Letter to the Brethren – August 15, 2006

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Dear Members and Friends:

In July, the sun shone frequently in the UK, and we experienced the hottest month on record since records were kept in 1689. The World Soccer Cup seemed to grab most people’s attention, and there were a number of other major sporting events. In addition, many were looking forward to their annual holidays or had recently enjoyed some time away. With this backdrop, it can be easy to see why many people can be lulled into a false sense of security with a supposed “feel good” factor. While the news contains daily information on world events, the crisis in the Middle East, for example, can seem so far away. It’s over there and doesn’t affect us, can be the feeling. But we know that the Middle East is to be a focal point in end-time prophecy, and the killing continues as the tiny nation of Israel fights the Hezbollah terrorists who strategically and deliberately position themselves in public areas, so that innocent bystanders are caught up in the mayhem.

Last Thursday, the 10th of August, details of the security operation emerged which foiled an alleged terrorist plot to blow up flights from Britain to the USA. The UK woke up to this big news story, and many who were scheduled to fly across the Atlantic found themselves stranded for some time in the wake of massive security restrictions. Reality set in with many people. Significant problems were suddenly more localized. Messrs. Blair and Bush were in constant contact while on vacation, according to official sources. This was big news both sides of the Atlantic. To try and blow up several airplanes surely identifies the mind of Satan who, as the Bible clearly tells us, is the “prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2). Much more could be written on this matter, but suffice to say that this sort of activity must bring us all up short and remind us of the times in which we live.

Apart from the ongoing terrorist threats, many nations are concerned with the belligerent approach of North Korea and Iran over nuclear weapons. We live in an ever increasingly interdependent world where problems in one part of the world can significantly impact the rest of the world. The financial markets are such an example. Problems on Wall Street or the Far East can impact the London Stock Exchange where financial markets are so closely aligned, and terrorist activity can have grave financial repercussions. Recent problems with oil production in the USA caused concern with the price of oil again increasing. Many countries enjoy a good standard of living, but morality continues to slide with a modern replication of the problems that caused the demise of Sodom and Gomorrah. The world’s evils continue apace, and we must be aware of what is going on. Wherever you look, there are significant problems. In a way, that in itself is nothing new, but it is an accelerating situation (see 2 Timothy 3:1-4). We live in a world that is on the edge