Preparing to Stand Strong in Troubled Times

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Gary Curtis

When facing the winds of the troubled times in which we are living, U.S. believers need to recover and release a proper pride in our Western civilization, our God-bred, historic culture and our Christian faith.

In the middle of demonically inspired difficulties, distresses and discouragements, we must not submit to fears that the present is dismal and the future is irrevocable. God still answers the prayers of His people. 

In 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV), God says, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

In this age-long struggle or clash between light and darkness, even those who are not Christians can become our allies for good deeds. Catholic Archbishop Viganò has recently suggested brothers and sisters in Christ should help introduce even non-Christians to a divine encounter with the God of nature, His ways and laws for living. 

Viganò suggests these laws of nature may cause those whom the Holy Spirit has already been drawing to show respect for the sacredness of life, the defense of the natural family, the right of parents to educate their children, and the protection of property, labor and business. These areas of moral sensitivity are all increasingly held in contempt by our contemporary corrupted society. 

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Revelation 14 shares some curious concepts about an angel, in the last days, flying in midair while briefly proclaiming an “eternal gospel” (verses 14-16). It is not a proclamation of the message of salvation through Jesus Christ, as is the “Good News” Christ’s disciples are commissioned to boldly proclaim and teach (Matt. 28:18-20).

Rather, this “eternal gospel” seems related to those who have not heard of nor yet responded to Jesus of Nazareth and His sacrificial death and atonement for our sins. It is an “eternal gospel” that calls the uninformed of every nation, tribe, tongue and people to fear God and give Him glory because the hour of his judgment has come. This Good News is focused on the God of Creation, who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.

People who have even an innate awareness of the God of nature and his laws may respond to this call to worship nature’s Creator. Paul approached the pagan intellectuals in Athens with this same pattern (Acts 16:16-34).

This “eternal gospel” will be a supernatural proclamation in the last days, when “the hour of His judgment has come” (Rev. 14: 7b). It precedes another warning by another angel against worshipping the devil’s beast and his image or receiving the mark of his name on their forehead or hand (verses 10-11; Rev. 13).

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During this time of terrible testing and torment, God will honor and strengthen all those who keep and obey His commandments and seek His ways. They will need to practice patient endurance, hold firmly to the testimony of Jesus and bear witness for Him (Rev. 3:10, 12:17, 13:10, 14:12).

John the Revelator tells us faithful and committed believers in the end times will overcome the devil “by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony.” Furthermore, their godly determination will develop their spiritual dedication to the point that “they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death” (Rev. 12:11).

In the practicality of living life during the last days, we must trust in our God’s omniscience and omnipotence; He is all-knowing and all-powerful. His love will sustain us. His grace will equip us. And His power will protect us, as we faithfully endure to the end (Matt. 24:13).

We must not give in to the intimidation of the world, which would like to make us ashamed of our honesty, our moral thinking and behavior, and our religious faith, as if they were defects to be hidden. It is rather dishonesty, moral corruption and selfishness of which our society and its people ought to be ashamed. 

Faithful followers of our Lord Jesus must be people who love God, consistently pray, willingly sacrifice and honestly struggle. It will not be the global elitists nor godless humanists who will judge us, but our Lord Jesus Christ, who said to us, “In this world you will have trouble. But, take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33b).

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Gary Curtis served for 27 years as part of the pastoral staff of The Church on The Way, the First Foursquare Church of Van Nuys, California. Since retirement in 2016, he continues to blog at Gary and his wife live in Southern California and have two married daughters and five grandchildren.

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