Recession? Probably. We’ll get through it. DEPRESSION? Could be. But it will be good for the character of the church. Or Worse? Yes, something worse is coming.

I clearly remember every administration since Dwight Eisenhower, and I never heard a prominent official suggest that we could be on the verge of another Great Depression. But I am hearing it now. Sure, from time to time Christian alarmists come out with dire predictions, but not until now have political leaders dared suggest a possible return to the 1930s. My father told of collecting potato peelings out of garbage cans to make soup. Of course it is possible, but how probable? No one really knows.

For believers, there are bad times and then there are BAD times. A recession is not a bad time; it is an inconvenience. A bad time, with a little “b”, is a great depression when we are forced to eat “Gypsy Soup” in order to survive (see Debi’s article). A bad time can be a good time for the spiritual life of the nation, can bring out the best in the church and the family, and can create strength of character and enduring spirits.

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A truly BAD time for us believers is when the state becomes hostile toward the Christian family and denies us the liberties to rear our children in a godly manner. That’s a BAD time. A BAD time is when the Department of Education forcibly assumes the role of overseeing the curriculum of homeschoolers, policing what parents teach their children in private. A BAD time is when the church is policed as to what it can say, the Thought Police arresting preachers for declaring the whole counsel of God regarding sin and righteousness. In Europe, preachers have been arrested for preaching that sodomy is a depravity contrary to nature. A BAD time is when ministers are silenced on pain of arrest for the crime of causing mental harm and guilt to children. A BAD time is when the State forbids parents from teaching their children the Word of God and encourages children to tattle on their parents as they did under the Communist rule during the fifties and sixties.

Bad times (with a little ‘b’) may come within the year—I said “may.” Who knows? And I don’t much care one way or the other. Families with small children should consider the Ant (Proverbs 6:6). But BAD times as described above are coming to America. There is already a famine for the Word of God—not the state’s fault—but there will be a time in the USA when the Word of God is openly forbidden, being labeled as “mentally unhealthy.”

When will this occur? I don’t know. But we can all see the trend. If you make a projection based on the present drift, it most certainly brings us to the BAD times in about ten to twenty years—maybe longer if there is a revival in the church. However, if the country is torn apart by extreme poverty and personal suffering, if violence so disrupts society that societal restructuring and social engineering are adopted, then Christians could be made the scapegoat as were the Jews in Hitler’s Europe. A nation that suffers greatly and sees no way out can be aroused to a hostile Nationalist spirit that is willing to believe the propaganda that the enemy within must be crushed for prosperity and stability to return. If a socialist or nationalist government were to publish propaganda that blames believers and the Bible for upsetting the country’s stability and prosperity, persecution could arise in one to five years.

The world is not going to get better. No political party is going to save us. Satan is the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4).

Our judges have neutered the Constitution insofar as it expresses Biblical principles and justice. That will not change, no matter who is in office. We just had an election between the bad and the very bad. This time, the very bad won. I think that God sometimes laughs as we choose our own form of judgment. Would it not be just for ten men and women to fall for every child the AMA digs out of the womb? You can be certain that abortion will continue, and with you, the taxpayer, footing the bill.

The USA leads the world in both the production and consumption of child pornography, with over one-fourth of it depicting violence toward children. Judgment is surely at our door.

We will have socialized medicine to match the socialized schools and socialized culture now being engineered through the public schools and the digital entertainment industry.

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The world stumbles around blindly, drunk on entertainment, while many Christians are planting “faith seeds” deep in the soil of avarice. The “emergent” church is emerging with a new christ, a gentle, tolerant, understanding christ who teaches us to love ourselves and lay down our narrow convictions for the greater good of a guiltless body of unified worshipers, swaying and swooning in a mega-Church and listening to light sermons from a New International Perversion. When the hymn books are closed, over half of the Christless-Christian men hurry home to their computers to seek stimulation through pornography.

I am embarrassed to be called a “Christian preacher” and so be identified with the TV and radio charlatans hawking their latest key to a prosperous and fulfilled life. When people ask me what church I belong to, as part of the greater church I sometimes answer, “Laodicea,” which means “rights of the people,” defined in Scripture as the “lukewarm” church. It was the church that Jesus promised to spew out of his mouth (Revelation 3:14–20). He characterized it as a church that left him on the outside, knocking to get into the worship service. They were having a good time without him.

There will come a time when the state will threaten to take your children. It may not occur until after you have raised your now-young ones. It may be later when your children are raising their families, but it is coming—unless there is a revival in the church equal to the Great Awakening that saved England from the bloody revolutions sweeping Europe. Get passports for everyone in the family and keep them handy.

The only sign I see that indicates a revival is possible is the stone-cold deadness of the church and the empty psycho-savior doctrines of the modern apostate church. My hope is that, as the church departs further and further from the truth, going to bed with the psychologists while dating the politicians, and “Christians” depart further and further from judgment, completely merging with the world, it will leave the overcomers standing alone to be recognized as the true historical representatives of the Biblical Jesus Christ — not the redesigned christ of the twenty-first century.

I am praying for a true revival, a deep-down-purity-in-the-inmost-being revival, a loving the Lord Jesus Christ, forsaking all, walking after the Spirit, telling your neighbor the good news revival; a taking the gospel to the whole world revival.

It may be that it will take suffering for us to get serious with God. I think so. And for that reason I am not in a panic to stay the reaping process that is surely coming. Let the fire burn away the chaff and lethargy of the structured church. Let the deprivation drive us to prayer. Let the world’s wholesale indulgence in sin actually cause us to hate it in our own souls so much that we would gladly take up our cross and follow him who died to save us FROM our sin.

When was the last time you sat with a house full of people, some weeping while singing “Tell Me the Old, Old Story,” or “Sing Them Over Again to Me, Wonderful Words of Life,” and they all meant it? I so long for the days of purity in the inward parts.

There will assuredly be persecution, unless there is a revival from God of major proportions. But then, the church is not yet ready for a revival, wouldn’t even welcome it. What will it take to get our attention? BAD times are coming.

In the meantime, I am not going to stop being joyful, and I will continue to live in and enjoy the blessings of God, sharing the same “blessed hope” that has been an anchor to saints for 2000 years. I will bless my children and help raise my fourteen plus grandkids, expecting good things to come our way. Deb and I will be here helping families and preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ even after they carry us away cold and stiff, for our printed material and audio and video material will be out there on the worldwide web, as well as in many nations of the world. Join us for our online Bible study, video and audio, each week. You can email me your questions anytime, at biblequestions@nogreaterjoy.org or call me 931-805-4820 while I am speaking. Go to www.NoGreaterJoy.org and click on the TUNE IN LIVE! button to participate.