A few years ago in the northern part of the Belgian Congo we had car trouble, and I waited in a little park on the shore of Lake Albert while the repairs were made. The government administrator of a large nearby district happened along, and soon we chatted as amiably as his spoken English and my thirty word French vocabulary permitted.
The conversation turned to world events, and I referred to the prophecies of the Bible and stated that the dangers of war and the unrest and trouble hanging over many parts of the world seemed to be a fulfillment of Christ’s words describing conditions just before His second coming.
“But,” my friend objected good-naturedly, “there have always been wars and threats of war-all down through history.”
“Yes,” I said, “what you say is true, but never has the world known war and political violence on anything like the scale we are witnessing in our day.” Then I refreshed his memory with some facts of history in many lands in recent years. He readily agreed that no previous generation had experienced turmoil and trouble on the scale our tortured generation has experienced it.
The same objection my Belgian friend made was urged in the Apostle Peter’s day: “Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” 2 Peter 3:4.
Peter reminds us that doubters and scoffers are themselves signposts announcing the soon return of Jesus: “There shall come in the last days scoffers” who will challenge the truth of the advent. (Verse 3.) He also mentions that they “willingly are ignorant.” (Verse 5.) Let us not let this day come upon us as “a thief in the night.” (Verse 10.) Seeing we “know these things” (Verse 17), let us watch and be ready. Sometimes we can remedy the problems that result when we are late- but not this time.
Robert Pierson 1968