The Garner Ted Armstrong Evangelistic Association
 

The Only Resolution That Will Matter
by Jim Josephsen

The countdown has concluded. The revelry, the parties, the drunken orgies, the concerts, the fireworks, the festivities are now over. The midnight kisses are distant memories. Auld Lang Syne has been sung. Father Time 2015 has handed over the reins to New Year 2016 Baby.

Another modern day celebration, rooted in pagan religious tradition, a modern-day tribute to the ancient Roman god Janus is now complete. The dead of winter transition into a new year is now behind us as calendar year 2016 gains momentum. The salutation, “Happy New Year,” has faded, quietly awaiting another 365 days (well 366 this year, as 2016 is a leap year) to be heard again.

The one word commonly associated with every New Year transition is resolution. The promise or pledge, the resolve to do something differently (in the coming new year). The question asked by friends, family and co-workers alike: “What is your New Year’s resolution?”

In most cases, the responses are the standard, commonplace, impotent replies heard year after year. Web sites list them by the hundreds. To name a few; lose weight. Get in shape. More exercise. Find a better job. Eat healthier. Stop eating fast foods. Make more money. Save more money. Get out of debt. Go on a diet. Drink less coffee. Drink less alcohol. Read more. Stop procrastinating. Quit smoking. Get more sleep. Watch less TV. Reduce Stress. Volunteer. Socialize more. Meet new people. Go back to school. The list goes on. The quests seem endless.

In general, people resolve to change, adjust, stop or start behaviors that they did or did not pursue the previous year or perhaps previous years. All with good intentions. All with the hopes of becoming a better person, for self-improvement, living differently or acquiring more of something; self-attainment, or getting their lives in order for the future. The concept of a New Year’s resolution sets out to satisfy an unfulfilled or incomplete, perhaps even a troubled life. Something is wrong; something needs to change, something needs to be fixed. The motivation behind most resolutions is self-improvement.

With all the celebrations now behind us, reality is yet again evident. The arrival of 2016, reveals how much is still wrong, how many problems there still are in the world today. Not only wrong in the lives of human beings, but wrong with governments, politics, industry, finance, commerce, geo-politics, law enforcement, civil behavior, religion, sexual behaviors, families, society and social structure, morals, entertainment, education, healthcare, and the general wellbeing of all nations.

The first week of 2016, saw a dramatic slide in global stock markets. Initiated by China’s slowing economy, reflecting in an 11.96% Shanghai Composite fall in one week, along with plummeting global crude oil prices, lowest pricing in 12 years, and general financial instability experienced throughout the world, markets are exhibiting the lack of confidence investors have. Such a significant market value loss has put many an investor on edge.

A battered U.S. stock market greatly affects the “little guy and gal,” the middle class. People in the United States for instance who have their 401(k), 403(b), 501(c) (3), Roth IRAs, mutual funds locked in Wall Street are greatly concerned by the losses in the first week of 2016. According to the Wilshire 5000 Total Stock Market Index, investors’ paper losses amounted to approximately $1.3 trillion.

The future income of millions of human beings in America, Europe, Japan, China, India, Canada, Australia, not to mention Central and South America countries is now at greater risk. The global economic house of cards simply awaits the winds of financial instability to blow. Financial “experts” are cautious in their prognostications.

As 2016 commences, it is certain the world is becoming ever more fragile with the likes of ISIS, the rise of global Islamic jihadism, the rise of radical Islamic dominance, Middle-East tensions mounting, not only for the likes of Israel but now Saudi Arabia and Iran are rattling their sabers at one another. The reality of terrorist activity from radical Muslims as well as the specter of Islamic nations with nuclear capabilities dead set on destroying Western powers of Christian persuasion is causing many once confident and stable citizens to amass guns and stockpile food supplies and drinking water. Patriot, Militia and White Supremacist groups are increasing their membership in response to the burgeoning threat of immigrants.

As 2016 has awaken, North Korea is challenging world peace with a nuclear detonation test, whether atomic or hydrogen, time will tell. On a global level, the world has become smaller and turmoil, be it economically or militarily, can spill over to affect all nations.

The once dependable, stable United States, a nation other nations could look to for answers; a benefactor to underprivileged nations, the defender of the little guy and promoter of liberty abroad, the enforcer of global stability, is now no longer the trustworthy respected nation it once was. Within is internal strife, which is weakening the very fabric of social stability. Terror, fear and uncertainty leaves a populace at odds with its government and one another. Civil strife is only another gunshot away.

You can only answer for yourself. Are you confident in the years ahead? Are you confident, having a positive outlook for your future and the future of your children; your grandchildren?

Is there anything you can personally do to insulate yourself from the problems confronting all the nations and the world at large? If the global economy collapses and there develops a global recession or depression, what will you do? If terrorists attack using nuclear devises or biological weaponry, how will you survive?

With all confronting this world and you personally, there is a resolution you need to commit to, a resolution, which is the only one that will matter, a lifesaving resolution. A resolution, which in reality has nothing to do with a New Year.

The turmoil confronting the world today is only the beginning of the sorrows humanity will soon experience in the years just ahead. The Bible prophesies of a time called Jacob’s Trouble, known also as the Great Tribulation, soon to befall the modern nations of Great Britain and the United States of America (cf. Jeremiah 30:7 and Matthew 24:21). Along with brother nations Canada and Australia, these four nations, extremely wealthy and prosperous, will be brought to their knees under the weight of their sins and disobedience to God.

The collapse of the European Union, only to realign to become a ten nation confederation which will fight against a Muslim-led confederacy of Arab nations is only years ahead. This confrontation will result in turmoil and strife that will affect every nation and every person. None will be able to hide.

Economically, once reliable global economic systems will be relegated to a single trading alliance in which none will be able to buy or sell unless the participants confess loyalty to and worship of a supreme religious leader (the false prophet and his religious system) and his fellow political dictator (the “beast”) ruling inside what is now Europe.

At that time, the United States and Great Britain will no longer exist as independent, self-sustaining political nations. In addition, God reveals He will “lay waste the earth and devastate it. He will ruin its face and scatter its inhabitants. It will be the same for the priest as for the people, for master as for servant, for mistress as for maid, for seller as for buyer, for borrower as for lender, for debtor as for creditor. The earth will be completely laid waste and totally plundered. The earth will dry up and wither and languish.”

Why? “The earth is defiled by the inhabitants, because they have transgressed the laws, violated the statutes and broken the covenant. Therefore a curse consumes the earth and its people must bear their guilt” (Isaiah 24:1-6).

“Behold the Day of the Lord comes, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate and he shall destroy sinners out of it. … and I will punish the world for their evil and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogance of the proud to cease and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.” (Isaiah 13:9, 11).

The New Testament characterizes the days ahead for the entire world as a time “when they shall say peace and safety: then sudden destruction will come upon them, as travail upon a woman with child and they shall not escape” (1 Thessalonians 5:3).

The scriptures reveal what is to occur to this world in the near future, in the time prior to the return of Jesus Christ, only this time as Savior and King of this earth. Known as the Day of the Lord or the Day of His wrath, God will get the attention of all living human beings – including you! It will be the time when God finally says, “enough!” “No more will I allow your foolishness to destroy my earth, nor allow you to destroy yourself.”

The great day of the Lord is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the Eternal; the mighty men shall cry bitterly. The day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities and against the high towers. And I will bring distress upon men and they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the Eternal and their blood will be poured out as dust and their flesh as dung. Neither shall their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the Eternal’s wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy; for he shall make a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land” (Zephaniah 1:14-18).

Are you like the millions who think that as 2016 progresses, it will rebound to a sense of normalcy as the Stock Market recovers its upward forces?

Well perhaps! Perhaps what the first week of the New Year brought was just a glitch. Perhaps the markets will rebound. Perhaps China will adjust its economic policies to level the global playing field. Perhaps the United States will increase its consumer consumption. Perhaps humanity will straighten itself out.

Perhaps the likes of Putin, Kim Jong-un, Ali Khamenei, Khaled Mashal, Bashar al-Assad, Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour, Donald Trump, Angela Merkel, Barak Obama, Ted Cruz, pope Francis can all join hands and sing Kumbaya. Perhaps the likes of ISIS will back down from its strict devotion to kill and murder infidels; to its fidelity to the literal writings of the Koran [or Quran].

Perhaps you can hide your head in the sand and make believe it will all go away. Perhaps the world is not so bad after all. Perhaps you can continue in your same old, same old and resolve to this or that behavioral change for the New Year. Perhaps you will resolve to make a change that will cause you to feel better, look prettier or amass a little more of the physical things for the moment.

On the other hand, the world is not getting any better. Perhaps now is the time you can resolve to make a change that will be lifesaving and will affect your future. Perhaps you can resolve to seek God and humble yourself in obedience to His will and His laws, while He may be found; while you have the opportunity to do so.

“Seek the Eternal while he may be found, call upon him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts and let him return unto the Eternal and he will have mercy upon him and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:6-7).

“For thus saith the Eternal unto the House of Israel (to the end time, latter day descendants of Jacob), Seek you me and you shall live” (Amos 5:4).

God’s clear admonishment is for you to seek Him, doing so for your good, for an assured future.

Jesus Christ admonishes those who are willing to listen: “Watch therefore and pray always that you may be able to escape all these things that will happen and to stand before the Son of Man. (Luke 21:36).

You are to take notice of the “goings on” that are happening all over the world today; not to hide and pretend nothing is wrong. You are to humble yourself before God in prayer and obedience to God’s will. Doing so will ensure your eternal salvation and will ensure protection and survival from the turmoil and destruction ahead.

Would you like to take hold of a resolution that is meaningful?

“Seek the Eternal, all you meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgments; seek righteousness, seek meekness; it may be you shall be hid in the day of the Eternal’s wrath” (Zephaniah 2:3).

That is the only resolution that will matter!
 

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