The New Year is here, and another year of rapid human achievement is history. In the past twenty years the scientific advance of the world has been much more rapid than any period of that length before, and the next twenty years will undoubtedly surpass the period through which we have just passed.
New inventions which hardly seemed possible twenty-five years ago, are coming into the scene now. The year Nineteen Hundred and Sixty One will be remembered as the year man entered outer space, and possibly opened a great new sphere of exploration. A new machine is almost completed through which one man can speak, and his voice will immediately be translated to many other languages with his original expression. This indeed is a great step toward mutual understanding between nations. We see great progress in the invention of more powerful bombs, and other nuclear weapons with which men threaten each other.
How can we look ahead toward coming years without feeling a great fear? The nuclear weapons of the Allies and the Communists have more than enough power to destroy the world. We can see the breakage of the language barrier as possibly presenting another Babel, with one Anti-Christian power dictating to all. Indeed we can see the decline of the church in the eyes of the human race. Through our reading and relations with others, we can find a definite departure from the truth in the “Reformed Church.” The constitutional principles of freedom of speech and religion mean to our modern nation, that many of the schools may not even read the Bible in class because it might offend someone there. In Russia, the younger generation are rejecting the church leaving only the older people. How long will a church last with no hope of growth?
Although we are fearful, we must not, however, withdraw ourselves from the world. Although our place may seem small we must show the world that we live lives of glory to God. We must also tell of the glad tidings which we have in our hearts to all we possibly can. Our Lord tells us in Luke 11:35 when He is speaking of the last days, “Take heed therefore, that the light which is in thee be not darkness.” The old proverb, “Don’t hide your candle under a bushel”, can certainly be applied to us as we anticipate the coming years.
As we look ahead we have reasons to believe that the end is nearing. We know from the Holy Scripture that when the gospel has been preached to all nations – then the end will come. We also hear daily of wars and rumors of wars. This is another sign of the end. We wonder how much deeper into iniquity the world can plunge. The time seems ripe for the end.
In the future the church will be persecuted for Christ’s sake, so that only those who are true children of God will stand. We must, therefore, go to the Word of God and look forward with confidence. In Revelation 14:12 we read, “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus”. How wonderful it is that we can approach a fearful future with confidence, that we are numbered with God’s children. The peace the world is seeking, we know will never come. But the peace we seek will come at the Lord’s appointed time. We must have faith to believe what Jesus proclaims in Matthew 24:13, “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.”