We live in a time of economic and political turmoil. World peace is threatened by events in the Mideast. Still, there IS a way to be protected!
As NEVER before, our earth is in a crisis! Yet it need not be so! Alvin Tomer, author of Future Shock, warns: "I am under no Pollyannaish illusions. It is scarcely necessary today to elaborate on the real dangers facing us from nuclear annihilation and ecological disaster to racial fanaticism or regional violence. "I have written about these dangers myself in the past, and will no doubt do so again. War, economic debacle, large-scale technological disaster — any of these could alter future history in catastrophic ways" (The Third Wave, page 3). Experts have been warning that having enough to eat will become a major human struggle. The Presidential Commission on World Hunger predicts: "A major crisis of global food supply of even more serious dimensions than the present energy crisis appears likely within the next 20 years." World population is steadily rising. It is outstripping world food production. This doesn't even take into consideration the always present possibility of drought in key agricultural areas. Or political turmoil in Third World countries that regularly reduces badly needed food supplies. Technology, for all its benefits, is bringing us serious side effects. Every known chemical produced has been dumped into our biosphere, changing ecological balances in ways we may only be guessing at now.
Utter Destruction a Real Possibility
Most alarming of all is the massive stockpile and buildup of sophisticated military nuclear weapons now in the hands of man! Six nations clearly have nuclear capability. According to estimates, nine other countries have the immediate ability to make them. By 1985 there will be as many as 35 countries with the technological capabilities to produce nuclear weapons! The ability to bring chaos and utter destruction to this earth is now an alarming reality! Andrei Sakharev, Soviet scientist and social activist, warns us: "The equivalent of 13 billion tons of TNT concentrated into 40,000 — 50,000 thermonuclear and nuclear charges threatens the very existence of mankind or at least of civilization" (Parade, Aug. 16, 1981, "An Appeal," by Andrei Sakharev, page 4).
Arms and Precious Metals
Surviving what's ahead is on people's minds. Survival packets and books are on the market. Survival acres located in remote regions are big sellers. Emergency exiting procedures of large metropolitan areas and even how to build underground nuclear bomb shelters are back in the news. In the United States pocket groups of paramilitary forces are forming around the country, preparing for the inevitable. There are even Christian military organizations, training in hidden, remote areas, stocking arms and supplies, readying for what's to come. A number of financial experts advise clients to buy into precious metals, especially gold and silver. When push comes to shove, they reason, gold and silver may be one of the only reliable currencies available for acquiring needed necessities when times get bad. Superficially, some of these ideas have merit. But can such preparations really provide you protection in a nuclear holocaust? Small paramilitary organizations are no real protection against today's sophisticated army, using nuclear weapons and biological warfare in an all-out war. Hiding in remote mountains, banking on a comparatively small cache of arms and supplies is an elusive hope. Nuclear fallout, contaminating water supplies and causing radiation sicknesses, coupled with rapidly spreading disease epidemics and dwindling, difficult-to-replenish foodstuffs, will eventually take its toll after a major nuclear attack. Escaping cities by autos in an impending nuclear strike is a veritable impossibility. Two or three small "fender benders" during normal work-hour traffic bring roads to snarling, jam-up halts. Can you picture what freeway and road systems would be like when panic-stricken, confused, scared masses of people all try escaping out of a large city and its surrounding communities at the same time? Authorities in one major city estimate that it would take seven days to evacuate its populace. How many would escape with only minutes, possibly just seconds, of advance warning? And if a group of people 500,000 to a million in size did manage somehow to escape a nuclear blast, how would they be fed and taken care of later after such short notice and little time to prepare? And hoarded moneys and gold and silver? Stockpiling money or gold and silver will not provide protection from what's to come. All the wealth in the world can't buy safety. Concerning what is to come, the Bible says: "They shall cast their silver in the streets... their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the Lord..." (Ezek. 7:19).
Warnings Are Serious
The warnings by experts are deadly serious. Those fearing the immediate future have good reason for their fear. We should be warned! This earth is in trouble! What's to come will affect the entire world. Will directly affect you! Our sophisticated, computerized nuclear age has brought us to this point of trouble. Out of control economies, competitive political systems and on-going military buildup, coupled with man's inability to mediate with one another to solve differences, will sooner or later trigger a holocaust from which God and God alone will deliver mankind. We are facing the most momentous happenings ever recorded or that will ever be recorded! And whether you believe it or not, you will be affected! We are living in the biblically prophesied time of the end, the end of man's age. It has been predicted by nearly every generation since Jesus Christ walked this earth. Only now, because of our technology and nuclear capacity has that end of this world's civilization been possible. Jesus warns about this time ahead: "For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved [alive]" (Matt. 24:21-22). It's true, today's economy can level out and temporarily turn up. This has happened throughout the centuries. Hot spots around the world can momentarily cool down. World conditions can from time to time begin to appear calm, hopeful, on the mend, peaceful. But you can be lulled to sleep, too. Don't allow it. Don't sit back in your easy-chair thinking all is right. This is by authority of the Word of Almighty God! This warning is in your Bible. "For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape" (I Thess. 5:3). Jesus said: "And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth" (Luke 21:34-35). Do you understand? When things seem all right — as they will — when it seems as if there is "peace and safety," then comes "sudden destruction"! It's going to be a "snare" to most! But you can have prepared yourself in advance for the only genuine protection there is!
Now Is the Time to Act
It's time now for you to act. It's time now for you to prepare. But how? What should you do? What preparation can you make? Not the preparations discussed earlier. Most of man's preparations will be futile. Man can't protect you. Man is responsible for the very problems besetting this world. It is man's continual departure from God and his spiritual law that has led us to impending world destruction. The prophet Isaiah illustrates this point: "Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness. None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity" (Isa. 59:1-4). And again: "The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace" (verse 8). Man doesn't know how to have peace with himself or with God. Only Almighty God is able to protect you. God has provided a way of escape for those willing to obey him. Do not rely on the hand of man. The first step is to seek God now! No matter who you are, where you are, or what your position in life is, it's time to seek God, before it's too late! "Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near" (Isa. 55:6). God means it. We had better seek him now, because there is a time coming when it will be too late for many to escape the calamities that will end civilization as we know it. Time, safety, peace, present conditions, this life — these don't last forever in this world. There are deadlines. There are finalities. The earthshaking events to come will be delayed only so long.
It Can't Be Done for You
It's you who must seek God — not your spouse, not your relatives, not your friends, not someone else in your stead. The Bible is very clear on this point. All are ultimately accountable to God individually: "For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then everyone of us shall give account of himself to God" (Rom. 14:11-12). Each of us will reap what we sow! "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting" (Gal. 6:7-8). All of us, individually, will ultimately be judged: "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that everyone may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad" (II Cor. 5:10). And concerning physical protection in the here and now, Scripture is plain. "Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it [today's crisis], they should deliver but their own souls [lives] by their righteousness..." (Ezek. 14:14). The most important thing in your life is to seek God. Nothing else is as vital! Not even the physical necessities of food, water, clothes and shelter are as important as seeking the living God! Notice especially Matthew 6:33: "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things [and that includes protection in the day of trouble] shall be added unto you." Begin seeking God now and his involvement in your life. He can see to your needs and your future protection.
Ask God for His Mercy
Not only must you seek God, you must seek God's forgiveness. You have sinned! All have sinned. "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23), says the Bible. And what is the biblical definition of sin? "Sin is the transgression of the law" (I John 3:4, last part). It can't be any plainer than that! You are guilty of breaking God's law. If you've broken even one point of God's law — and you have — you are guilty! "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law" (Jas. 2:10-11). You must obey all of God's law, all Ten Commandments! The penalty of disobeying them, of sinning, is death! "For the wages of sin is death" (Rom. 6:23) — not life in hell fire. God means it! You must ask him for forgiveness for what you've done! God's mercy leads one to repentance. "Repent [change] ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord" (Acts 3:19). It's time for all to repent-to-change-to stop breaking God's law. The apostle Peter wrote: "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (II Pet. 3:9). But how many reading this message are willing to change their way of life, and begin living life as God wants us to, for our own happiness and well-being? You can. You can admit to God your sins. Be willing to acknowledge that you have been wrong, that you have been guilty of breaking God's righteous commandments, his guidelines on how we should have been living. The first four commandments show us how to respect God, and the last six commandments show us how to express love to our neighbors. God is merciful and desirous that we come to a willing, repentant attitude of mind. He wants to forgive. Notice Psalm 103:8-14: "The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger forever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him." You must claim God's mercy by being willing to take the steps Peter admonished all to take: "Repent, and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy [Spirit]" (Acts 2:38).
Establishing Right Living Habits
Not only must you repent — change — stop breaking God's law — you have to establish the habit of obedience to God's way of life. Jesus was once asked what to do to gain eternal life. "Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?" (Mark 10:17, last part). Jesus answered: "Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother" (Mark 10:19). In other words, the basic Christian platform is based on God's Ten Commandments. Any future protection depends on genuine righteousness — which is keeping God's righteous law (see Psalm 119:172). If we again slip up and sin, we can ask forgiveness, and God will forgive: "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world" (I John 2:1-2). And, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (I John 1:9). Our intent and desire must be centered on God's way of life. We must not turn away from that basic attitude. Heed the words of the prophet Ezekiel: "Therefore, thou son of man, say unto the children of thy people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression; as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turneth from his wickedness; neither shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness in the day that he sinneth" (Ezek. 33:12). Christians are to be doers, not just hearers: "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves" (Jas. 1:22). Jesus unequivocally tells us: "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God" (Matt. 4:4). And God's Word is recorded in the pages of the Bible. We're to live by it!
There Is No Other Way
There is no other sure way to prepare for world events. Your future — physical protection and eternal salvation — depends on seeking God and asking his forgiveness. We must come before our Creator with deep, sincere, heartfelt repentance whenever we sin. And we must strive with all diligence to maintain a right attitude and godly life, obeying what we're commanded in the Bible. These steps are simple, but you need God's help. Ask for it. Maybe you have never prayed before. Never mind, now is the time to begin. Seek God. Open the pages of your Bible and get acquainted with the scriptures. Take these steps and God will begin taking special notice of you. Says the Creator of all: "For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the Lord: but to this man [or woman] will I look, even to him [or her] that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word" (Isa. 66:2). Heed this message and the other warnings in the pages of this magazine. You may be counted among those mentioned in the book of Revelation who are promised protection during the momentous times ahead. "Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation [trial], which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth" (Rev. 3:10). That is an absolute promise.