Where Are We?
Editorial by Dave Weigley / Graphic by iStock
Is it too early in the new year to talk about where we are? When in an unknown place, I’m always touching the location icon on my smartphone to determine where I am. Wouldn’t it be helpful if our smartphones could also tell us where we are in the stream of time, where in Earth’s destiny clock? It’s the happenings of 2015 that have made me spend more time pondering this question. Do you also have these thoughts?
We just experienced an alarming year with unusual occurrences in our world. For example, the news reported this past autumn that the “most powerful” hurricane ever recorded was headed toward Mexico. Add that to the many typhoons and cyclones impacting other parts of the globe.
Signs of His Return
And, natural disasters are only one aspect of end-time signs. I could easily write about how terrorism and its proliferation, and a growing ecumenicalism among many Protestant churches—as many perceive its “mother church”—or its attraction to political leaders in our own country, are indicating to us the same event. What is going on? What’s coming? Or, maybe not what but Who?
Jesus Christ informs His disciples about the signs of His return, stating in Luke 21, “There shall be signs … distress of nations, the sea and waves roaring; men’s heart failing them from fear…” (vs. 25-26). And, Revelation 7 depicts four angels slowly letting go of “the winds of strife” upon our world. Could 2015 events be a fulfillment of these signs?
Adventist pioneer Ellen G. White also gives commentary on these events: “The restraining Spirit of God is even now being withdrawn from the world. Hurricanes, storms, tempests, disasters by sea and by land, follow one another in quick succession. The signs thickening around us, telling of the near approach of the Son of God…” (Maranatha, p. 175).
Now is the Time
Now is the time for our church, corporately and individually, to give the clarion call. Now is the time to be about prayer like never before. Now is the time for “all hands on deck,” to step up and take their place in proclaiming the good news of the blessed hope, and to realize the true fulfillment of Joel 2:28: “And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy… .”
I am encouraged by our union’s local conference presidents and associates who have chosen to challenge their nearly 1,000 pastors and churches—from 2016 through spring 2018—to intentionally focus on an intense time of prayer and purposeful outreach to the millions in our territory.
I hope you will join us in this endeavor, for it is time. Truthfully, I believe we are nearly out of it.
Dave Weigley is president of the Columbia Union Conference based in Columbia, Md.