Overcomer 1

We are on the verge of a terrible crisis —

Closing Time for Planet Earth

We are on the edge of an immense crisis. It is the biggest in the history of mankind. Thinking men everywhere recognize that the sins of men have nearly reached their limit. Something stupendous is about to happen.

Nothing in past history can equal the extent and magnitude of the worldwide plunge into violence and evil that exists today.

Moral conditions have plunged downward since the mid-1960s. Our world is hurtling into a disaster zone from which it cannot escape.

  • Before 1960, no one in the civilized world could legally abort their children. Today, nearly every government on earth is encouraging the killing of unborn infants. Millions and millions of small Americans have been killed—far more than have died in all the wars the U.S. has fought;—yet the industry that carries on this mass destruction is one of the most protected in the nation.

  • Prior to 1950, other than cigarettes and liquor, relatively few addictive drugs were sold in the Western world. Today, a mania has seized the public to purchase whatever narcotics they can find or invent—to destroy their minds.

  • Before the 1930s, prostitution was illegal in nearly every Western nation. Today, it is legal or quasi-legal in most parts of the world.

  • Before 1975, outside of Nevada, there was no legalized gambling anywhere in America. Today there are large casinos all over the nation; and all but two states have an official lottery. State governments publish ads, encouraging citizens to gamble away their savings!

  • The evening news is filled with horror stories, each one worse than the one before it: bullets and body bags, sex and scandals, terror and tragedy, wars and rumors of wars. Children shooting fellow students and teachers at school, and car jackings. One horrible atrocity after another.

  • Today’s headlines are far different than those in the 1950s. Instead of funny events at county fairs, we read about terrorist networks, genocide of hundreds of thousands, and bombing of large U.S. buildings, suicide bombers regularly killing people.
  • Millions of land mines have been planted in the ground throughout the world, with more added daily. Thousands are maimed or killed by them each year, especially in lands where no war is occurring.

  • Free and low-cost guns and munitions are flooding into the nations of Central America, South America, Africa, the Balkans, the Near East, and Southern Asia. The entire planet is arming itself for a showdown.

The whole world seems to be going crazy. We stand aghast and wonder what will happen next.

We search for the cause; yet it is obvious to those willing to consider it: Men and women have forgotten God. They no longer acknowledge Him as supreme in their lives. Many do not even believe there is a God. They have swallowed the lie of evolution.

Even many Christians who love God are taught that they do not need to keep the Ten Commandments! Little wonder that the moral fabric of society is unraveling. Men are told that the only laws they need obey are man’s laws! God, they are told—doesn’t have any, any more!

The basic problem is that the greater part of mankind today is in rebellion against their Creator. Men refuse to submit to His authority.

We may try to excuse it any way we want; but this is the reason mankind is hurtling toward moral extinction.

Our planet has a disease. That disease is sin. In order to solve the problem, we must first identify sin. What is it?

The Bible says sin is the breaking of God’s law. “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.”—John 3:4.

Men refuse to obey Godís moral Ten Commandment law. It is as simple as that. And we all know it. They lie, they steal, they cheat, they kill, they covet. They reject God’s authority and take His name in vain. They violate His holy Sabbath.

If we kept the Ten Commandments, all the other evils plaguing our civilization would be solved. Yet, oddly enough, although we are expected to keep the laws of man, we are solemnly told by educated men that it is impossible to keep God’s laws—and anyone who tries to do it is a “legalist”!

Men today are so deeply involved in drugs, pornography, gambling, drinking, and wild entertainment that they cannot think straight.

Man is not changing. His obsession with sin has become a mania. The end is just ahead.

God allows developments to work toward a climax. He has often done this in the past. He did it in Noah’s day, when He sent a flood of waters and buried the wicked. He did it in the days of Abraham, when He destroyed the wicked cities of the plain which gave themselves up to evil.

When men reach the point that they only live to do wickedness, then God steps in.

Christ predicted that, when conditions in the entire world become as evil as they were in the times of Noah and Sodom,—the end would come!

“As it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man . . and the Flood came, and destroyed them all.

“Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot . . It rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.”—Luke 17:26-27, 28-30.

This is what it was like in the days of Noah:

ďGod saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually . . And the earth was filled with violence.”—Genesis 6:5, 11.

That is exactly what is happening now! In the time of Noah, those conditions existed world-wide. Today, nearly 4,400 years later, even greater sins exist today—and on a worldwide scale!

Our mad preoccupation with evil was predicted in the Bible. It marks us as having arrived at the end of time.

“In the last days perilous times shall come.”— 2 Timothy 3:1.

Never before has there been so much evil. “Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse.”—2 Timothy 3:13.

In the judgment, the harvest of the world, Christ will return the second time and take His faithful ones to heaven.

“The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one. The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels . . Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into My barn.”—Matthew 13:38-39, 30.

We are stunned as we consider the fact that a terrible climax—the final crisis—is about to burst upon us. Yet, according to Bible prophecy, God is permitting it to happen. Something immense is about to take place.

God is about to deal with an entire planet that has run amok in evil. The world is warring against the law of God, the Ten Commandments. The horrible effects of that warfare are seen everywhere about us!

We are on a collision course with disaster be-cause morality is at the depths. Marriage as an institution is about gone, sexual perversion has been given a free rein, millions live only for the next upper, and bribery and corruption run riot.

In the beginning, sin arose when Satan disputed God’s right to rule the universe. Satan told the angels that God’s law was unjust and should be abolished.

But, when Satan was kicked out of heaven, he came to earth; and, in the Garden of Eden, he used the same approach. God had told Adam and Eve what they could do and should not do. He was their Creator and they had a responsibility to obey Him. The only way anyone can be happy is when they obey God.

But then Satan arrived. Disguised as a snake, he told our first parents they did not have to obey what God said. “You do not have to obey; you shall not die. You will enter upon a new, higher experience by disobeying,” was his message.

“Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

“And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which [is] in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

“And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”—Genesis 3:1-5.

All down through human history, Satan has repeated the same lie: “You don’t have to obey God.” Throughout Bible times, and in the centuries since then, he has lured people into disobeying God’s moral law of Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:3-17).

“Every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6). That is our core problem to-day. As it was in the days of Noah, so it is today:

“The wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually . . And the earth was filled with violence.”—Genesis 6:5, 11.

We are back in the days of Noah! As it was back then, when the crisis in lawlessness reaches a certain point, God will step in.

Men do not realize what they are doing when they refuse to let God give them empowering grace to keep His Ten Commandments. That moral law is the foundation of God’s government. It establishes His right to rule His creatures. If we reject His law, we reject Him! Think about that a moment.

God wrote down His moral code in enduring stone on Mount Sinai. (It is given in Exodus 20:3-17.) How much more permanent can something be than to be engraved on stoneóand written there by Godís own finger! God gave the Ten Commandments to those who were His people at that time, to be given to the world.

The situation has not changed. Today God wants you and me to obey that law and urge others to obey it.

Look about you today. God’s moral rules are rejected by nearly the entire world. Even many Christians reject it! They say they do not have to keep God’s law; for they have been saved from it!

Did Christ die on Calvary so we can steal and kill and take God’s name in vain? No, no. It cannot be. The truth is that God saves us from sin, not from His law!

How does He save us from sin? It is through Christ’s death on the cross, and His mediation on our behalf in heaven, that God saves us from sin. As we plead with Christ for help, He forgives our past and strengthens us by His empowering grace—right now—to resist temptation and obey His Father’s law.

The Bible says sin “is the transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4). What can be clearer than that? The problem is sin, not the law!

Why did Jesus come to our world? The angel told the reason to Mary before Christ’s birth: “Thou shalt call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins.”—Matthew 1:21.

Jesus did not die on the cross to save us from God’s law. Jesus died to save us from sin—from transgression of that law!

If I intentionally drive through a stop sign, hit another car and kill someone,—how do we solve the problem? Theoretically, we can do it in one of three ways:

First, we can get rid of the law. We can do away with the rule which forbids driving through stop signs. That would mean I am henceforth free to run more stop signs and hit more cars! “I am free from the law.”

Second, I can suffer the penalty myself. I can go to court, perhaps go to jail. This is done to punish me for breaking the law and convince me not to disobey it any more. The law stands and the sin is punished.

Third, someone else can pay the penalty for me. But, although he may pay the penalty for my past transgression, he is not thereby abolishing the law! I am still required to obey it.

Under this third plan, which is God’s way of solving the sin problem in my life, the One who paid the penalty for my sin, Jesus Christ,—also helps me obey the moral law as, by faith in His righteous merits, I daily walk with Him.

Christ did not die to take away the law, but to help me obey it. He died in my place on Calvary; and He lives today in heaven to strengthen me, by His enabling grace, to obey His moral law. Sin is the problem, not the law! Sin is rebellion against God; the law is the foundation of Godís government. There is a great difference between the two!

Which do you want to get rid of? If you want to get rid of sin, you are on God’s side of the question. If you want to get rid of His law, you are on the devil’s side.

God’s plan is for His earthly children to live clean, moral lives, in obedience to the Ten Commandments. Christ did not die so they could keep sinning in defiance of the law. He did not go through the agonies of Calvary so we could continue as lawbreakers.

However, it is very important that we understand that, by ourselves, none of us can keep God’s holy law. None of us—not one—can, by our own will or strength, put away sin or resist Satan’s temptations.

Christ died on Calvary not only to forgive our past sins but to enable us by His grace to render obedience as, by faith, we cling to His hand and, as little children, walk along life’s pathway with Him! “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.” That old song is still true.

We are to take hold of His empowering strength, trust in His enabling merits,—and be strengthened to live clean, godly lives. By His grace, we are to control ourselves. We are to be “Christians.” And to be Christians is to be Christlike.

God’s part is infinitely great, but He will not do His part without our part. And our part is to choose Him, to put our will into action, to resist temptation, and do what is right. Trusting Him for help as we attempt to do this, Christ supplies the strength to carry it through to success. He enables us to live clean, pure, honest lives, and spend our time helping and blessing others. Thank God, there is a way we can live like Jesus! We can be like the One we so much love. And all the praise goes to Him for it. Because, at each step, He provides the enabling strength.

Forget this idea of “sin and be saved.” Let’s live for something better than that! Through the enabling grace of Christ, “sin shall not have dominion over you” (Romans 6:14).

We need to learn from the Bible what is in the future for our world. But first, because it is so important, here is a brief Bible study.

It clearly shows that, trusting in Jesus, each one of us can live a “Christian” life: