RELIGION ROUNDTABLE

Famine and pestilence abound

We are living in a time where you can read the Bible, listen to the news and they are actually parallel with one another.

For example, Matthew 24:6 tells us there will be wars and rumors of wars. Millions of people have been killed in wars during the past century. One British historian wrote, “The 20th century was the most murderous in recorded history …. It was a century of almost unbroken war, with few and brief periods without organized armed conflict somewhere.”

We are also seeing famines, pestilence and earthquakes in different places. The World Health Organization estimates that malnutrition plays a major role in the deaths of more than 5 million children each year. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, an average of 19 major earthquakes are expected per year.

In Matthew 24:12, it says because iniquity will abound, the love of many will wax cold. Sociologists from the University of California, Berkeley, and Duke University analyzed results from the General Social Survey and found that the number of people who do not consider themselves part of an organized religion has jumped dramatically in recent years.

In 2nd Timothy 3:2, it reads men will be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy. They will be lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God. Biblical prophecy is being fulfilled before our eyes.

— Winfred Logan, Heart to Heart Ministries

Use prophecies to stir up faith

I suspect if we were to ask a roomful of people under 30 about prophecies, the majority would reference Professor Trelawney going into a trance and offering a prophecy about Harry Potter.

This fictional prophecy may be more familiar to Americans than the prophecies in the New Testament.

If you are looking for the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy, you can find it. In Matthew 24:1-14, Jesus predicted that the temple in Jerusalem would fall and that there would be wars and rumors of war, famines and earthquakes. The temple did fall, and those tragedies continually occur.

Jesus predicted that his followers would suffer, betray one another and, unfortunately, Christians have difficulty in working together.

Jesus predicted that love would grow cold, and our high divorce rate and lack of compassion for immigrants could be seen as cases in point.

Jim Jones is an example of Jesus’ prediction of false saviors.

Jesus predicted that no one would know when the world would end. In spite of some confident preachers, this has also proven true.

In his letter to Timothy, Paul predicts that people will find teachers to suit their own desires. Some would argue this has occurred both with slavery and global warming.

Looking at fulfilling prophecies may strengthen our faith, but it is more important to ask if our faith is making us more honest, loving, generous and less selfish.

— Dale Clem, First United Methodist Church, Anniston