Saturday, August 26, 2017

Signs of the times -- A famous clock and a total eclipse

As I do not believe there are any signs to be observed to indicate the immanence of the parousia I totally dissent from seeing prophetic significance in the eclipse or any recent history,especially the establishment of the state of Israel. But the first part is spot on.



Signs of the times -- A famous clock and a total eclipse

By Charles Gardner, Special to ASSIST News Service (Writer’s Opinion)
Workers clean Big Ben smallerLONDON, UK (ANS – August 25, 2017) -- After more than 150 years of continuous chiming on the hour, Big Ben has temporarily ceased to gong. And I believe it begs the question of whether time is running out for the once Great Britain.
The four-year moratorium on the famous bell is so that repairs can be made without bursting the eardrums of the workers. And judging by the TV footage I have seen, there are serious cracks in the structure.
And yet MPs, including Prime Minister Theresa May, have protested at what they consider to be this unnecessary deference to health and safety regulations.
This speaks rather aptly of their not wishing to face up to the decadence of our nation: short-term thinking that spells eventual disaster.
The general wisdom on political matters is that ‘if it’s not broke, don’t fix it’. But it surely does not apply in this case.
However, I do feel that God is speaking clearly through this episode – and it’s more than a facelift we need.
There has been talk for some time about MPs having to move out of the Commons while repairs are made to the crumbling foundations adjacent to the iconic clock. But that conversation has also gone rather quiet.
All of which is a perfect picture of the state of the nation thanks in large part to the diabolical laws passed in these hallowed buildings.
William Wilberforce.JPG smallerWhat a shocking betrayal of our esteemed forefathers who, inspired by their Christian faith, campaigned for laws -- including the abolition of slavery and child labour -- that set an example of moral righteousness to the rest of the world.
It is well to remind ourselves that our Parliament is quite literally built on the word of God – its very floor is inscribed in Latin with the words of Psalm 127, verse 1: “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labour in vain.” 
But in the past 50 years we have seen Parliament agree to one law after another that flatly contradicts biblical truth along with everything we have stood for as a nation for hundreds of years.
Among the most heinous of these was the Abortion Act, which has seen the legalised murder of nine million unborn children. And yet, in our topsy-turvy politically-correct world, we have heard little about the horrors of this subject 50 years on while at the same time being bombarded with “celebrations” of the decriminalisation of homosexuality – another law passed in 1967.
Life is cheap while evil is flagged up as good, and good as evil (Isaiah 5.20). We are on shaky ground indeed, quite literally in the case of our Parliament, once the envy of the world.
Unless our leaders -- political and spiritual -- face up to our moral decadence and make way for major repairs in the form of a return to the Rock of Christ on which our civilisation was built, the whole Westminster edifice and all it stands for may come crashing down around our ears.
I believe that God’s judgment is at the door, but we are not alone. The West in general is collapsing and America in particular is in great trouble. The eclipse of the sun which enthralled much of its populace this week is a portent of things to come. The shock for many is that it won’t bring the ecstasy evidently experienced by many who witnessed it, but rather the agony of the darkness such an event so obviously depicts.1
total ecyclipe NASAAfter all, evangelist Billy Graham is reputed to have said that if God doesn’t judge America, he will have to apologise to Sodom and Gomorrah.
Speaking of events that would indicate his near return, Jesus said: “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars…nations will be in anguish…People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.” (Luke 21.25f)
Luke also alludes to these signs from heaven happening in the ‘last days’ in reporting Peter’s sermon on the Day of Pentecost during which the Apostle quotes the prophet Joel, thus: “I will show wonders in the heavens above, and signs on the earth below…the sun will be turned to darkness…before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.” (Acts 2.19f)
But the verse immediately following gives us great cause for hope, for it says: “And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 
Yes, the eclipse is a wondrous, awesome sign – but also a fearful one, in the light of God’s word which shall never fail (Isaiah 40.8). For the God of creation is also the God who cannot look on evil; that is why he turned his face away when his Son bore our sins on the cross, causing our Lord to declare in his agony: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” quoting Psalm 22.1.
Our sins were judged on the cross; they were condemned in fact. But if we trust in Christ for our salvation, we escape God’s judgment, for there is no condemnation for those who are “in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8.1).
Bear in mind that the total eclipse could well represent the proliferation of evil in the dark places of our world in these days. The Apostle John records: “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.” (John 3.19)
Bonnie Brown and group watching the ecyclipse smallerA stable society can only be built on Jesus, who said: “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” (Matthew 7.24-27)
1According to https://www.space.com/, this was the first total solar eclipse whose path of totality remained completely within the United States since the nation’s founding in 1776.
Photo captions: 1) Workers clean the face of the Big Ben clock tower. 2) William Wilberforce, the English politician, philanthropist, and a leader of the successful movement to stop the slave trade. 3) The total eclipse. (https://www.space.com/). 4) ANS correspondent, Bonnie Brown, and a group of friends, watching the eclipse in Casper, Wyoming. 5) ANS founder, Dan Wooding, with Charles Gardner during Dan’s visit earlier this year to the UK).
Dan Wooding and Charles GardnerAbout the writer: Charles Gardner is a veteran Cape Town-born British journalist working on plans to launch a new UK national newspaper reporting and interpreting the news from a biblical perspective. With his South African forebears having had close links with the legendary devotional writer Andrew Murray, Charles is similarly determined to make an impact for Christ with his pen and has worked in the newspaper industry for more than 40 years. Part-Jewish, he is married to Linda, who takes the Christian message around many schools in the Yorkshire town of Doncaster. Charles is also author of Israel the Chosen (Amazon) and Peace in Jerusalem, available from olivepresspublisher.com. He has four children and nine grandchildren, and can be reached by phone on +44 (0) 1302 832987, or by e-mail at chazgardner@btinternet.com.
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