A WORLD IN CRISIS
By Tim McIlwrath
Jesus said in Luke 21v25, there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
Today, we are witnessing the unfolding of God’s eternal plan which will culminate in the glorious coming of the Lord Jesus Christ with great power and glory. Brothers and sisters, we are living in the last days, the figurative language which the Lord uses in this verse demonstrates to us the awful events that will unfold as we approach the Lord’s return.
Signs in the sun, moon and in the stars; Matthew in his account gives a little more insight concerning these signs: 24:29 ”...the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven...” What awesome language! This speaks of an hour like none other. A time when darkness will seem to prevail. Our nations are witnessing the rise of lawlessness, homosexuality, anarchy, and God is far from the thoughts of most. It is one thing to witness the events in the world around us, but to see the awful state of the Church is beyond words.
The sun is symbolic of the Glory of God. Jesus is the Glory of God and the church like the moon is to reflect the Glory of God to a lost dark world. When the sun and moon fail to shine, darkness will prevail. These days, the world is in turmoil because the church has failed to declare and proclaim the unsearchable riches of Christ in the power and demonstration of the Holy Ghost. The gospel has been diluted and compromised, the centrality of the cross has been removed, and sinners are no longer confronted with the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died. Churches refuse to preach, “Ye must be born again” Humanistic psychology prevails in most pulpits filling the churches with tares.
The falling of stars again represents the great falling away as found in 2Th 2:3. In this very hour there is the cry from a remnant, like Gideon, “Where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of?” Mature believers weep at the current state of the church, while there is a remnant asking for His Glory to be manifested. The last state of the end time Laodicean church, according to Revelation chapter 3, is one of indifference, neither hot nor cold. Christ is not at the centre, He stands at the door, longing that someone will open, that the King of Glory would come in and clothe the nakedness of that church. Someone will open the door! Christ will come in revival power!
Jesus also says, “Upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity” Distress denotes anxiety of mind—SO INTENSE WILL THE ANXIETY OF THE HOUR BE, so overwhelming, men will be at a loss of how to escape. The hour is upon us! Nations distressed with perplexity. Governments are at a loss, they have forsaken God, and everything on which this world is built upon has begun to fall. Watch it unfold. One economist asked the question on a recent radio broadcast is this THE END OF THE WORLD? Economic ruin, political instability, the so called Arab spring, Great earthquakes, outbreaks of influenza on a pandemic scale, famines, intense anxiety and pressure on the peoples of this world. Some may say this is alarmist or fear mongering, brethren this is scripture. But there is more to come.
THE SEA AND THE WAVES ROAR speaks of the awesome storm that beats on mankind!! The waves rising up, the winds blowing, and the rains battering the house- what an hour, this is the hour that our lives must be sold out for Jesus Christ. If any part of our lives are trusting in the financial, political, or even religious systems of this world, your heart will fail because of fear! However if you and I have abandoned our lives on the rock that cannot be moved, no matter the storm, no matter the waves, we can say with the Psalmist:93:4 The LORD on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea.
What assurance we have in Christ, Paul said in Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Jesus said, Mens’ hearts failing them for fear. The overwhelming sense of FEAR or TERROR will pervade in the atmosphere! The spirit of the age, the god of this world is striking fear into the hearts of humanity. Men will faint, and are fainting. Why? Because of fear, the uncertainty of the hour, not knowing, like blind men groping around in darkness. The things that they witness on the earth will cause men to want to cry out!! Fear has swept over the nation of England, lawlessness prevails, people are at an end, this once great nation, now overrun by rampant lawlessness. It is very difficult to watch, as this once God fearing nation, where church movements were birthed, revivals came, missionaries carried the precious gospel to the four corners of the world, made Great because its foundation was the word of God, and we witness it descend into the depths of darkness. But the end is not yet!
Jesus said, “the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
It is the words of Haggia that the Lord uses, and a closer look, gives the church of Jesus Christ great hope:
Hag 2:6 For thus saith the LORD of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; 7 And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts.8 The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the LORD of hosts.9 The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts.
These words are also found in Hebrews chapter 12:26... but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:29 For our God is a consuming fire.
It is crucial to see from Haggia the prophet, that at the time of a great shaking, of the heavens, the earth, and the sea, that the Lord of Hosts says, I WILL FILL THIS HOUSE WITH GLORY! THE GLORY OF THE LATTER HOUSE SHALL BE GREATER THAN OF THE FORMER, saith the Lord! I believe we are on the verge of more unimaginable worldwide events, shocking the nations of the world, but God will again come to fill His church with His Glory. Brothers and sisters the Church has nothing to fear!
God, not man, nor even the devil, has begun to shake all nations. In the days ahead, further shaking and turmoil are in store for this world, however you and I, like that great night in Egypt, must be shut in with God, covered by the precious blood, longing for the ultimate deliverance of the church! Isaiah 26:20 says: Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.
We stand on the verge of an outpouring of the Holy Ghost, on a remnant who is shut in with God. The Holy Ghost always came to a praying people. From Acts chapter 2, to every recorded outpouring in history you will find, a people who shut the door and entered into the chamber with God. It may only be in twos or three’s that are shut in, but one with God is a majority. Every strategy birthed and conceived at the gates of hell will fail. They shall not prevail against the church of Jesus Christ. Jesus said: “I will build my church!”
Jesus said v27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
Brothers and Sisters - The King is Coming!
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Cor 15:58
Tim McIlwrath is Pastor of Ballynahinch New Testament Pentecostal Church in County Down, Northern Ireland.