I am a person who is fairly involved politically and I do not like what I am seeing. I have discovered, though, that it is tempting to stay focused on the bad things that are happening. If I do, I often miss the good things that are happening at the same time.
In Acts 2:17, Peter quotes Joel 2:28 when he says, “In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.” Later in his life, Peter wrote, “Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.” (2 Peter 3:3)
So, which is it? Space here does not allow for a trip through Scripture to fully demonstrate the answer. However, the answer is, “Both!” Paul talks about evil and deception abounding in the last days, while also talking about the Holy Spirit leading and directing the church.
The problem today is that we cannot depend on the normal news media to tell us what the Spirit of God is doing, because they neither see nor recognize Him. (Jn 14:7) So we have to look in other ways for His work on the earth. So how can we see His work?
By the use of prayer and study in the Word of God, we can learn to hear the leading of the Holy Spirit and, at the same time, begin to recognize when he is at work. (Henry Blackaby has a wonderful teaching series on this subject titled Experiencing God.) When we get to this point, we begin to see God working even in the midst of disaster.
For instance, God is working in the movie industry. Witness the series of movies done by Sherwood Baptist Church of Georgia over the last several years. Witness other movies like “October Baby,” the just released series “The Bible,” the “Left Behind” book and movie series, “The Christmas Child,” “The Passion of the Christ,” “The Drop Box” and “Monumental,” just to name a few.
God has been working in television with a growing number of Christian shows and a number of Christian networks. God has also been using this technology to preach the Gospel around the world. One of many examples is Dr. Michael Youssef’s satellite network that broadcasts the Gospel in Arabic and other languages all over the Middle East.
There are a number of ministries that provide economic and disaster aid to the needy around the world, including Operation Blessing, YWAM’s hospital ships, and Convoy of Hope, to name a few.
Then there is news of tremendous evangelist efforts by such men as Reinhard Bonnke, who regularly holds meeting all over the world where hundreds of thousands attend. The number of those saved cannot be counted!
Numerous testimonies are coming our of Iran and other closed nations where Jesus Christ is appearing to folks to present the Gospel. These are areas where missionaries cannot get in. Because Jesus said that He desires that none be lost, even those folks have an opportunity to come to know Jesus.
Are there bad and terrible things happening today? Is America under great distress because of its sin? Certainly. But is the Spirit of God moving over the face of the earth? Absolutely! If we are not in tune with what God is doing in these last days, maybe we should be spending a lot more time with Him so He can teach us.
Frank F. Clark is the author of the column “Frankly Speaking.” His e-mail address is email@example.com.