Time of the End

Time of the End

Scripture: Daniel 12:1-4, Romans 13:11-14, 2 Peter 3:11-12
Is civilization progressing? Did we begin as a tiny germ and advance through an evolutionary process to where we are today? Though there are many advances in science, the last days are coming down upon us quickly. This broadcast looks at the time of the end.
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There is a very popular political theory in the world today that civilization is progressing, becoming stronger and more secure all the time. The idea is, that we have developed from a tiny germ of life through millions and millions of years of evolutionary progression. Although this idea of progression began as a pseudo-scientific theory, it has been advocated also by political leaders in recent times. Actually, the idea is beginning to wane a bit now because of the vast disillusionment with world conditions. It is very apparent now that man will never be able to solve the problems of war and violence.

Who could believe today that things are getting better and better? We see increasing troubles on every side of this old world. Nations are angry with each other. Vast continents are astir with a burgeoning nationalism which demands recognition. We can understand some of the reasons why people are looking for a golden age of peace and prosperity.

Some tremendous changes have taken place in our world the last fifty-years. We must confess that science and technology has advanced with revolutionary stride. Our whole way of life has been completely turned around in fairly recent times. When we are seated behind the wheel of a powerful automobile we can scarcely believe that a hundred years ago there was not a single highway in the world for an automobile to travel on. When we enter our large modern department stores with all their latest appointments we find it impossible to imagine this little country general store of a generation ago.

In some of the large airports of America, sleek airliners are taking to the sky bearing hundreds of passengers -- skimming along almost at the speed of sound. A person can stand in New York City and gaze up at the towering sky-scrapers of concrete and steel. They certainly do give a solid appearance of strength and permanence. They seem to imply that we are living in an age of prosperity and security. Those buildings have been approved as fire-proof and storm-proof. Surely they could never come tumbling down, and yet, friends, they felt the same in London, Berlin and Shanghai before the toll of warfare had destroyed most of their modern structures.

Sitting in a soft arm-chair, watching the figures move and flash on a television set conveys a sense of permanence and progression. But in spite of all these things the end is fast moving in upon us. Inventions will not stop it. Scientific "know-how" will have no effect at all upon the approaching end. These things only make more certain the prophecy of God's word that the last days are already here. In Daniel 12:4 we read, "In the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased."

If we could be taken back 100 years or more we would realize just how much truth this verse actually contains. In 1844 Henry Ellsworth resigned as the head of the United States Patent office because he believed the end of science and invention had come. He did not want to be left without a job when the crash occurred. Since that time we have had almost three million new inventions registered in the U. S. Patent Office.

It's interesting to note friends, that George Washington traveled in almost the identical manner that Nebuchadnezzar did 3,000 years before him. The mode of illumination was the same in the time of Cicero in the ancient Roman Empire as it was in the time of Abraham Lincoln. Tallow candles were used with old oil wicks that spit and sputtered. For nearly 6,000 years the affairs of this world were carried on in almost the same way. Transportation and communication remained on an even keel of speed and facility. Less than 100 years ago the spinning wheel, the wooden wash tub and wash-board characterized the rural homes of America. Clothing was prepared from flax that had been grown, from which thread had been made at home and from which cloth and garments were later prepared.

Since 1800 the world has suddenly awakened out of a deep and mysterious sleep. Why? Not because men became suddenly more brilliant. Sir Isaac Newton was probably one of the greatest scientists this nation has ever produced. Still the age of invention was not born until long after Newton's death. Suddenly life was tremendously revolutionized. The explanation seems to hinge completely upon the word of the Lord to Daniel "in the time of the end knowledge shall be increased." It was a miracle -- nothing less. People suddenly began to go to school. More books magazines and newspapers were published and read. Microscopes were invented -- radium came into prominence. Nuclear science sprang into fantastic motion. Gadgets of all types began to appear on the markets. Moving pictures, radio and television made a tremendous impact on the life of the world. At the same time another remarkable thing occurred. People began to travel for no apparent reason. Thousands started to cross the continent by rail, by train, by ship or plane -- for business or pleasure. There seemed to be no end to the obsession of people to travel.

If through the centuries the angels had been watching for the fulfillment of Bible prophecy, they surely would have been able to say, "Look, there it is, there is the very thing spoken of by God." Some say it was the result of an evolutionary process. But friends, it was not slow or gradual at all, it came about suddenly within the span of a few years. Do we need more proof that we are now living in the time of the end?

In Daniel 12:1 we read, "And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book."

Notice friends, this is the same time spoken of by Daniel in previous scripture -- the time of the end. There will be great trouble in the world when the people of God are delivered, when Jesus comes, when the end of the world takes place. At the same time of great spiritual darkness there will be also great enlightenment as far as science is concerned. It will be an age of contrast, great joy and great misery, great inventions and yet destruction, great knowledge and yet great perplexity, great peace plans but mighty preparations for war at the same time. No, my friends, we must not be mislead by the impression of permanency. Time's last hour will be marked by a false security that will deceive millions of people. Things may look enduring but those same strong-looking institutions will come crumbling down to dust and ashes. All the great empires of history felt secure with their fortified walls and well armed soldiers. But one after another they disappeared from the stage of history.

Incredible as it may seem, the last hour of history is marked by reckless, riotous living on the part of human beings. I just wonder what the angels must think as they look upon the final scenes of this earth's history. Places of amusement are packed, the theaters are overflowing, race tracks are crowded with gamblers. Lawlessness exists on every side, thousands upon thousands are engrossed with the soap operas, and the sexy novels, seeking an artificial outlet from the stern realities of life. Something is desperately needed by the world at this time. That need is described in Romans 13:11-14. "And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof."

Notice friends, that there is no suggestion that nations should unite, or that workers should be organized, or that some new political organization should be set up. The secret is to put on the character of Christ. Real heart-religion is the answer to the world's need right now. The tragedy is that so few seem to comprehend this. According to the proclamations of some scientists and educators, the answer is just ahead for us all. The fact hasn't taken hold that the statesmen and scientists do not have the answer to the world's problems.

Multitudes have swung over their allegiance from God's word to the more materialistic answers that the secularists are giving. Jesus said, "As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the coming of the Son of man." The very imaginations of their heart had become evil continually. We're facing one of the greatest crises now that has ever been known. The antediluvian world before Noah did not face a more serious challenge than the world of today. It's not so much a crisis concerning the atom as it is the problem of man. There's a danger worse than being blown to bits by atomic or hydrogen bombs, and that is the danger of forgetting God. The danger that our religion might become a form. The danger of choosing the world rather than Christ. In II Peter 3:11, 12 we are asked this significant question, "what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hastening unto the coming of the day of God."

Ah, friends, we must put on the character of Christ. We must be willing to proclaim the end of this age and the bringing in of Christ's everlasting kingdom. A flood is coming, a flood of fire and destruction for this world. We must get ready now! Don't forget the counsel of God given to Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 4:27. "Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquility." That was a last appeal of God to a man who was about to fall into the awful punishment of heaven.

In Babylon's palace banquet room the king was conducting a riotous feast. At the height of revelry, a bloodless hand came forth and began to write on the wall; "Thou are weighed in the balances and found wanting."

God warned the nations of the ancient worlds and He is warning us as well in writing upon the wall of our generation. He is telling us to get ready, get ready, get ready for the end is upon us. We dare not pass it by lightly dear friends. In one night the glory of Babylon disappeared. Sudden destruction fell upon that nation which had ruled over the entire world. In the days of Noah, flood waters came very suddenly and unexpectedly. Men were going about their common ordinary business of life when they were overwhelmed by the judgments of God. Sodom and Gomorrah also was conducting business as usual, pleasure was being pursued as it had in every day of the past. But suddenly the curtain was rung down and the cities disappeared into complete destruction and oblivion.

Listen, the hand-writing has been seen by millions. The end of all things is upon us. Will we heed the warnings of the word of God and put on Christ? Will we come back to God, will we get back to His word, to His law? The greatest question of all that faces us, "Are we ready for the end to come?" Do you tremble as you think of it dear friends or does your heart leap with joy? Actually every individual is saved or lost right now. We are in the ark of safety and under the shelter and protection of God, or else we are outside and unprepared for it. May God help us to be ready for that great day that is soon to burst upon this world.

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