•  3 min. read  •  grade level: 6
What an ominous sound that has! When George Orwell, the English novelist, wrote his prophetic novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, that grimly imaginative picture of life in a future year, he simply reversed the date of the year in which he was writing from 1948 to 1984. Since then the year 1984 has come to have almost a "Doomsday" sound to it.
Through the mercy of God, the predicted totalitarian state has not yet fully developed. There is still religious freedom in many countries. But evil is rapidly and openly increasing; wars and threats of war seem epidemic, and incident after incident seems to be propelling the whole world into one great final holocaust. How strange it would be if the year 1984, that date chosen apparently by chance, should really be the last year of life as we have known it—the last year of our familiar civilization—the last year of the day of grace.
There is no question that the end of our age is near! "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce-breakers, false accusers... lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God." 2 Tim. 3:1-4. That certainly describes our times, and our times are the last days of this age.
Then what? Then "the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up." 2 Peter 3:10.
Terrible, terrible future! Is there no way to escape? Of course there is—but only now "while it is called today:' When the day of grace has ended the door will be shut, firmly and finally, to all who have been saying, "I'll think about these things—tomorrow." "I want to be saved, but not NOW."
NOW is all the time we have, now is the day of grace, "now is the day of salvation."
Why wait? Why not "seek... the Lord while He may be found, call... upon Him while He is near"? Why not "acquaint now thyself with Him, and be at peace"? "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee." Isa. 26:3.
Our coins say, "In God We Trust." The Lord Jesus says, "Ye believe in God, believe also in Me." To those who believe in Him and who come to God by Him there is no threatening future this year or any year, no fear of judgment to come, only the wonderful promise, "I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." John 14:3.
For the Christian, 1984 may well be the happiest of years, the year in which our Lord comes to take us home to be with Himself. "I will come again, and receive you unto Myself." John 14:3. "Behold, I come quickly." Rev. 22:7.