A POST-ELECTION LETTER TO THE FRIENDS AND MEMBERS OF BETHEL CHURCH:
What kind of world will our grandchildren inherit?
This week it is clear that America is divided almost right down the middle. Almost everyone in the world agrees on one thing, though. 2020 has been a nightmare.
There are wars all over the earth. Around the world, persecution against Christians is increasing. Here in America resentment against evangelicals may be higher than any of us remember. We are living through a worldwide plague. There is violence in the streets. There is an epidemic of fear, depression, and anxiety. Every church in America has had to navigate decisions and divisions never before experienced. What is going on?
Some claim earthquakes and hurricanes are more frequent and more intense. These things remind us of biblical passages. Are these things a judgement from God? Are they a warning from God? Are these signs that Jesus will return soon? Sometimes people ask me; “Are we living in the end times now?”
This year things have happened that have never happened before on a scale none of us have ever seen. I often wonder, “What kind of world will our grandchildren inherit?” What will become of America? What is the mission of the church in times like these? How should I live, what should I do, who can I believe?
Does This Remind You of Anything? God knew that the things we are going through would trigger our memories. God knew that biblical prophecies and apocalyptic events would spring into our minds when He allowed these events to occur. “This” is not “That” yet–but God knew “This” would remind us of “That.” Any knowledgeable Christian and many with just a vague understanding of end-time prophecies would see a similarity in what is happening now to what is described in the prophetic literature of the Bible.
We want to avoid sensationalism, speculation, and sentimentality when it comes to heaven and end-time prophecy, but we were also warned not to be discouraged or go to sleep. The Scripture challenges us to be awake, aware, and sober.
I have taken this as a reminder and a challenge to pick up my Bible and refresh my knowledge of Revelation. I have taken this as a stimulant to renew my affection for Christ in the light of our epic times. I have taken this as a warning to stay awake and be prayerful and ready for whatever God requires of me.
Back in January we began teaching, preaching, and worshipping our way through the Revelation. We took a break when we went to the roof this spring and summer, but now we are back and have concluded preaching through the letters to the churches and the events of chapter 4 and 5, the Throne of God, the Seven Sealed Scroll, and the Slain Lamb.
This week we reach chapter 6–The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. I believe the next thirteen chapters (6-18) describe in detail things that will happen on earth in the future before the return of Christ in power and in glory. Our plan is to explain and apply and worship our way through these truths taking a break during Advent and returning to Revelation at the first of the year. The plan is to teach clear to the end of the book, week by week, one chapter at a time.
The early church preached from Revelation more than any other book. Now we are much closer to Christ’s return. In our generation , the land of Israel has become the center of world attention–the Middle-East a powder keg of turmoil and upheaval that affects the whole world. God’s people today should know and love this book.
Let’s see what God has to say in the Apocalypse–the Unveiling–the Revelation of Jesus Christ. Join us in-person or on-line at 9:30 am or 11:00 am Sunday.
Ken Pierpont-Lead Pastor, Bethel Church in Jackson