Where can you find words to describe today's world? Problems bubble, seethe and then explode in every corner, in every direction. Where are the phrases to capture the feeling of the massive megaproblems that have pushed us to the brink of annihilation? Where are the principles that will guide us even to see in their awesome scope, if not to solve, the crises which cause us to consider cosmoscide? Where in the world can we find words to express the turmoil, frustration and despair we feel as we see the burden of the future descend on us with a crescendo of problems which grows even faster than the exploding world population?
Newly coined words area dime a dozen. Rhetoric repeats itself with historic boredom. Political promises, the always bright, new manna for the day, breed worms and stink even before the sun goes down! Parish pastors peep and mutter inane and hypocritical soothing sayings like, "The good in human nature will prevail. Peace, brother, peace — " when there is no peace! Sober scientists search for words to sound the alarm they feel when they view the devastating statistics of overkill potential in the hands of the nuclear club of nations, the sinister statistics of world population totally eclipsing food production, the fearsome potential of new scientific discoveries in fields like genetic engineering, the menace of newly invented Buck Rogers weaponry, the threat to world ecology posed by our burgeoning industrial output.
The Crisis of Crises The subhead above is not mine. borrowed it from a renowned scientist, John Platt, research biophysicist and associate director of the Mental Health Research Institute at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, who was writing for Science magazine in its November 28, 1969, edition, page 1116. Permit me to quote a few more phrases from his article, "What We Must Do."
The principles, phrases and word choice of this seriously concerned, if not shaken and alarmed scientist are reminiscent of my favorite Book. This man shares my alarm at apparent human lethargy in the face of present and coming catastrophic crises. And the same alarm is sounded with living, modern, up-to-the-second-yet old, in the sense that they are eternal-words, phrases and principles of my favorite Book!
"A few years ago, Leo Szilard estimated the 'half-life' of the human race with respect to nuclear escalation as being between 10 and 20 years. I think this multiplication of domestic and international crises today will shorten that short half-life. In the continued absence of better ways of heading off these multiple crises, our half-life may no longer be 10 to 20 years, but more like 5 to 10 years, or less.... The time is short.... The time is horribly short."
We've been lucky enough to survive longer than Platt thought we would — but this only brings us closer to the culmination he projected.
The Crisis at the End That subhead above is not mine either. I borrowed it from the pages of my favorite Book: "And now, O Daniel, keep all this a close secret and keep the book shut as a secret, till the crisis at the end" (Daniel 12:4, Moffatt translation). Daniel goes on to say, "I heard this, but I did not understand it. So I asked, 'O my lord, what is to be the last phase before the end?' But he said, 'Ask no more, Daniel, for the revelation is to be kept secret and close, till the crisis at the close" (verses 8-9).
The whole book of Daniel deals with world government. Daniel had received information about all the world governments which would rule the earth between his time and the time when God would set up His government on earth. Naturally Daniel wanted to know how long this was going to take, and what were some of the things that were going to happen just before God's intervention so he could watch for those telltale signs indicating the imminent coming of God's Kingdom.
God knew it would be a long time yet, and so Daniel would not be frustrated, He told him to "forget it." But He also commanded Daniel to write down the details he had been shown, because they would be of use to people like Daniel just before and during "the crisis at the close." So despite the fact that these words of the Bible are "ancient," they hold the key to the riddle of today's world. They answer the seemingly unanswerable questions that plague statesmen and scientists alike in the "crisis at the end."
The simple warnings of God's Word tell it like it is. There was no need of preserving endless place names. God didn't need to list the wars that would quickly culminate in the war to destroy all mankind that we all see on the horizon. God didn't need to perpetuate meaningless words like Korean police action, Vietnamization, Cambodianization, or whatever may be next. He didn't need to coin phrases like cold war, guerrilla war, war of nerves, coup d'etat, etc., ad infinitum. All our Creator needed to do to inform thinking and reasonable men in time to make proper preparation was to cause to be written and preserved these simple statements: "You will hear of wars and rumours of wars.... there will be sore misery then, such as has never been, from the beginning of the world till now — no and never shall be. Had not those days been cut short, not a soul would be saved alive..."! (Matt. 24:6, 21, 22, Moffatt.)
Those words plainly tell us in succinct form what to watch for in the daily headlines just before the end (that's the end of the present society, man's governments, by the way, and not the end of the earth, as scoffers would like to believe the Bible teaches). What's more important, these words are comforting! Comforting because they add the good news of what God has in store beyond the scope of mere human sight. They add the sure word of hope in an age of hopelessness. Read those words!
The Word for Today: Bad When you see all these problems exploding around you, God's advice in modern language is, "Don't get shook!" "See and do not be alarmed. These [things] have to come, but it is not the end yet" (Matt. 24:6). God knew things were going to be the way they are today. God knew mankind would not be able to find solutions to his — multiple problems. God knew human beings would escalate their troubles to the point of human extinction. Now mankind is beginning to see the picture. Mankind sees all the problems, but none who see the problems well are very enthusiastic about the possibility of solving them. Scientists readily admit they do not now have the answers. Politicians certainly don't have the answers (they are a big part of the problem!). Priests and clerics sit mumbling at the bottom of an abyss where the world has thrown them and their dead god. (Read about that in Isaiah 26:12-14.) Educators are fighting for their own lives — they have no answers; their future looks black! Industry in its greed is creating a major portion of the problems, is reluctant to reform, has no real answers. The financial world is busy digging its own grave — no answers there.
The Word for Tomorrow: Good But God says things are not going to end the way mankind predicts! God says He knows mankind has the power to blow himself off the face of the earth, but God insists by His right as Creator and. Ruler that He will not allow things to go quite that far — He plans to stop the world and get on!
Believe it or not, God loves us in spite of all our faults. In fact, He loves us more than we love ourselves, and He is not going to allow us to destroy ourselves! (John 3:16, Romans 5:8, Matthew 24:22.) Those are the words for tomorrow, plus whole chapters, whole books that outline in detail God's good news for tomorrow's world!
The Word for Today But back to today — that's what the article's about. The Bible can provide you advance notice about next week's headlines, next month's and next year's! It's more than modern. It's beyond up to date! It's past present!
If you get busy and read the Book, you'll be able to anticipate world events.
And more important, you'll learn how God in that same Word has provided the principles which will enable you to live through those events and participate actively in the good news beyond! When you pick up your daily newspaper, your weekly news magazine, when you watch TV news (or programs), you'll be able to say, "I read it first in the Bible!" These are some areas for you to prove the point, to practice with, to get excited about.
And remember God's comforting advice about today's news: "Don't get shook!" Today's news is bad, and bound to get worse! But as you read more of the Book you'll see more of the good news beyond today's bad news.
Does "Don't get shook!" mean we should take today's bad news and the horrors yet to come with a shrug of the shoulders? No! Does that mean we shouldn't be alarmed into action? No! Does that mean we should not begin to make personal changes, because God is going to do it all? No, no, no! It simply means that as you begin to see God's plan for the future, you don't have to face it with all the frustration that accompanies the ignorance of the unknown that mankind alone, without God, must face. It means you can have hope beyond the horrible terror man predicts for the world's future. It means you will want to join us in getting this good message to a dying world!
A few samples:
Read Isaiah chapter three. Go to your local library and read the same chapter in several modern translations of the Bible. Then read your daily newspaper and see if you can find any resemblance between the two!
God warns us in many places that in the time frame just before Christ's return, conditions in society would be a blatant, unblushing, even proud duplication of those of Sodom and Gomorrah just before He wiped them out! Read Genesis 18, 19; Jeremiah 6:13-16 and Luke 17:28-30. Then pick up your local paper and read through the advertisement pages for the movies, or go to the local drugstore and look at the books and magazines for sale, or just look at the people passing by on the street and see if God's Bible is the Word for today or not! (Read our free booklet Are We Living In the Last Days?)
The time is now, that time Daniel sealed up his Book for, the time to unseal and understand with God's help what not even Daniel in his day could understand!
That's enough for one day. Pleasant, or at least exciting, reading to you. If any questions come to your mind which you can't answer for yourself, just drop us a line. We'd be glad to help — we've read the Book before! We read the Book every day! And, remember: You read it first in the Book, the Bible! That's the Word for today!