Global tensions are mounting—that is not news. Political chaos abounds, especially among Tier 1 nations jostling for supremacy—that is not news. Downward spiraling moral and economic situations are the norm with anarchy given as one solution—that is not news either. Even public radio newscasters and talk show hosts discuss these things and joke about them, too. Plus Hollywood dramatizes and glorifies Armageddon! What do they know about that?
How will the problems get “fixed”? They will not—for them! Nations, especially Israel, will seek a ruler to “fix” their problems. A global leader, the Son of perdition who will oppose and exalt himself above God and all that is worshiped as God, will emerge onto world scenes claiming to “fix” these problems. But he will not fix them either. The Bible teaches this event with uncompromising clarity. It is no tale.
In most ways, the problem is theirs, not ours, as we are sons and daughters of Jehovah Almighty. When this leader will emerge on the scenes of planet earth to “fix” the problems, we cannot precisely know; but it is true anyhow—the Bible says so, and that is enough.
What can the righteous do?
Let’s renew our commitment to strengthen the things that remain. We need each other. We need the insights of others. Let’s continue inviting loyal opposition among us. That has been one of our PMC goals since its formation. What it means practically is that when ideas are based on diligent Bible study, comparing Scripture with Scripture, looking at Scriptures factually and honestly, and are flowing from personal conviction; profitable discussions are welcomed even where there are differences. Then if we still disagree we love each other anyway. Now is no time to compromise or relinquish the saving beauty of that Christian grace.
Let’s sharpen understanding of the Holy Scriptures. “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend” (Pr 27:17), meaning that people can help each other. However, this “sharpening” will only happen when both have diligently studied the Word and use the things they learn to develop personal faith and understanding. It does not mean that people always agree, but it does mean that this way is the only way to “sharpen” each other spiritually. Otherwise, brotherhoods are divided instead of “sharpened." Countenances turn angry toward each other rather than brightened toward each other. Factions develop in the church. Cliques form. Communication narrows and deep truths are evaded. Spiritual life falters and wanes. Church culture develops which calls for strict authoritarian foundations to keep it stable. People tend to "go out" with a bitterness of heart for more liberality and “spirituality," yet void of personal conviction which results in carefulness and holiness of life. A form without power is developed, professing godliness but denying the power thereof.
Through healthy discussions which “sharpen” each other, we can understand the hearts of each other. We can know the proper time for encouragement or admonition. Not only that—encouragement and admonition will flourish. The desert of unhealthy communication all around us will bloom into strength, and it will entrench and protect our faith to prevail for what lies ahead. Now would be a poor time to fail on this beautiful Christian grace. Don’t you agree?
Let’s renew study and diligence concerning the Word of God in what is known as "the prophetic scriptures." Life is real, but one day we will all meet God. He has recorded all things in his Holy preserved Word for us to study. It is the Almighty God who sets the times and seasons. It is He who sent His only begotten Son to die for us and who will also end what He has begun. The whole Word of God must be studied and discerned and rightly divided. It is profitable for doctrine, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness. Yes, the church according to the Word and His Holy Spirit uses the New Testament for its foundations of faith and life practice. Thus, the whole Word of God must be rightly divided. Each Christian, to be faithful, will be diligent in studying and applying the rightly divided Word of God to his life. It will be His instruction in righteousness. As a conference of churches, we neither forbid the pre-millennial nor the a-millennial interpretation of the Holy Scriptures. We even welcome kind and open communication concerning it, based upon true diligent personal Bible study and conviction. The true Christian hungers and thirsts after righteousness. We believe this includes what God wants us to discern and know about end-times. The more predominant interpretation in our churches has historically been founded on the pre-millennial interpretation of end-time events. Many of us believe it purifies the heart unto the coming again of Jesus. That is one reason why many of us believe that way. Is now not the wrong time to wane teaching and diligent study of the end of the age. Eternity is too important to do that—not?
Let’s expect preaching and teaching on the times of the end. Why should we ignore it now? The world is not ignoring it. They are seeking someone to “fix” the problem. Preaching concerning end-time events is appropriate and should be expected as God lays it on the heart of our preachers and teachers to expound it. It is an integral part of the Word and healthy church life, though we might have some difference concerning the details. Let’s re-embrace the prophetic Word of the Lord. Let’s welcome spiritual questions concerning it. Let’s encourage personal study with personal convictions and beliefs that might come to faith from that study.
Let’s not “shun to declare . . . all the counsel of God” (Acts 20:27 ).
Let’s “look up” (Luke 21:28), not down.