"But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers" (1 Pet. 4:7).
What has happened to our nation? Clearly it is not the nation of my childhood. We are running headlong into death and destruction. Of the 22 civilizations throughout world history that reached the immoral state America is in now, 19 of them collapsed and were wiped out.
In 1987 the late Lester Sumrall, in his book I Predict, wrote about six things that would happen in our nation.
- America would depart from Christianity.
- America would endorse pagan religions.
- America would embrace doctrines of demons.
- Satan worship and human sacrifice would occur more and more (this is not talked about but is happening underground).
- America would be consumed with rebellion, and it would be like a tornado in our land. Anarchy would spread among our youth, schools and colleges. In the home, on the job, and throughout the entire social structure, there would be no more tenderness in the home, no love, no laughter; many marriages would fail, and children would not know whom to love and whom to hate.
- There would be a tremendous tearing of America's moral fiber; homosexuality would no longer be in the closet but considered normal, and even bestiality would be seen more and more in our society.
I would have to say that Brother Sumrall's predictions were amazingly accurate.
Let's turn our eyes toward the church and consider what is happening right now.
- More churches are jumping on the gay bandwagon, and it will soon shock you those who are yet to do so. Major denominations are now sponsoring gay pride parades, performing gay weddings, and receiving and ordaining gay clergy.
- More churches will also travel on the false unity trail with the Roman Catholic Church and the whole ecumenical movement.
- More than 1,500 pastors per month are leaving the ministry, and some are coming out as atheists; British scientist and atheist Richard Dawkins has a clergy project that is deceiving pastors into renouncing God and Christianity altogether.
- The greatest persecutions against the church in America are now from the gay movement and Islam.
- There will even be more persecution from within the church from other professing Christians who don't appreciate true believers standing up for the unadulterated truth of God's Word, making them uncomfortable in their sin. Unchecked sin in the church will continue to rise as the "love everyone—don't judge" mantra continues to gain popularity, and the "do as you please" philosophy spreads like cankerworm.
- The teaching of false grace has infiltrated the church where the extremes of it teach us that repentance is no longer needed, and we are already forgiven of our past, present and future sins. The watering down of the true grace of God is opening the door even wider for homosexuality and perversion to enter the church. Marriages will be further destroyed through this extreme teaching. In a time when repentance and holiness are needed the most, the church is failing to hold up the banner.
And what about the world we live in today?
The signs of the last days are increasing at the most rapid pace ever, but all you need to know is that anti-Semitism and anti-Christianity are on the rise. An antichrist spirit is permeating nearly every sector of society both here and abroad.
Watch Israel. The sign of the Lord's coming is more closely attached to the events in Israel than anything else. Consider these: In 1917 the British miraculously recovered the Holy Land from the Turks, the Jews returned and Israel became a sovereign nation again in 1948, and there was an eerily obscure prophecy centuries ago from a rabbi concerning 2017 being the jubilee of the Messiah. (From 1917, when what is now Israel was liberated from the Ottoman Turks, to 1967, when Israel miraculously won the Six-Day War and reclaimed the Jewish sector of Jerusalem, was 50 years, which is one jubilee and then to 2017, which is another 50 years, is a second jubilee). I'm not saying Jesus is coming back in 2017, but it's all very interesting, and events in America, the world, and Israel give us signposts that the coming of the Lord is so near.
So how do we stay optimistic amid such a bleak picture I just painted?
After his 1987 prediction, Lester Sumrall went on to say that all the evil he predicted would transpire just before a great awakening comes to America. In a time of harvest there is always a separation (the wheat from the chaff, the bad fish from the good fish, etc.).
The evil and persecution in the world and in America now will separate the true from the false, the nominal Christian from the serious disciple, and the Lord will once again use a remnant to fulfill his end-time purposes.
I don't know about you, but as for me and my house, we have chosen to be a part of that remnant.
How about you?
Bert M. Farias, revivalist and founder of Holy Fire Ministries, is the author of several books, including the newly released My Son, My Son, which he co-wrote with his son Daniel for the purpose of training up a holy generation. He is also co-host of the New England Holy Ghost Forum, a school of the Spirit. Follow him at Bert Farias on Facebook or at @Bertfarias1 on Twitter.
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