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Ray Stedman - December 31, 1987
The Fire next Time
Scripture References: 2 Thessalonians 1:1-12
From Series: "Studies in Second Thessalonians"
The main theme of these two letters of the Apostle Paul concerns the second coming of Jesus Christ. The rapture of the church, the revealing of the Man of Sin, and how Christians are to live in the light of the approaching end of the age comprise the subject matter of this series, "Waiting for the Second Coming." "Many years ago, Dr. E.M. Blaiklock, who was then Professor of Classics at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, visited our fellowship and said something which I have never forgotten. This renowned Biblical scholar declared: 'Of all the centuries, the twentieth is most like the first.' We can, therefore, feel very close to this young church in Thessalonica. Many today sense an approaching world crisis. A nervous, jittery stock market; a growing sense of cynicism and distrust of the political process; an increase in drug and alcohol dependency, with the resultant physical and mental toll in human lives; scientists tinkering with our genetic make-up and actually developing a business of selling fetal tissues; all portend a frightening crisis looming on the horizon of our times. Add to this the now familiar threat of AIDS, the spread of famine in many countries, and, of course, the ever-present threat of nuclear warfare, and it is clear that something terrible is about to happen. We are living in a world in crisis."