DISCERNING OUR TIMES
Psalms 2:1-12; Acts 4:24-30
What is going on in our world today with all the anger, hatred, serial senseless shootings, random killings, mass murders, suicide bombings, rioting, radical jihad and the loathing and despising of the Name of Jesus and those who follow Him, that is so prevalent throughout the world? There is no nation in the world that has not been affected in some way by these heinous events!
All of this cannot be understood in mere human or political terms but rather in the spiritual terms of the satanic and demonic.
John describes it in Revelation 12:12 as “The devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.”
Jesus explains it in John 8:44 “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.”
But God will have the final say and victory according to Psalm 76:10 “Surely the wrath of man shall praise Thee.”
In a part of the world where much of this is taking place includes ancient Babylon, which is the present general area of Iraq and Iran. Daniel 3 tells us of another time in history where the King of Babylon named Nebuchadnezzar gave the world of his day a radical choice: “Bow down to a golden statue and worship it or face death in the fiery furnace!”
When the brave Hebrew children, Shadrah, Meshach and Abednego were confronted by the king in Daniel 3:15, “Who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?” Their answer according to Daniel 3:16-18 was, “If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace and He will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou has set up.”
According to Daniel 3:19-22, “Full of fury, the king commanded they should heat the furnace seven times more than it was wont to be heated. The furnace was exceeding hot and the flame of the fire slew the men as they cast the three men into the furnace and they fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.”
“The king said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have not hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God. At the bidding of the King, the three men came forth of the midst of the fire and they saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them. Daniel 3: 24-27
“Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the god of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trust in Him, and have changed the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God. For there is no other God that can deliver after this sort.” Daniel 3:28-30
According to this passage in Psalms 2:1-7 we see the answer to the hatred today toward Jesus and us as His followers, “Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth take counsel together, against the Lord, and against His Anointed. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall He speak unto them in His wrath, and vex them in His sore displeasure. I have set my King upon My holy hill of Zion…Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.”
Acts 4:12 states, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” And in John 14: 6, Jesus said, “I am the way the truth and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
The response of the world is stated in Romans 1:28-32 “These people not only love their sins, they fully understand that God’s judgment is against adulterers, fornicators, sexual perversion. And yet they take pleasure in those who do such things. They are haters of God!
Isaiah 42:8-18 tells us the end of this story: “I am the Lord. That is my name and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images. Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare before they spring forth I tell you of them…The Lord shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall stir up jealousy like a man of war: he shall cry, yea, roar; he shall prevail against his enemies. I have long time holden my peace; I have been still, and refrained myself. Now will I cry like a travailing woman; I will destroy and devour at once…And I will bring the blind by the way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them. They shall be turned back, they shall be greatly ashamed, that trust in graven images, that say to the molten images, Ye are our gods. Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye many see.”
I Peter 3:14-16 states, “But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the things in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.”
Acts 4:24-31 concludes by saying, “They lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art god, which hast made heaven and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together, for to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done. And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, by stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of Jesus. And when they had prayed was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.”
|© 2010 New Testament Church|