Monday, March 21, 2016

Dial Daily Bread: How Agape Alone Can Meet the Final Test

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

Bible prophecy tells us that fear and terror will constitute the final test of "the mark of the beast." So exquisite will be Satan's perfected method of temptation that he will sweep into his ranks all who then remain susceptible to terror imposed by the sinful slavery of fear.

"He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand, or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name" (Rev. 13:16, 17).

Modern society is uprooted from its attachment to the land and agriculture, huddled in vulnerable heavily populated cities, utterly dependent for survival on economic integration, with peoples' minds conditioned by clever mass media presentations that specialize in horror movies and political herding. All this will combine to make death become the most terror-inducing threat that man has ever known.

And we can be sure that the author of "the mark of the beast" will also concoct a terror-inspiring spiritual fear through fiendish counterfeits of a false christ and a false holy spirit. Included in that final test will be his manufactured threat of God's eternal condemnation of all who dare to stand up for truth. If we are still subject to fear, down we will go!

This threat of starvation and of economic and social ostracism will terrify multitudes who have never learned agape by kneeling with Jesus in His Gethsemane.

But there will be a "remnant" who face this terror-inducing threat with holy calmness. They are described first of all as those "whose names have ... been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Rev. 13:8). Fellowship with Christ in His capacity as the crucified Lamb is the secret of their fearlessness. They are also identified as "those who keep the commandments of God" (14:12). True keeping of the commandments is the experience of agape, for only "love [agape] is the fulfillment of the law" (Rom. 13:10).

--Robert J. Wieland

From: The Good News Is Better Than You Think, 2002.
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