We are in that week where Christmas is past and the new year is about to dawn. [Editor's note: this article was written at the end of December, 1995.] It is a good time to ask ourselves where we are headed as we move inexorably into the new year. Many people don't know that the marking of time has had its share of glitches. The very calendar by which we mark time has been found to have an error of about 4 years. When the calendar by which we currently mark time was commissioned, it was desired that it would mark time in respect to the birth of Jesus Christ. However, this work was begun over 500 years after that event, and we now know that Jesus was actually born 4 years before our calendar says He was. Since the dawning of the new year this year will bring us into 1996, this is actually the end of the second millennium since God fulfilled His promises to send us a Savior--and the beginning of a third.
How will you begin this third millennium? Will New Year's Day dawn upon you as just another day? Or will this particular New Year's Day be different?
The answers to these questions rest upon two persons: you, and God. No one knows which either will do. You and I have no idea what decisions we will make this week that will affect us for all of time and into eternity. Neither do we know what God will choose to do this week that will alter our experience forever. However, we can do one thing: we can pause to pray for insight into the changes that God desires for us to make so that this year of 1996 will not be a heaping up of wrath in the Day of Wrath. Every year that goes by is either a year of storing up treasure in heaven, or a heaping up of wrath in the Day of Judgment. Every tick of the clock brings the final promises closer to fruition, and the final judgment closer to execution. 1996 may well be our last opportunity to sow before the harvest. Who knows?
Many people that I knew at the beginning of 1995 are no longer in this world. They are, however, still actively experiencing the fruit of their choices in this world. Many of us who are still here as 1996 dawns will not be here when 1997 comes around, but we will still be consciously subject to the choices we made while we passed the years of our life on this planet.
The prognosis for the future has dark edges. We have a generation of people coming of age who never had a stable family life to give them a sense of community and respect for others. This points to more crime and downright meanness. We have a generation of politicians who cannot set aside their pettiness in order to generate a stable financial environment. This points to great material difficulties in the future. We have a generation of people who do not know what loyalty and truth are about. This points to greater conflict and deepening peril. The prognosis for the future has dark edges.
How are you preparing yourself for the year to come? Would you, with me, make a concerted effort in 1996 to discover the Author of Truth and live in harmony with His revelation of Truth? Any lesser decision will only boomerang upon us in the days to come.