1. All the world is in commotion; did you hear? did you see?
Revolutions and excitement on the news on your TV!
War cries sounding from the distance, don’t you hear? don’t you hear?
Forces for the peace engaging, but the peace does not come near.
As you see these signs fulfilling, do not fear, do not fear;
For the Bible speaks of darkness, when salvation draweth near;
Turn to Him and to His promise, you will make no mistake,
For His word will stand forever, when all man’s inventions break.
2. Sickness, virus, epidemics; don’t you feel? don’t you feel?
Medicines cannot control them, and the sickness does not heal.
Droughts, and floods, and storms and fires on the news! on the news!
Stocks are falling, prices rising, try to gain, but still we lose.
3. More and more the earth is trembling: keep awake, and take heed!
Take up the neglected duties, turn your heart to those in need.
Don’t forget the Master’s warning: “Be prepared! Be prepared!”
And be ready for His kingdom, in the turmoil you’ll be spared.
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It is increasingly clear with each passing day that the world is now heading into a time of trouble unmatched by any other time in history. There are many crises looming in the near future, any one of which would be catastrophic by itself: the energy crisis, the water crisis, the global warming crisis, the nuclear crisis, the crisis caused by the moral degradation of society, the hunger crisis, the increasing extinction of animal species, and so on.
Jesus ended his prophetic discourse of future events with this warning:
34 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.
35 For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.
36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
How shall we “take heed to ourselves”? Shall we stockpile food?…invest in gold?…make a bomb shelter?…build a getaway cabin in the mountains?…study to be a doctor (since doctors are always in large demand in any crisis)?
No, none of these of themselves are the real preparation. There is a cause for the crises that are coming on the world, and this cause is the greedy, selfish heart of man. Christ is coming to establish another kind of kingdom that is not built on selfishness. Then the only real preparation for that new kingdom is to forsake selfish plans and ideas, and to learn to be like Christ. This means selfless service, humility, meekness, listening to God’s voice, standing up against evil, and being faithful to give to others.
The seeming peace and friendship enjoyed in the prosperous nations is actually just a facade. Because these prosperous nations have hoarded the world’s resources, they enjoy a time of relative ease and plenty. But as the crises hit them, this facade will be stripped away, and the real selfishness that underlies this hording will be revealed openly as the people will struggle and fight for the few remaining resources.
This will set the stage for a real display and demonstration of the opposite principle: true love, revealed in self-sacrifice and service to others. While many in these nations, when faced with the crises, will become more selfish, and hoard, stockpile, and plan for their own safety, God’s children must give the opposite example: they must not think of themselves, but of the need of others; they must prepare not for themselves, but for others; they must not hide their last morsel of food for themselves, but freely give it to others.
Jesus elaborated on how the preparation for His kingdom would look like in the companion discourse of Matthew 24:
45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?
46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
Faithfully dealing out the bread that God has given us to others: that is the real preparation, because that is what Christ’s kingdom is all about. It may be physical bread, or spiritual truth, but whatever the need, Christ’s servants must faithfully give it, not thinking of themselves:
25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
This song was used in the video/slideshow, Signs of the Times (click to view).