MARCH-APRIL 2020

The whole world has suffered disturbing news for some time . We have Brexit and new government. Across the world we see extreme weather, fires, storms, and floods.

Locust plagues, snow in the Middle East, swine fever epidemics and Floods and crop failures in Australia and the USA. Syrian refugees living in the open-air, fleeing Government offensives enduring ice and snow.  

Increases in earthquakes, exceeding 6.0 on the Richter Scale, and volcanic eruptions in many places including Russia, Mexico, Thailand, Albania, Philippines and Indonesia.

Now coronavirus. Reputable scientists believe this may be man-made. Whilst precautions should be taken to deal with this outbreak surely we have to consider any adverse effects as we do so. Annual flu deaths from 2014 to 2019 averaged 1,700. Figures varied from 1,700 to 28,000.  

Of the thousands of virus deaths in Italy, few are related solely to the virus. Most are elderly people with several serious health problems already.

The economic effects of this virus may be catastrophic. Even though the Government is providing funds to minimise business loss there are bound to be many problems. A balance has to be drawn between the health issues and economic effects.

Oil prices are very low; perhaps good news for motorists but not good news for some economies. This will affect Russia, Iran and also the USA because shale oil production is relatively expensive.

Persecution of Christians across the World grows. Some Middle Eastern and Far Eastern countries have for many years tried to eliminate Christianity, especially China. In Iran the leadership is very much opposed to Christians but very many young people are now turning to Christ.

There is pressure to minimise Christian witness in the UK. This causes distress to some Christians.   Christians have won many legal cases which have been brought but they still cause distress. The effort to monitor what people “think” and to create Police Records is disturbing. 1984’s “thought crime” is upon us.

Threat of war in the Middle East is never far away. Russia, Iran and Turkey are all jostling for position in Syria directly on Israel’s Northern border. It looks inevitable that something will happen soon. Especially since Israel has vast oil and gas reserves and can undermine both Russia and Iran in hydrocarbon production.

The creator God of the Bible is holy and righteous and He calls all men everywhere to repent and turn to Him. We live in a “fallen” sinful and rebellious world. God created us for eternity with Him. He provided a way to be forgiven from our sins and have the certainty of everlasting life with Him. For the Christian, security is in Christ.

When people are not focused on God He prompts us through problems to turn our attention on Him because He loves us and does not want us to perish. The wages of sin are an unpleasant eternal everlasting separation from God. The difficult problems in this life are small compared to any eternal suffering we may face. The price for sin was paid on the cross and personal forgiveness is still available for us all.

In the “last days” in which we live, difficulties are prophesied to get worse and worse. Those who truly believe, God will remove from the worst of these problems.

How do we know? The answer is understanding what the Bible says and committing to it. One of the main indicators that we are in the “last days” is that Israel is back in it’s own land.

Worldwide 150,000 people die every day from all causes. How many of those never got around to considering their eternal destiny? The bible says our lives are “a vapour that appears for a little time and then vanishes away” and that “it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment”

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