A Look atthe World
Matthew 16:1-3 And the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and to test him they asked him to show them a sign from heaven. He answered them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.”
SpiritualVision One goal of this course is to impart vision –
God has a strategyfor dealing with his enemy. WE are part of the strategy.
We live in extraordinary times • The world’s population has increased tremendously • The expansion of knowledge • Communications Maximum speed of human travel: • The goods explosion • The threat of nuclear holocaust • AIDS is today the “new leprosy”. Many forces threaten and attack traditional family values
Take a spiritual view of these trends. What does it say about the work of God, and the work of “the enemy”? Changeis unprecedented
spiritual upheaval a in the world today: The rise (and fall) of communism • The revival of militant, “fundamentalist” Islam • Western Christendomisno longer Christian.
At the same time, the Holy Spirit has been poured out in our age, in a way unmatched since the early Church.
“Poured out” – like water, abundantly flowing, generously given. Is 44:3, For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your descendants, and my blessings on your offspring. One Christian leader has estimated that more than 100 millionpeople today have been prayed with to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. Joel 2:28-29, And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even upon the menservants and maidservants in those days, I will pour out my spirit.
This is an age of unprecedented evangelization, and also of unprecedented suffering and martyrdom. As St. Paul said, “Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.” (Romans 5:20)
Conclusion • In our world today there are unprecedented expressions of evil, ways of doing evil. There is great suffering, and threat to human life. • At the same time, there is unprecedented work of the Lord. “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23).
Let us avail of the mercy, love, and forgiveness that God wants to give us, and let us help others avail of that mercy and forgiveness.