Blue Flower

Signs of the times

This blog page is a digest of our thoughts on world events as they relate to the coming of the Kingdom of God. We try to update it regularly, particularly when things happen that seem significant in the light of Bible prophecy.

From time immemorial the ownership of land has been bitterly contested. In the past, in continental Europe, frontiers changed many times, sometimes with bewildering frequency, and the colonial powers wrestled over territories in the New World. On a more parochial level, next-door neighbours have become locked in bitter feuds, sometimes involving costly court action, over a few inches in the line of a boundary fence. The Bible gives us God’s perspective on the bitter dispute in the land of Israel today.

The teaching of Creation in school is a thorny subject, not only amongst those directly involved in education but also amongst others whose concerns have been expressed very publicly. An eminent professional religious leader has stated that the teaching of Creation brings the Bible into disrepute. A prominent scientist has described the teaching of Creation as pure poison. The current government has threatened to withdraw funding from schools that do it. Where should a Bible believer stand in this debate?

As 2014 drew towards a close, hostilities in Gaza had subsided, but not ceased entirely. Attention then turned to a war of words. The Palestinian Authority submitted to the United Nations a draft proposal on a possible peace deal between Israel and Palestine seeking end to Israeli "occupation" by 2017. The draft calls for a negotiated peace agreement based on parameters such as the 1967 borders. It recommends Jerusalem as the shared capital of the two states. The proposal makes considerable demands and offers little in return.

When, at a ceremony in York Minster in January 2015, Archbishop of York Dr. John Sentanu asked the congregation if it was their will that the Right Reverend Libby Lane be ordained the first female bishop of the Church of England, one lone voice (that of the Reverend Paul Williamson) cried out “No, not in the Bible” and asked to speak on “this absolute impedimentcy” [sic]. His request was ignored and, the ordination went ahead with the overwhelming vocal support of the majority.

A number of incidents of anti-Semitism in Europe have been reported this year, and there is growing concern for the freedom and safety of Jews across the world. The situation has prompted the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to invite Jews from around the world to emigrate to Israel. We quote from a CNN article of 17 February:
“The door is open”, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said to Jews worldwide.

The recent election in Israel has drawn attention once again to the turmoil in the Middle East. It appears that significant factors in the result were policies with respect to Iran and to the Palestinians, while the domestic situation was not without influence.
The question being asked is whether the result will bring peace, or even discussion of peace, between hostile factions.

Readers of the thousands of websites and the bewildering array of books that deal with Bible prophecy and in particular with the signs that the return of the Lord Jesus Christ is imminent find a number of approaches presented, commonly with much exaggeration of the evidence and a tendency to cite fragments of Scripture without reference to the context in which the words occur, or to interpret timescales in prophecy with complex reasoning and to revise that reasoning when endtime dates come around but the end of time does not arrive with them. The situation is confusing and gives much weight to the way of thinking predicted by Peter in his second letter…