The world is in turmoil and the nations are enraged, but this will not come as a surprise to anyone who is a Bible student. In studying our Bibles, we read about end time prophesies. “Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and His Anointed, saying, ‘Let us break Their bonds in pieces and cast away Their cords from us.’ ” Psalm 2:1–3
We see the obvious wickedness of war and the human tragedy, but miss the underlying causes of it all. As we read in the Psalms, it is because of the world’s hatred for God. That might seem a strange statement when we think of all the religious organizations in the world, yet the reason for all the heartache and misery is because the world does not love God.
Isaiah says, “Unless the Lord of hosts had left to us a very small remnant, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been made like Gomorrah.” Isaiah 1:9. A remnant is the very last of something. In this case, there will be very few in the last days who love God and are called His people, compared to the billions in the world who have no love for Him at all.
Noah and his family were the remnant, saved out of a people whose thoughts and hearts were continually wicked. They did not care for the law of God, nor did they adhere to it, and because of this attitude, there was murder and war, adultery and fornication. They took what they wanted even if it belonged to another. They hated and were greedy and self-centered. “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Genesis 6:5. Sounds a lot like today, doesn’t it?
There will always be acts of kindness done toward people. We see this all the time during disasters, wars, and times of strife—people coming to the need of their fellow human beings. But these acts must be attributed to the workings of God on the hearts of men, because the minds of men and women are overrun by thoughts of self rather than a desire to follow the law of God.
If we examine ourselves, will we find that we are in perfect obedience to God? Is love for God the first thing we think of in the morning? Do we pray and offer thanksgiving as we start each day? Do we study His word and is His law foremost in our minds? Jesus tells us that it is not so with most living in the world today.
“But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.” Matthew 24:37–39
Why did they not know that a flood was coming? Noah had been telling them for over 100 years. They had ample warning. They could see the huge ocean liner Noah was building. Why did they not believe in the disaster that was about to befall them? They were carrying on in their daily lives, wrapped up in the cares of this world and not in the leading of God and His Son Jesus. They were busy finding “love.” They were busy entertaining guests at parties. They were busy with their business practices and gaining wealth. There was no time given to the consideration of God’s law and righteousness.
It is the same in our day. Many people give lip service to God, claiming to be righteous, as the Pharisees did in Jesus’ day. They make a show of piety by going to church, attending the social gatherings, volunteering in the community, and paying their tithe to support their local church or conference; but their hearts refuse the workings of the Holy Spirit. Unconverted and unchanged, not having experienced the power that would make them heavenly citizens, they remain citizens of the world.
“But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that day come on you unexpectedly.” Luke 21:34. For most it is nothing more than the cares of this world that weigh them down and they do not seek to spend time with God each day.
“Cares, riches, pleasures, all are used by Satan in playing the game of life for the human soul. The warning is given, ‘Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.’ 1 John 2:15, 16. He who reads the hearts of men as an open book says, ‘Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness and cares of this life.’ Luke 21:34. And the apostle Paul by the Holy Spirit writes, ‘They that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil; which, while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.’ 1 Timothy 6:9, 10.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 55, 56
God will not spare any in this world who have not permitted a change to be made in their character and heart. He did not spare the angels who sinned and were cast from heaven with Satan, nor did He spare the world in Noah’s day. “For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly.” 2 Peter 2:4, 5. “For I am the Lord, I do not change.” Malachi 3:6, first part. Why do we think He would now save those of this world who have the same character and choose to walk the same path?
The people who will be saved are those who are mourning and crying over the wickedness in this world and in their own hearts. They will be calling on God to cleanse their hearts and renew their lives through His grace, with His law, the ten commandments, as the mirror that reflects their standing with God. When obeyed out of love for God, it is this law that will bring peace and love and conversion to the heart.
“ ‘Now, therefore,’ says the Lord, ‘Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.’ ” Joel 2:12. As we read His commandments and clearly see our true condition, we will see that only one prayer is appropriate.
“Look on my affliction and my pain, and forgive all my sins.” Psalm 25:18
“Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me hear joy and gladness, that the bones You have broken may rejoice. Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:7–10
God wants to write His law in our hearts and purge our sinfulness. He is asking today for us to accept His Holy Spirit to enter into and remove the wickedness from our minds. When we let Him cleanse our hearts, submitting to His will and not our own, this is His promise: “ ‘This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,’ then He adds, ‘Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.’ ” Hebrews 10:16, 17
We must ask for the grace of God to fill us and redeem us from this world. If we have not accepted this saving grace from Jesus, we are still in the clutches of Satan and sin. There is only one result of sin and that is eternal death. But Jesus, if we let Him, can change our hearts. He paid the price; He only asks that we accept His sacrifice and leave all sin behind. That is what Jesus meant when He said, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23
Jesus has repeatedly said that we cannot enter heaven, we cannot have salvation, unless we leave all sin behind. To the woman accused of adultery, He said, “… ‘Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?’ She said, ‘No one, Lord.’ And Jesus said to her, ‘Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.’ ” John 8:10, 11. Jesus knows the degradation that sin has caused in the world. He knows mankind’s struggles in dealing with sin, but sin cannot enter heaven again, and anyone who continues to harbor sin in their heart will not enter that holy place.
Jesus would rather us enter heaven maimed or lame if that is what it takes for us to be rid of sin (Matthew 5:30). Jesus does not want to condemn us for our sins, He would rather forgive us of our sins (John 3:17), but we must follow His instructions, “go and sin no more.” Jesus came to save us from sin, not as we continue in sin. When Joseph was told that Mary was to give birth to the Saviour of the world, the angel of God specified why Jesus was coming to this world. “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21. If we are His people, we will have done away with sin through the power of the Holy Spirit.
As we see nations rage and wars abound, as we watch the world slowly destroying itself, it is time to start looking to God for answers. The world is filled with pain and suffering, but Jesus can bring peace and happiness even in times of suffering. Call on Jesus today, ask Him to show you His goodness, give all to Him, and let Him sort out the rest. Jesus can help you overcome any obstacle in your life. He wants us to be ready for His soon coming. We have limited time here to prepare our hearts and minds for that glorious event. Our lives are but a whisper of time. “For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” James 4:14, last part
What matters is how we spend our time in this life. Be a part of God’s last-day remnant. Make your life count for Jesus, and He will make your eternal life secure.
Michael C. Wells is the director of Anointing Oil Ministries.