Summary: This message seeks to expose and reveal the mysteries of apocalyptic images right before the Second Coming of Christ. it challenges believers to be faithful, focused and unflappable in light of the Return of Christ.

Best life practices, most solid advice, came from my time as a boy Scout … Scout motto is be prepared, and its always worthwhile to observe some timeless codes of conduct, especially practices like: thrifty, clean, brave and reverent, they are go-to principles when the future looks uncertain. I have made some wrong predictions,

in spite of the timeless codes of scout practices, I've missed many opportunities. I have bought when I should have sold, sat when I should have moved, quit when I should have pressed forward, and lived in fear when I should have trusted God. I am thankful that Jesus gives peace for the past in spite of the pain from our regrets and resentments. I am grateful that Jesus gives power for the present when we feel pressured to comply with the standards of the world. I am also indebted because Jesus gives hope in spite of those who speak and predict a pessimism for the future. There has always been a boom in doom and gloom. I read about some doomsday predictions.

• In 1939 the US Department of the Interior said that American oil supplies would last only another 13 years. 1949 Secretary of the Interior, the end of US oil was in sight.

• Life Magazine, Jan 1970. “By 1985, air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half. eleven degrees colder by the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us in an ice age.” “scientists have solid experimental and historical evidence to support each of the predictions.”

• Ted Turner Dec. 2, 1998 blamed Christianity for overpopulation and environmental degradation, and argued that the people who disagree with him are “dummies.”

• In 1968, Paul R. Ehrlich wrote The Population Bomb the battle to feed humanity had been lost, major food shortage. “In the 1970s, hundreds of millions starve to death,”

• I love the last one, prediction in 1890, panic, within 30 years horse manure in the streets of the city would be piled 3 stories deep in NYC. Good thing that automobile was invented!

There’s a boom in doom and gloom, What is the future hold? I was Reading the paper and noted some of the news stories and headlines, Here are some of what I read

* stories of economic stress, volatile market climate.

* political accusations, upheaval in gov’t.

* panic, we are a house on fire, claims an Environmental activist, catastrophic disasters coming to planet earth.

* I read about wars, rumors of wars, new threats in the mid east, Rather gloomy pessimistic forecast!

What will really happen? What does the Word of God say about the future? In brief, I have some Good news some bad news and some great news, From our scripture in Revelation here's what we Know:

The good news is that Jesus is on the throne, He is sovereign over all things, his ways, thoughts and time schedule is superior to any of ours.

The bad news is that conditions on planet earth will get worse before they get better, there will be a 7 year period of trib, God releases judgment, and Satan’s wrath and rage against Christians will be barbaric, However God will seal His people with protection to not just survive but to overcome.

The greatest news happens in the end -- Jesus returns, as Lord and King. He establishes a new heaven and new earth. i.e. "we win." the details of these events ... they are found in Revelation, its apocalyptic literature, it means unveiling, so that what’s unknown, is revealed and may be seen.

Today Revelation 16: refers or peeks back at Revelation 9 and the intriguing description of armies who are assembled, John said he heard, they counted in number 200 million troops total, in Rev. 9, John does his best to describe their appearance and the sound of these armies, uses language which at that age sounded like science fiction, they appeared like a cloud of locusts, had power like scorpions to sting, caused agony, tortured not animals, but only people, and wore something like crowns of gold, faces resembled human, but had long hair lke women, teeth like lions, breastplates of iron, the wings sounded like thundering chariots and horses rushing into battle,

I believe what John is describing may have sounded like bizarre science fiction for his generation, but today it makes sense its believable based on what we know and see with our weapon technology, military equipment. this advanced technology was not around in John's age but we almost take for granted the sights and sounds smells of battle equipment. We hear John straining to describe what he sees and hears, but we know what it looks like and how it sounds and where it is used today. A 200 million man army must have made John scratch his head in bewilderment, it would have sounded impossible in that gen. because the whole world pop was less than 1 million, but today 8 billion humans on planet earth 200 million troops in multinational army is a small fraction.

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