Divine Instruments In The Last Days
By Rich Carmicheal
The Apostle Paul writes that difficult times will mark the last days (2 Tim. 3:1), and there is no doubt that those difficult times are upon us. As he forewarns, we are now seeing how sinful and evil mankind can be as many people are “lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God…” (vv. 2-4). Are our hearts not broken by all of the violence, exploitation, immorality, greed, and so forth going on in the world?
The Lord’s heart must surely be grieved, even as it was in the days of Noah when He saw that “the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually…” (Gen. 6:5-6). Judgment followed, and judgment is just as definitely ahead of us. As the Apostle Peter writes, “…The present heavens and earth by His word are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men” (2 Pet. 3:7).
Peter, however, not only warns us about the certainty of coming judgment, but he also reminds us that the Lord is patient, “…not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (v. 9). Though we do not know how much time the Lord will yet allow, we do know that His heart is for us to take full advantage of the hour: “…making the most of your time, because the days are evil” (Eph. 5:16). He wants us to make a difference in the world. He calls us to be His children “above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation” and to “appear as lights in the world, holding forth the word of life” (Phil. 2:15-16). He is looking for those who will “build up the wall and stand in the gap” before Him (Ezek. 22:30).
No matter how overwhelming the conditions in the world may seem to us, the Lord can still do mighty things! In fact, story after story in the Bible reminds us that He does some of His greatest work in the most desperate of times – such as the stories of Joseph, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Ruth and Hannah. Just think about what the Lord did through the early disciples even though they faced much pressure and persecution from a pagan empire!
So the question today is not whether the Lord can do extraordinary things and impact the lives of the people around us. He is still the same God, and He still has unlimited power and resources, and the heart, to deliver and save and revive. The question is, where are the people who will allow His power and grace to flow through their lives towards others? Where are those who will turn their full attention to Him and seek Him for this generation? Where are those who will spend time with Him, seeking His presence and the fullness of His Spirit in their lives? Where are those who will devote themselves to His Word and to ministering that Word to others? Where are those who will put their trust in Him and His strength and step out in faith to do His will?
With such questions in mind, the Herald staff hopes the messages in this issue will encourage, inspire and challenge you to devote yourself more fully to the Lord and His work, and to seek a greater fullness of His Spirit in your life and ministry in these last days. May we all yet bear much fruit unto His glory!