Am I the only one amazed by what appears to be the stunning speed of this economic meltdown?

Am I the only one amazed by what appears to be the stunning speed of this economic meltdown? It seems like years ago that we were collectively mourning the collapse of investment firm Bear Stearns—when in fact only seven months have passed since March 17, 2008. True, the home mortgage and foreclosure crisis was already under full steam in the summer of ’07, but in a post-Bear-Stearns world the dire headlines have exponentially accelerated! And in the unraveling process, we have witnessed an historic immersion and injection by not only our own government, but the governments of the world, into the marketplace of banking, investment and consumerism.

And yet all the economic masters, wizards and talking heads notwithstanding, the national and global financial predicament only grows more dire. For every voice that whistles the cheery note that “this too shall pass,” there is a growing and anxious chorus of analysts that warns the worst is yet to come. So who’s right? And aren’t we better off simply going about our quiet, citizenly, Christian ways, letting the finance barons, economic professors and Wall Street moguls negotiate with the nation’s and world’s politicians for the eventual “fix” that will surely come?

A century ago there was a little lady whose predictions at the time now seem amazingly prescient today. According to her, the exploding headlines that presage the return of Christ will be stunning in their speed. “Great changes are soon to take place in our world, and the final movements will be rapid ones” (9T 11). Would the overnight blitzing of our unfolding headlines of late qualify for “rapid ones?” Apparently, societal change in the closing chapter of earth’s history will be marked by its rapid flux.

But what is even more startling is her observation two pages later of the economic conundrum that will face earth’s governments just before Christ returns. “There are not many, even among educators [read: economics professors like Paul Krugman, this year’s Nobel laureate for economics, who himself is unable to prescribe a “saving” economic response to this crisis] and statesmen [read: Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, President George Bush, senators Barack Obama, John McCain, et al], who comprehend the causes that underlie the present state of society. Those who hold the reins of government are not able to solve the problem[s] . . . They are struggling in vain to place business operations on a more secure basis” (13). “In vain” seems to be the subplot these days, doesn’t it?

So how then shall we live, we who believe we are approaching the eve of Christ’s return? Business as usual? How dare we! What we expect of our government leaders we must demand of ourselves—steadfast vigilance and thoughtful, bold action. For the community of faith that means seizing the paradigm-shifting opportunities that this present crisis is providing to share the everlasting gospel of hope with those around us who despair the future. The return of Christ is the greatest hope this race has been given—energetically sharing that hope is the greatest mission this church has been entrusted. Given the accelerating speed of our headlines, surely we agree that this is the greatest opportunity of our lifetime to share the truth of Jesus with our world! “We must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming when no one can work” (John 9:4 TNIV).

Comments

Everything definitely seems to be moving rapidly, and at an amazing pace.Here in Australia, we are also riding the wave. There seem to be an atmosphere of fear and restlessness around,but peace could only be found in the arms of Jesus. When people talk about how hard it is going to be and food might be scarce, with all these flooding and droughts and,the rising cost of food, petrol and just about everything else, I can say with confidence "My God has promised me that my food will be sure". It is truly an opportunity to share the wonderful things that Jesus has instore for His faithful people. Thank you.

"The appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none, and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods, and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away." (1 Corinthians 7:29-31)

I am from an ex-soviet block country, and the financial turmoil is not new to us. I remember having ultra infaltion, to the point of government printing 1,000,000 bank notes. I called my parents a couple weeks ago, and their response was - don't worry... we are canned and bulked up and ready for winter. Somehow I forgot that it is still our way of life there to can and save for the times of shortage. What continues to amaze me about the US culture is the prevailing notion even among the top financial minds that the things are going to be "ok". Not in a sense that Jesus will make it all right, but that it's a minor bump on the road ... and the economy will stabilize, and we can resume borrowing and spending. I think that even in church today we believe that. This is one of the greatest opportunities to share God's plan in light of the latest economic developments. I'm certainly planning for God to use my knowledge of the current events, and trying it in to the events to come. If you (readers) have understanding about what is going on, don't keep silent. Plan for a mini seminar in your local libraries ( I am ) I've spoken to many people since the depression is unfolding, and they are interested in the Biblical view of all of this. It's an awesome opportunity.

This situation just reminds me of that fact that Ellen White said that the closing events of earth's history would happen with quick succession. Another thing of interest to note is how the redistribution of wealth proposed by Roman Catholicism has followed this economic meltdown ie. countries are pumping state funds to enhance their economic systems. Question for us SDA's is "Here is the time that we have been waiting for, what are we doing now?" Are we going to play church and go to sleep or get out lamps trimmed and full of oil while sharing the gospel feverishly in its simplicity and purity? I say we had better for "now is our salvation nearer than when we first believed!"

Hello, pastor. I really wanna know what will be next after this crisis. But I'd like to ask you this. What about that verse in 1 Thessalonians 5:3 that says: "While people are saying, 'Peace and safety,' destruction will come on them suddenly"? Should we wait for a period of crisis like this just before the return of Christ? Or should we wait for a period of "peace and safety" and then Christ returns smashing everything? Or do you think the last seven years of economic growth could be interpreted as the "peace and safety" period and we're really in the eve of Christ's return? Blessed be your ministry.

What a coincidence! On Sunday someone asked me about the quotation on 9T:13. I said I had also heard it, but didn't know the source. Then I was directed to your blog. I immediately phoned the individual with the reference. I had to read the whole chapter again. It is so pertinent. Nothing like the Bible and the "'read' books" to be our compass and guide. Thank so much for directing us to their importance in our daily lives.

I couldn't agree more with your observations, Pastor Nelson - especially in light of James chapter 5. I don't attend PMC Church, but I every time I listen on the radio, download a sermon, God greatly blesses. Now your blog has been a great addition to this site. I hope those who read about your observations awaken out of their spiritual slumber (which my wife and I did only a month ago) and realize how soon (even at the door) the bridegroom is. I'm sad to see that so many don't want to hear about this exciting and solemn event. My God continue to bless and use the ministry He established at PMC to inform, awaken, and make ready those who listen.

I have heard many comments about Dwight Nelson's sermon sabbath Sept 19,2009. How can I hear this sermon again or get a copy of it? Please let me know ASAP how I can either hear this online or get a DVD of that message. Thank you so much.

Add new comment

TCPDF ERROR: Some data has already been output to browser, can't send PDF file