Live for the Present, not the End

I used to be fascinated by the end of the world, the apocalypse, the end of days, whatever name you want to call it. I’ve poured over Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 24 (which is also found in Luke 21 and Mark 13); the Book of Revelation, and scoured the prophets as well. I read the first twelve books of the left behind series, anticipated the four blood moons of 2014-2015, sneered at the date setting, and I was an avid watcher of end times teachers. For good measure, I tried to see how current events such as 9/11, the War on Terror, the rise of ISIS and certain world leaders fit into the prophetic timeline.

What I’ve learned: waiting for the end only hampers living in the present. As a Christian I know Jesus and other New Testament writers told us to watch for the signs, but I believe we should be more diligent in teaching and showing God’s grace to the world around us. Don’t let this present moment pass you by as you wait for a heaven that’s a lifetime away.

Apocalyptic teaching, of course is not unique to Christianity, as many religions, cults, sects, and cultures modern and ancient have anticipated some cosmic cataclysm to generate rebirth or to rewrite the wrongs and social ills of their respective societies. In an age of scientific understanding we know that eclipses, meteors, planetary alignments, earthquakes, tsunamis, and so on are all naturally occurring phenomena. In the past ages that had little or no scientific understanding, such events were attributed to the judgment of God or the gods upon society. Since many of our religions are based on these ancient texts and modes of thinking, we as a society still have these thoughts in a technologically advanced Twenty-First Century.

I believe we must take a more reasoned and logical approach in understanding the world around us. I’m not putting down anyone’s beliefs or discounting any sacred teaching, I’m just advocating that while we are “waiting for the end,” we make our current world the best it can be. A prime example is that we cannot trash our planet in the hopes of living on Mars or Jupiter, as those ideas may remain the dreams of science fiction.

As a church, we cannot find ourselves again on the wrong side of history when it comes to such things as civil rights, taking care of the less fortunate, the environment, and being the light of the world as Jesus said we should be. We have real issues that we must address. I have said in many blog posts before, I have no particular political affiliation-I’m not a Republican, Democrat, Libertarian or anything like that. However, within the last forty years or so, many American Evangelical Christians have aligned themselves with political parties  who are against many of Jesus’ teachings- taking care of the sick, giving to the poor, elevating the status of women, recognizing those who have a different perceived social status, and just simply showing compassion to your fellow man, woman, and child. Many oppose how their tax dollars are spent, especially when it comes to social programs such as welfare, Obamacare, and other programs, yet fail to realize that the government has simply stepped in to fill the leadership void because a large majority of the church has been waiting for the imminent end of the world.

Let’s put aside the religious and political hostility and examine what is in our own hearts, casting the judgment on ourselves and not on our neighbors. To paraphrase Jesus, we have to stop picking the sawdust out of everyone’s eyes while we walk around with a two-by-four stuck  in our eyes. Let us love those who are different than us and step outside of our comfort zone. Two thousand years or more have passed since the end time discourses. I know the counter arguments about how the world had to catch up to God’s vision or  God’s measurement of time is different than ours, but we can find reason to rejoice in the present. We still have time to show love to our neighbors and try to have a little heaven on earth.

Advertisements

Filling the Leadership Vacuum

As I write this, the United States is weeks away from a presidential election. Like American politics in the Twenty-First Century, the race has been divisive, polarizing, uncivil, filled with countless accusations, and lacking in character depth and substance when it comes to putting forth solutions to solve our country’s  problems.

I have no political agenda here. I consider myself apolitical- I am not Republican, Democrat, liberal, conservative, or any other label that can be placed on a person’s political views. My principles are guided by my faith, family values, and my life experiences. The current political environment has created a segment of the population that is discouraged and apathetic toward what is happening with the presidential race. Poll after poll shows the lack of support and dissatisfaction Americans have for their government. It also seems as if reason and moderate discussion no longer apply to politics because the extreme ideologies have seized both political parties and people in general.

Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vison, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” (KJV).

When leaders fail to lead or if their principles are negotiable, the entire nation suffers. Historically, as a nation’s leaders go, so go the people. This is true in the current case of the United States, ancient Rome, or even ancient Israel. Just as the Bible says that bad company corrupts good character, so too does lawlessness among leaders creates lawlessness among the people. When leadership is wanting in government, you could also more than likely believe that leadership is lacking in the home, in the church, and in the workplace. This creates a vacuum, where people try to fill in the gaps for themselves and do what is “right in their own eyes.” And as a result, standards and ethics disappear.

In the Old Testament, God frequently rebukes kings, priests, false prophets, and the peoples of Israel and Judah for their continued disobedience and lawlessness. One such instance can be found in Ezekiel 22, where God specifically rebukes the priests, princes, and prophets.

God makes a direct correlation between the behavior and disobedience of Israel’s leaders to the behavior of its people:

“The people of the land have used oppressions, committed robbery, and mistreated the poor and needy; and they wrongfully oppress the stranger. So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one. Therefore I have poured out my indignation on them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath; and I have recompensed their deeds on their own heads,’ says the Lord God.” (Ezekiel 22:29-31, NKJV).

God searched the land and found no one to be a person of principle and lead. What a sad commentary on Israel’s spiritual affairs. The United States finds itself in the same situation as our elections have devolved from the best person for the job to trying to discern the lesser of two evils.

However, the responsibility does not lie solely on the government. All of us must take action and display leadership in our lives- reach out to those who need a hand up. The problems facing our society- racism, discrimination, oppression, addiction, crime, marginalization, isolation are all matters of the heart. It is impossible for one election or one candidate to fix society’s ills. We must look within and examine ourselves. What can we do? Are we willing to stand in the gap for our loved ones? Are we willing to draw the proverbial line in the sand of our beliefs and morals and stand our ground? Are we willing to be a voice for those who cannot speak? Are we willing to be our brother’s keeper? I believe as we take leadership of our own lives, not only will our lives improve, but so will our nation. God bless you.

 

Do Not Dwell on the Former Things

Nostalgia is a double-edged sword. While we can look back fondly on childhood memories and the “good ol’ days” in general, nostalgia often clouds our judgment of past events and can be exploited by others. In the United States, politicians and political movements rise because of nostalgia. In a world of increasing technological, social, and political change, these politicians play upon the fears of people, speaking in general terms of how if elected, the country will go back to a simpler time, before all of these changes happened. In essence, they will turn back the clock twenty, thirty, forty, or fifty years.

Nostalgia is also big business. One of the constant complaints about Hollywood is “They’ve run out of ideas. It’s all sequels, reboots, and comic book movies.” Of course, not every film will be financially successful, but marketers know that if there is a built-in audience for a movie, that audience will go see it and maybe bring along the next generation. It becomes a vicious circle when audiences reject movies with new and different themes or stories, so Hollywood then has to go back to what makes money. For me personally I too am film nostalgic, as I grew up in the late 1970s/1980s and watched the original Star Wars trilogy over and over. To this day, I can almost quote the movies word for word and I look forward to the new movies in the upcoming years.

If we are not careful, we can fall victim to a “spiritual nostalgia,” where we long for our days before Christ. I know in my personal life the circumstances that brought me to Christ seem less daunting today than what I have gone through with Christ. I do not long to go back to a time when Christ was not in my life. If you are honest with yourself, was high school really that great? Do you really want to go back to the days of brokenness, pain, addiction, hopelessness, and frustration? Probably not. In your “BC” days, you were comfortable in your slavery to sin. Satan had you where he wanted you.

The Israelites complained about how they had it better in Egypt, they had food and water, and how Moses led them out to the desert to die. While the Israelites complained about their current situation, their nostalgia glossed over the fact they were slaves back in Egypt. For over 400 years, the Israelites and their ancestors broke their bodies building monuments of Egypt’s power and glory. Everyday served as a reminder of “We’re great, you’re slaves.” Why would they want to go back to that? Keep in mind that these are the same people who crossed the Red Sea. We must not allow nostalgia for the past to override the present moment. Even in your days before Christ, God’s prevenient grace allowed you to get through the hard times and you will get through this. Once we have crossed our Red Sea, there is no going back to Egypt.

The Apostle Peter fell prey to spiritual nostalgia. John 21 tells the story about how Peter decided to go fishing. Some of the other disciples joined Peter. Keep in mind that this event occurs after Jesus’ resurrection and previous appearances to the disciples. The Bible does not give us details about Peter’s inner dialogue, but maybe it went something like this:

This whole thing with Jesus was nice while it lasted. I left my livelihood and gave up three years of my life to follow Him. What am I supposed to do now? I failed. I failed miserably. I denied Him just like He said I would. One time He even told me ‘Get behind me, Satan!’ Maybe I’m not cut out for this whole ministry thing. I’ll go back to being a fisherman. If nothing else, I know how to fish.

However, Peter had an encounter with Jesus and his life and the world has not been the same since. Just weeks after seemingly giving up, the Holy Spirit empowered Peter to preach a sermon that led to 3,000 people to Christ. Peter was also the first apostle to share the Gospel with the Gentiles.

As Christians and as the Church, we must understand that while God is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, He also does not want to get caught up in the religious bondage of man’s past traditions. We must be spiritually attuned to God’s voice and what He wants to do today. God’s methods may change, just as Jesus did not always heal people or raise people from the dead the same way every time.

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:18-19, NIV).

As we go forward with God, let us not long for the past nor fear the future at the expense of the current moment. Let us be mindful and present as to what God is saying to us now. God bless you all.

Is this the start of Gog and Magog?

As of this writing, tensions have been high between Russia, Turkey, and Turkey’s NATO allies after Turkey earlier this week shot down a Russian fighter jet near the Syrian-Turkey border. Turkey’s government claimed that the Russian jet violated their air space and Russia claimed the plane was in Syria. This incident comes on the heels of a Russian commercial airliner being blown up over Egypt, with ISIS being suspected in the attack. Russia has also stepped up its involvement in battling ISIS in Syria. As I have watched various news reports on these incidents, the thought crossed my mind: Is the stage being set for the Battle of Gog and Magog as prophesied in Ezekiel chapters 38-39?

Before we proceed further, let me state that I am neither a biblical scholar nor an expert on Bible prophecy, I am simply trying to study current events and where they may fit into the Biblical narrative.

All of the nations listed in Ezekiel 38-39- Magog, Meshech, Tubal, Persia, Ethiopia, Libya, Gomer, Togarmah, Sheba, Dedan. Tarshish, and Israel- are all 21st Century nations, but many go by different names, which will be explained shortly.  To understand the names in the biblical context of Ezekiel 38-39, we must go back to “The Table of Nations” listed in Genesis chapter 10. After the Flood, Noah’s three sons- Shem. Ham, and Japheth and their descendants repopulated the earth. The following is a listing of the descendants, the nations they started and the modern day names of these nations.

“The sons of Japheth: Gomer (modern day Ukraine), and Magog (modern day Russia), and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, (modern day Turkey), and Meshech (modern day Turkey), and Tiras.” (Genesis 10:2, KJV, emphasis and parenthesis mine).

“And the sons of Gomer: Askenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah (modern day Turkey).” (Genesis 10:3, KJV, emphasis and parenthesis mine).

“And the sons of Javan; Elishah, and Tarshish (modern day Tunisia), Kittim, and Dodanim.” (Genesis 10:4, KJV, emphasis and parenthesis mine).

“And the sons of Ham: Cush (the biblical name of Ethipoia, which could include an alliance of modern day Ethiopia, Sudan, and Somalia), and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan. And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, and Sabtechah: and the sons of Raamah: Sheba (modern day Saudi Arabia), and Dedan (modern day Saudi Arabia).” (Genesis 10:6-7, KJV, emphasis and parenthesis mine).

Of course Iran is the modern name for Persia. Lybia and Israel are also involved in this war. Ezekiel’s prophecy is directed against Gog, the leader of Magog:

“Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, And say ‘Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armor, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords: Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.’” (Ezekiel 38:2-6, KJV).

Keep in mind that Ezekiel prophesied during the time of the Babylonian invasion and subsequent exile of Israel in the 6th Century BC and immediate proceeds Ezekiel’s prophecy about the dry bones and the restoration of Israel in chapter 37. Thus, this battle did not take place during the time our Bible was being written, nor is it about the Persians, Greeks, and Romans, but the Bible states specifically that this will be a war in the Last Days, after the restoration of Israel as a nation, which took place in 1948.

“After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.” (Ezekiel 38:8, KJV).

Ezekiel goes on to describe the vastness of the army as “coming in like a storm” and covering the “land like a cloud” (Ezekiel 38:9). Modern day Russia and an alliance of these Arab nations certainly have the resources to amass such a great army.

The battle of Gog and Magog is also mentioned in Revelation 20:8, after Satan is loosed from his thousand year imprisonment, “And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.” (KJV).

It is clear from the actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin that he has ambitions to increase Russia’s influence in the Middle East, having a long standing alliance with Iran and taking on ISIS in Syria. Also, remember Russia annexed Ukraine in 2014. Russia supplies the vast majority of oil to Europe, if it gains influence and military strength in the Middle East, could it also seize Saudi Arabia’s oil supply? Going back to 2011, governments of Tunisia and Libya were overthrown as Islamic extremist seized power. Going back as far as the early to mid-1990s, there have been tremendous atrocities committed against the people of Somalia and Sudan, and humanitarian crises in Ethiopia, which form the biblical land of Cush. Will all of these nations be invaded and defeated by Russia or will these nations willingly fight with Russia as they plan to invade Israel?

Ezekiel 38-39 states that God will defeat Gog and his military alliance as they try to Invade Israel. With the sheer scope of bloodshed and weaponry listed, only our modern devices of war could achieve such a horrendous scene as described in the Bible. I encourage you to read Ezekiel 37-39 for yourselves and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you. Please search out the Scriptures for yourselves and never rely on someone else’s interpretation of the Bible. Please be aware of the times and seasons and watch for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Grace and peace to all of you.

A Christian’s Civic Duty

As the United States has entered into another presidential election cycle, there will be numerous debates and even more numerous polls about how the candidates rank with potential voters. The last 35-40 years in the U.S. has seen the rise of a voting bloc known as “Evangelical Christians,” that has played crucial roles in elections. Many leaders of the Evangelical Christian movement have been prominent televangelists, pastors, and other leaders who have spoken out against such issues as abortion, same sex marriage, and reclaiming America’s Christian heritage. The purpose of this post is not to debate political issues, but will examine a Christian’s civic duty in a political culture hostile to Christianity.

An Understanding of Authority

Everyone is under some kind of authority. Of course, for Christians, God is our ultimate authority. As a child, you were under the authority of your parents and teachers. If you have a job, you are under the authority of your supervisor. As citizens of the respective countries we live in, we are under the laws that govern our nations. To rebel against any kind of authority can bring serious short-term and long-term consequences. The Bible makes it very clear that all authority comes from God and serves His purposes.

 “Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men- as free, yet not using your liberty as a cloak for vice, but as servants of God. Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.” (1 Peter 2:13-17, NKJV).

The Apostle Paul goes even further to explain the importance of submitting to authority.

  “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’s sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing.” (Romans 13:1-6, NKJV).

Jesus was asked about whether or not people should pay taxes to Rome. Jesus’ response was: “’Show me a denarius. Whose image and inscription does it have? They answered and said, Caesar’s.  And He said to them, Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s.’” (Luke 20:24-25, NKJV).

At this point you may be asking, “Well, yes, I understand, but what if my government is corrupt and promotes evil?” Consider the context in which the New Testament was written. All of the books in the New Testament were written approximately mid-to-late First Century, the time of the Roman Empire. Rome, according to secular history, was morally corrupt and its citizens and emperors engaged of lifestyles of hedonism and decadence. Where Christians ran afoul with the Roman government was in their refusal to worship the emperor as God because we serve the one and only God. If a government forces you to personally renounce your faith in Christ and pledge allegiance to an idol or leader, then yes, stand up and declare the word, just as Peter and John did when they were brought before the Council and forbidden from preaching in Jesus’s name (see Acts 4:1-31).

History is in God’s hands

God’s ways and thoughts are higher than our ways and thoughts (Isaiah 55:9), so we will never fully understand His purposes, which includes who is appointed or elected to political office.  As Christians, we must remind ourselves of God’s sovereignty and that He is directing the events of history and the affairs of man. Though you may disagree with a political leader or a ruling of a court, remember God has appointed these leaders for His higher purposes.

 “Daniel answered and said: ‘Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for wisdom and might are His. And He changes the times and seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.’”(Daniel 2:20-21, NKJV).

“But God is the Judge: He puts down one, and exalts another.” (Psalm 75:7, NKJV).

“He leads counselors away plundered, and makes fools of the judges. He loosens the bonds of kings, and binds their waist with a belt. He leads princes away plundered, and overthrows the mighty…He makes nations great, and destroys them; He enlarges nations, and guides them.” (Job 12:17-19, 23, NKJV).

Christians must stop fighting the culture wars

As we are living in the End Times, the Bible reminds us that society will grow more and more evil and corrupt (1 Timothy 4:1; 2 Timothy 3:1-5). The Church and Christians will face persecution in this world as Jesus taught because we are not of the world. Our home and citizenship is in heaven and we are pilgrims and nomads passing through this life. Jesus stated that we are sent out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Our purpose as Christians is to declare the Word of God and to make disciples. If we are to declare the Word, we must not engage in senseless debates with the culture, which only brings further division, but we must proclaim Christ.

 “Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather train yourself to be godly.” (1 Timothy 4:7, NIV).

“Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.” (2 Timothy 2:23-26, NIV).

We must live our lives as an example of Christ. Jesus faced opposition from both the Roman government and the religious leaders of His day, yet on the cross forgave His enemies and died for them the same as He died for you and me. The Church must not take sides in a political debate, but we must show the love of Christ. We must pray for our political leaders and for all of those in our lives who do not know Christ. The sins of the world are no different than our sins. We must not speak judgment and condemnation atop from our self-righteous perches, but we must step down and walk beside those who do not know Christ to show them the way of salvation.

The Rulers of Darkness

Politics is a divisive issue in our world. Regular people and politicians alike take extreme viewpoints on the issues with seemingly no middle ground. Just a cursory scroll through your social media accounts can reveal the political stances of your family, friends, and followers. Behind every political party and political issue lies an agenda of a particular group of people. Though people speak out for and against the visible people of the political causes- elected officials, activists, celebrities, protestors, etc., do you consider who is really “pulling the strings” behind the scenes?

Luke chapter 4 (also Matthew chapter 4) tells the story of Jesus’ temptation by Satan. It is the second temptation that will be discussed.

“Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, ‘All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I will give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.’ And Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve.’” (Luke 4:5-8, NKJV).

Notice when the devil, speaking of the authority of the world’s governments said, “for this has been delivered to me,” Jesus did not correct him, but rebuked Satan when he demanded to be worshipped. When people and governments choose not to live under God’s authority and Word, they give Satan the right to rule in their lives, whether it is through habitual sin or flat-out worship of the devil. When this happens, the door is open to rampant immorality and open rebellion to God’s Word.

In 1 Samuel chapter 8, Israel rejects Samuel’s leadership and asks for a king to rule over them. Samuel goes to the Lord about Israel’s request and the Lord informs him that the people are not rejecting Samuel’s leadership, but God’s leadership. However, God sends Samuel back with a warning to the people concerning a king- their children would be enlisted in the king’s service, their property would be seized, and the people would face heavy taxes.

When Jesus went to the cross, died and was resurrected, the penalty was not only paid for our sins and the whole of humanity, but judgment was also pronounced on Satan and his kingdoms. Though Satan’s final judgment will be carried out after the millennial reign of Christ, he still has influence over the world’s system of government. Several times throughout the Gospel of John, Jesus refers to Satan as “the prince of this world.”

“Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. (John 12:31-32, KJV).

“Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in Me.” (John 14:30, KJV).

“Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.” (John 16:11, KJV).

The Apostle Paul also spoke of Satan’s influence in the world’s system. “But if our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, who is the image of God should shine unto them.” (2 Corinthians 4:3-4, KJV).

Paul spoke concerning of the past lives of the believers at Ephesus and the spirit at work in the world: “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.” (Ephesians 2:2, KJV).

As Christians we live in the world, but are not of the world. Christians must be mindful that the battle is not against other people or against political leaders, but against evil spiritual forces.

“Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:11-12, KJV).

The prophet Daniel had such an encounter with such principalities and powers. Daniel chapter 10 describes how Daniel sought God, praying and fasting for three weeks. Daniel had a vision and was told by an angel that God had heard his prayer on day one, but the angel fought with “prince of the kingdom of Persia” for twenty-one days and defeated the prince with the help of the archangel Michael. (Daniel 10:12-13). This same angel tells Daniel that after the prince of Persia, the prince of Greece will come. (Daniel 10:20). From a study of secular and biblical history, we know that the Persian Empire ceased to be the dominant world empire when it was defeated by Alexander the Great of Greece. The Bible shows us that Satan has influence in both ancient and current world affairs. Revelation 13 speaks of how Satan will give the antichrist the authority to rule.

Though we truly live in perilous times, I believe the world and its governments will grow more and more morally corrupt and will turn away from God even more. As the church of the Living God, we must be mindful of the times and remain steadfast. We must not let our hearts be troubled, no matter what laws are passed or what the courts decide. Satan desires to be worshipped and he will find any means necessary. Persecution will come, but we have overcome the world because Christ has overcome the world. Jesus is coming soon and all things will be made right.

“And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever.’” (Revelation 11:15, KJV).