like a slave and abused by both their husbands and in-laws. For some reason, these girls won’t stay and endure the physical and/or mental abuse they cop. Some of these girls flee to their families, only for them to call the husband to pick them up.
Embarrassed by their wife’s lack of submission and attempts at running away many of these girls are divorced by their older husbands – with many, though not all, waiting three months to ensure the girl isn’t pregnant. Some of these girls do runaway and aren’t found, and some of them are pregnant and forced to fend for themselves, with accounts of twelve and thirteen year olds prostituting themselves on the roadside to truck drivers.
How egalitarian is Paul, then, when he writes to Greco-Roman believers and in effect to the social-world view pictured above,
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body. FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND SHALL BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband. – Ephesians 5:25-33
ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) who now (as at the end of June 2014) want to be called Islamic State (IS) – desire to be a caliphate where legal and religious leadership is controlled by one man. This desire for a caliphate is what Islam’s founder created, and it is what Islam’s successive leaders desired to hold on to. The stated goal of IS is – by 2019 – to have an empire “rivaling that of ancient Rome — ranging from Spain in the west, Nigeria in the south and Pakistan to the east” The strange thing is that Al-Qaeda has long sought its own caliphate, and now it has a rival, one that Al- Qaeda thought too extreme, or one might say, too fundamentalist. Oh, the irony.
There have been instances where governments have stopped would-be Jihadists (a term the government and media openly use) from going over to the middle- east to fight with IS. So too has there been instances where such have taken exception to being stopped, or hindered, from joining IS that they have taken to attacking people in the countries they are in.
And then there is the incident where “a group of hardline Muslims gathered at a Sydney police station clamouring for the release of a woman later charged with supporting terrorism. The mother-of-four was arrested as she allegedly tried to board a flight in Sydney carrying cash and equipment — believed to include camouflage gear — for her husband fighting in Syria.” One would expect to hear of this happening in Gaza or Iraq, but now it is happening in Australia.
Sounding eerily apocalyptic, October 2014 saw reports that “THERE are “tens, maybe hundreds” of headless bodies lying in the bloody streets of a besieged Syrian border town — left to rot by ISIS savages to terrorise Kurdish fighters and residents”. But even before this, in August, “a seven-year old Australian boy was photographed in the Syrian city of Raqqa awkwardly holding up a severed head with both hands. ‘That’s my boy!’ Dad tweeted proudly”.
And while the world had been concerned about ISIS/ ISIL/IS and their atrocities it must be remembered that beheadings by other Islamic countries, nations and authorities also take place, sometimes regularly. In August 2014 the number of beheadings in Saudi Arabia was described as being at ‘record levels’.
Hajras al-Qurey will become the latest person to be executed in the last three weeks with human rights groups horrified by what they are calling a surge in executions.
The execution of al-Qurey will top off a deadly week around the world with the beheading of an Egyptian man by Libya armed groups and the execution of 18 informers by Hamas, according to Amnesty International....
A deadly August is just the tip of the iceberg for Saudi Arabia which executed more than 2000 people between 1985 and 2013, figures provided by the human rights group reveal.
In September 2014, 18-year-old Numan Haider was shot outside Endeavour Hills police station in Victoria, Australia.
Numan Haider used a small knife to attack an Australian Federal Police officer and a Victorian policeman before he was shot dead with a single shot. When Mr Haider was searched he was found to be carrying a larger knife and an Islamic State flag. Police believe the plan was to follow instructions from the international terror group Islamic State and behead the officers, cover the bodies in the flag and then take photos to post via the internet.
History Repeats Itself
All of this is nothing new. In fact Islamic terrorism has existed in Australia for close on 100 years. The Battle of Broken Hillbeing the first media covered event (to my knowledge). “Almost four months before Australian soldiers would storm into action against the Turks at Anzac Cove in 1915, self-motivated agents of the Ottoman Empire brought World War One Down Under in a rampage that sparked headlines around the country then faded from mainstream memory.”
HOLDING rifles and nursing a grudge, the two gunmen crouched in dirt by the rail track as the train drew close.
Its open carriages were crammed with 1200 people, bound for a public holiday picnic in the Outback...
The attackers: immigrant Afghans, both apparently driven by loyalty to the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire and their Muslim faith; with one especially bitter towards a local community that he felt had not treated him fairly.
Though from Afghanistan, these Muslims recognised the Sultan as head of the Islamic Caliphate at the time. ISIS is just trying to create a modern equivalent.
Anyone Have a Denarius?
The present turmoil in the Middle East, however, has scientists and experts worried. “Many of the most valuable wild relatives of crops vital to global food security grow in the Fertile Crescent — a region that encompasses Iraq, Syria, Israel and Lebanon. Their loss would have a massive impact on the ability of the world to feed itself in the future.” Without the wild variant species in the middle-east there is concern that there won’t be “access to the resistance in the wild species then we can’t cross them with the crop, and our crops will produce less yield. More people, more starvation.”
When He broke the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, “Come.” I looked, and behold, a black horse; and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard something like a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not damage the oil and the wine.” – Revelation 6:5-6.
Blasphemy and Sudan
Back in May 2014 the story of Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag was reported. Meriam was sentenced to death in Sudan for adultery and refusing to convert to Islam. Meriam was born to a Muslim father and Christian mother, and is married to a Christian man. Under Islam, the fact that her father was a Muslim means that she is regarded as being a Muslim, and her “conversion” to Christianity is outlawed – hence the requirement to either convert (back) to Islam or be put to death for apostasy under Sudan’s Sharia (Islam Law). Furthermore, being regarded as a Muslim her marriage to a non-Muslim is not recognised, hence the charge of adultery. Meriam was eight month pregnant at the time of sentencing – which was to be carried out by hanging.
Sudanese Information Minister Ahmed Bilal Osman “told AFP earlier that Sudan is not unique in its law against apostasy. ‘In Saudi Arabia, in all the Muslim countries, it is not allowed at all for a Muslim to change his religion,’ he said.”
Fortunately, though, both Italian and United States governments intervened and negotiated with the Sudanese government and Meriam was allowed to leave the country – first to Italy, with the United States as her final destination.
Meanwhile “Almost two Sydney women a week are converting to Islam” – or so Australia’s News Limited reported in January 2014.
Let No One Teach?
In James’ epistle we read,
Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment. – James 3:1.
The problem for Christianity in the West is that we have SO-CALLED Christian Schools who teach religion, or social issues, rather than the Gospel. We have parents who have been, supposedly, raised Christian, who are unable to clearly, plainly and simply articulate the Gospel to their own children. We have gone from “let not many of you become [church] teachers” to being a community of dunces. Now obviously this is a broad generalisation, but the generalisation holds true when news stories appear regarding Muslim converts and how, for example, one convert “swapped her Orthodox Christian upbringing for the mosques of western Sydney” and that her parents pushed her “to be Orthodox but they never had answers to my questions”. Surely Christian parents have a duty to teach/preach the Gospel to their own children, and to be able to answer their questions, or to be able to investigate an issue to find answers. Furthermore, what is the point of a Christian School if that school teaches nothing about Christianity? Send your kids to a secular/state school if that is all they’re being taught: you’ll save money.
What is this ex-Orthodox Christian woman’s perspective of Islam? She said that “she had always been fascinated with Islam and believed it put women on a pedestal, rather than oppressing them. ‘As soon as I started studying it I knew I had to be a part of it,’ .... ‘I loved how a woman was treated. She is treated like a rare diamond, she is honoured in the family.’ I imagine her first trip to the middle-east will be an experience. For some reason I doubt that the girls kidnapped to be brides by the Islamic Fundamentalists of Boko Haram will agree with her.
The Pride of Life
In July 2014, the US “Burger King” launched, for a limited time at its San Francisco Market Street store, “that was at the heart of the route for last weekend’s 44th annual San Francisco Pride Celebration & Parade” a gay pride burger called the Proud Whopper.
The burger itself is a standard Whopper burger “wrapped in a rainbow colored wrapper with this inscription: ‘We are all the same inside.’” Well at least the slogan is accurate: we’re all humans, and we’re all sinners; the difference being some people just relish their sins and disagree with what God says is right and wrong.
Sins of the Father
An August 15 news story, titled, “Darwin’s theory of evolution challenged by University of Adelaide genetic memory research, published in journal Science” is very interesting. The research “suggests the bad habits developed through a parent’s lifetime could be passed on genetically to their children”. Science needs to be careful what it is publishing, lest they end up saying,
Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned — Romans 5:12
Land of the Free?
The United States of America, often referred to as the, “Land of the Free, Home of the Brave” - words which come from the US’s national anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner. Interestingly, some are indeed remaining Brave, whilst others are attempting to undermine their Freedom.
On 13 October 2014, World Net Daily (WND) broke the story that, “Officials with the city of Houston, Texas,
... have demanded to see the sermons preached by several area pastors. The recent move came in a subpoena from the city to pastors for copies of their sermons and other communications in the city’s legal defense of a ‘non-discrimination’ measure that allows ‘gender-confused’ people to use public restrooms designated for the opposite sex”.
Don Boys, former member of the Indiana House of Representatives in the USA, has written an excellent summary and response to Houston, Texas’s, “married” lesbian mayor’s attempt to police preaching in Houston’s churches: “her honor wants local pastors to submit their sermons to the city to ascertain whether or not they took a position on the city ordinance permitting transgenders to use any restroom of their choice!”
Boys well says in his article,
I will preach that if she and her girlfriend show no remorse, no regret, no repentance there will be eternal judgment for them! I will preach from Jer. 6:15: “Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the LORD.” That passage teaches that same sex “marriages” are squalid, shameful, sorry, sordid, and sinful.
Furthermore, our church restrooms will not be transgendered. Men and boys will use the same restroom for males and girls and women will use another restroom for females. Each gender will be required to have the appropriate “equipment.” If anyone tries to enter a restroom without the correct obvious physical characteristics, they will be removed by a couple of my burley deacons without ceremony onto the parking lot. That goes for the mayor and her girlfriend. It also goes for any of her bodyguards! Deacons grow big in Houston....
Moreover, it is interesting that no one in Houston or in any other American city is demanding to hear what Muslim imams are preaching! Isn’t that interesting? But we know that they are teaching jihad, that’s “fighting for the cause of Allah” and even recruiting fighters to fight in the Middle East! Right here in America! But her honor is not concerned about Muslims. Methodists and Baptists for sure, but not Muslims.
After 13 years the newly built One World Trade Center – built to replace the September 11, 2001 destroyed twin towers of the World Trade Center – has opened. Newspaper reports note that the firm which produced the final design of the building said that “the high-rise was built with steel-reinforced concrete that makes it as terror attack-proof as possible”. Personally I am not superstitious ... but, hello: thirteen, “terror attack- proof” ... has anyone ever heard of the Titanic, you know, the “unsinkable” ship. One is tempted to mis- quote Darth Vader from Star Wars: “Don’t be too proud of this technological marvel you’ve constructed. The ability to build monuments in the skyline is insignificant next to the power of nature, let alone the one true God“.
And just as Israel, in Jeremiah’s day, cried, “The Temple of the LORD, The Temple of the LORD.” (Jeremiah 7:4) So too does America give lip service to ideas ABOUT God. “In God We Trust,” says the capitalist greed machine on their currency, “So help us God,” do American presidents say at the end of the speeches ... well help is certainly on its way. Ancient Israel neither sought, nor desired to seek, God – they merely wanted to use Him as a shield as they went along with their corrupt ways. Ancient Israel had warning after warning, year after year ... just as America has had in regards to terrorists. Yet America’s money- grubbing preachers and false prophets have preached peace, safety and prosperity. Well, now, God is helping America – and the rest of the Western nations that have rejected Him. God sent ancient Israel’s ancient enemies to discipline her, and now, it would seem, God is sending the very same enemy to discipline the West. Believe the lie, believe the “lying spirit in the mouth of [the] prophets” (cf. 1 Kings 22:22). Believe the propaganda that Islam is a religion of peace.
It must be noted that Islam’s founder Muhammad did indeed preach, “Peace,” when he and his followers were a minority; but once they increased Muhammad’s preaching became anything but peace to those who weren’t Muslims. Muhammad isn’t called the “Prophet of the Sword” without reason.
Despite all the news stories, despite all the FACTS and HISTORY of Islam, both media and governments continue to peddle the same lie, that Islam is a religion of peace. How bad have things become?
The Queensland state government’s Anti-Discrimination Commission released a video message calling on Queenslanders to stand united against acts of vilification, intimidation of people, and racial and religious hatred. All sounds rather benign until you find out that this video was produced primarily to aid Muslims.
The Anti-Discrimination Commission website’s “Support for Muslim community experiencing vilification” page (as at 18 Sep 14) says:
As Queensland’s Anti–Discrimination Commissioner I am concerned at the levels of public religious and racial vilification and abuse that is being experienced by members of the Muslim faith in our community. I am aware that many Muslim people, and people presumed to be Muslim because of their appearance, have become targets for hostility and violence when going about their daily lives. We need as a community to stand together in these difficult times. The Anti-Discrimination Commission is here to support community members who experience or are exposed to religious or racial hatred. Below, I have set out some information about vilification, including how to make a formal complaint under the Anti-Discrimination Act. ...
Each of you would be well aware that under the Anti- Discrimination Act 1991, public acts of religious and racial hatred are against the law. Under the Act, vilification is a public act which incites hatred towards, serious contempt for, or severe ridicule of persons on the ground of the race or religion of the person or members of the group. Public acts can include any form of communication to the public and can also be any conduct that is observable by the public, including actions, gestures and the wearing or display of clothing, signs, flags, emblems or insignia. To ensure the right to freedom of speech is not unduly restricted, if the public act is done reasonably and in good faith, for academic, artistic, scientific or research purposes or for other purposes in the public interest, including discussion and debate, then the public act is not unlawful. Freedom of speech is a fundamental right and public discussion done reasonably and in good faith is part of our democracy. However, public acts that incite hatred towards a group of people on the basis of their religion or race can undermine an inclusive community. If public comments are not made reasonably and in the public interest, they will breach the Act.
One wonders if the Christian community would ever be extended the same level of support and concern, despite the name dropping of Christianity in a listing of groups of people being, or potentially being, vilified (in the Commissioner's video message).
The Anti-Discrimination Act (as referenced in the quote above) allows for public criticism to be "done reasonably and in good faith, for academic ... purposes"; one has to wonder whether a university lecturer querying his first year biology student about who is a Christian - so as to belittle their faith in God, rather than evolution - falls under the protection of academic good faith?
And as an interesting thought, I am not aware of the Commission making a public comment, taking a stand, nor protested jokes about people groups of other Western Judeo-Christian nations. So go ahead Australian radio broadcasters ... keep the Yank jokes coming (after all, it mustn’t be discrimination or racism). How is it that criticism of Christianity and Christians is okay, but the criticism of others is not? The atheist can stand up next to the comedian and ridicule the Bible and Christians, and there is a sense of entitlement, or a right, to do so. No one minds a joke where the punch line is about Kiwis (New Zealanders), Yanks (Americans from the US), POMs, Scottish, Welsh, Irish or English; but don’t you dare say a joke or have a critical opinion of others, particularly Islam and Fundamentalist Muslims, and dare to share it. This is the message that is being broadcast – and the Islamic World cheers. God Help Us! Seriously! God Help Us!
While Queensland’s Anti-Discrimination Commission concerns itself over the negative views of Islam, Asia Bibi – a Christian woman who was “working on a farm in Punjab, Pakistan” was accused by her Muslim co-workers of “blasphemy and insulting the Prophet Muhammad following an argument over water. The mother-of-five was arrested, convicted of blasphemy in 2010 and later handed the death penalty for a crime her family and lawyers say is largely based on hearsay. Despite her claims of innocence, a court in Lahore upheld the verdict that Mrs Bibi be hanged.” I hope the Anti-Discrimination Commissioner has signed Amnesty International’s “Save Asia Bibi from Exectuion in Pakistan” petition whilst ensuring the protection of those who follow the very institution that seeks her death.
How is it that Australian Opposition Leader Bill Shorten will show “rare” bipartisan support and backing for Prime Minister Tony Abbot’s “campaign to unite Australians under our flag” whilst “RADICAL [in reality fundamentalist] Islamic groups have launched a scathing attack on the Prime Minister’s call for Australian Muslims to join ‘Team Australia’, urging all Islamic leaders to boycott meetings with the PM ... And radical Sydney- based groups Hizb ut-Tahrir and al Risalah took to social media to attack Mr Abbott’s bid to unite Australians and protect the nation from extremist violence.”
Discrimination! How about a bit of common-sense! Oh, that’s right; it’s not that common anymore. You've got to search to find it these days.
It is so unfortunate that good news seems hard to come by. It’s hard to collate news stories, because there are so many. There are those that are relevant, those that are fluff pieces, and those that are just rubbish. Because of the internet and the almost instant availability of news to everyone, one has to wonder about whether collating such stories is worth one’s time; but I think it relevant, especially since such stories illustrate the fact that “the day is drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:25)
I believe that we can all too easily get wrapped up in life, and living, that we fail to consider some of the events that are happening around us, fail to remember our fellow Christians in less fortunate places around the world, and even neglect praying for those in our own governments. Do we pray enough that the Good News – the Gospel of Jesus Christ – goes forth whilst there is yet time? It may not be you who goes forth into another city or country, but surely we all have neighbours, if not relatives, who need Salvation as much as those on different continents and in different countries.
“Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest ‘? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest. Already he who reaps is receiving wages and is gathering fruit for life eternal; so that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. 37 “For in this case the saying is true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored and you have entered into their labor.” – John 4:35-38.
For the Love of God
Many may ask, “How can a loving God send people to hell?” But isn’t this question backwards? Shouldn’t we rather ask, “Why should a Holy God allow anyone into His Holy and Perfect Heaven?” There are many news stories daily, and even stories which don’t make it into the media, but which are just as newsworthy – though personal and private in someone’s life: the death of a child, a son, a daughter, a brother, sister, mother or father; the death of a friend, a neighbour, or even complete strangers.
In the second instalment of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Two Towers, King Theoden says, “No parent should have to bury their child.” For any parent this statement resonates; but how much more so will the equivalent statement resonate, should your child reject God, reject Jesus, reject the Gospel? Shouldn’t all children make it to heaven? In many ways I think so, but at what point does a child become accountable to God? How young is too young/old for a child to be rejected by God? When does a child have sufficient knowledge, intellect and wisdom to make an eternal decision – rather than just regurgitating the views of their parents or teachers?
ChristianNews.net reported a story, on 5 November 2014, about a video which has gone viral on the internet in which a “little girl with pigtails screaming at a street preacher to ‘shut up’ as she relentlessly mocked him and his message of redemption through Jesus Christ” 24 The incident took place in America’s “witch city”, Salem, Massachusetts (which is notorious for its 1690s Salem Witch Trials) on the lead up to Halloween, with the girl’s mother “standing in the background, laughing and smiling as if she was proud her child was mocking.”
For the wicked boasts of his heart’s desire, And the greedy man curses and spurns the LORD. The wicked, in the haughtiness of his countenance, does not seek Him. All his thoughts are, “There is no God.” – Psalm 10:3-4
Indeed, if a man should live many years, let him rejoice in them all, and let him remember the days of darkness, for they will be many. Everything that is to come will be futility. Rejoice, young man, during your childhood, and let your heart be pleasant during the days of young manhood. And follow the impulses of your heart and the desires of your eyes. Yet know that God will bring you to judgment for all these things. So, remove grief and anger from your heart and put away pain from your body, because childhood and the prime of life are fleeting. – Ecclesiastes 11:8-10.
This life is a vapour ... it’s here and then it’s gone. The older you live, the shorter life is; you realise how fleeting life truly is. Throughout our lives we will experience loss – but hopefully not the loss of a child. Consider now the Gospel and what God has done for us. How much more loss and grief must God feel for the multitude, both young and old, who reject Him – especially in light God’s great expression of love.
“For God so (Gr. Houtos – “in this way”) loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. – John 3:16.