By Jerry Olson

The beginning story line delivered to you here today in this writing can be traced back to Noah. We are all descendants from Adam first and then Noah, after the great flood.  The ark that Noah built by God’s design was a sign of things to come in the near future for the people on earth at that time. Had repentance come about for those few, the story would have changed, but unfortunately it did not. God gave this new sign to give people reason to change, but they did not understand what this sign truly was going to mean. God could have built this great boat in a few short years, but He gave Noah and the people 125 years for this new sign to manifest into destruction. The ark became the salvation for just a few souls instead of the many that could have lived had they changed their ways; or asked God, “What was the meaning of this new sign?” However, they did not.
You would think that it might cause some thinking by the people, like what does this mean?  Noah was hand-picked for this assignment. Noah was a righteous man called of God for this special task. Noah remained steadfast and trusted God. Many years later God chose another man, Saul to be the leader that His people wanted. They were fearful of God, so they asked God for a human king. God tried to talk them out of this folly; but in the end, He gave in and gave them their king whom He hand-picked, like Noah, for this assignment. However Saul failed in his assignment because his faith left him and he began to rely on himself apart from God. Saul had experienced the power of God in several forms, especially God’s protection during battle early in his career as commander and chief of the army of Israel. But Saul never developed a lasting and trusting relationship with God. An example of this can be seen when Samuel was explaining to Saul his error in judgment when Saul referred to God, as Samuel’s God, not his own:  “For the people spared the best of the sheep and the oxen, to sacrifice to the Lord your God.” (I Sam. 15:15).  Therefore, God raised up a man after His own heart to lead His people after Saul. David was said to be a righteous young lad that knew God. David was a leader of men that relied on God during his role as the leader of God’s people at that time in history. David’s faith in God was strong and without equal up to the day he died. David’s undying faith gave him favor, power and providence with God.

Many years later man designed another large ship and they called her the Titanic and many thought she was unsinkable. She was state of art with all the latest technology and man-made sophistication available at the time; an example of human ingenious craftsmanship; at a time when human knowledge was said to doubling every few years. The Titanic built in the years leading up to1912, was at a time when America, was just beginning to come on to the world stage. Things were heating up in Europe that brought about the first major world war – World War I. America was instrumental in assisting our allies in winning this war. American leadership in the world was ushered in at that time.

President Wilson just after the end of this war tried to establish a league of nations which failed, but was the prelude to the United Nations with its headquarters now located in New York. The United Nations was finally formed in San Francisco in 1945. The same year that America led the world in defeating Germany on the eastern front and Japan on the western front in World War II. The same year that America built the first computer, ushering in the computer age; and it was the atomic bomb built also by America that ushered in the atomic age as well the same year 1945, the year of my birth. This is the time when America was at her pinnacle of power and prestige in the world; the zenith of influence and respect as well throughout the world. God gave American presidents a platform from which to speak to the world at that time; a microphone of technological achievement so that the world had an ear to hear from the most powerful office on earth, the United States Presidency. Presidents have come and gone after the great world war and now we find ourselves in another difficult time. A somewhat different time but a hard time for America and the world just the same.

A few short weeks ago America voted in a new president. He ran on the platform of change and hope. America heard him explain that his new policies were the answer to many of our nation’s problems. This new change and hope for transformation sounds good; but unfortunately for many these are only words, with little or no real power behind them. Not that Mr. Obama did not believe what he was stating, but that it does not line up with Scripture. I have come to realize that God’s Word is the only real thing that I can count on. Or trust in either. The man in the highest office in the land can only hope that his new policies will work; but with God, and the Lord, our true leader, we can be absolutely positively sure of the outcome for the society we live in. Everywhere we look, and in every facet of society we are experiencing troubles and problems, for which there are few answers. Change sounds good and hope is good too, but what does Scripture say? “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb 11:1)

We have not a single leader on earth that can bring about the kind of change that is necessary for safety, security, prosperity and joy for all of mankind here on earth. Not Mr. Obama, Mr. Limbaugh or Mr. Olsteen, just to mention a few who consider themselves leaders of men.

A transformation is coming, but not in a way most are looking for. Change is coming very soon. We Americans have come to enjoy a very high standard of living, way beyond that of most nations. We have taken our prosperity as expected; almost as if it were guaranteed, it sometimes seems; and without proper appreciation for sure. Primarily because we do not yet for the most part know where it comes from or how it originated. America’s blessings are a direct by-product of the birthright blessings bestowed on Abraham and his seed. And just like our forefathers, when they kept God’s law they prospered and when they sinned and forgot God their Provider, provisions were in short supply. Every person, family and nation that has prospered from the beginning, nearly 6000 years now, did so because of God’s blessing and provision. Although many Americans have enjoyed these many blessings over the years, many for the most part have absolutely no knowledge of how America came by these many blessings. America was at one time the most blessed nation on earth. However, now she has the greatest debt, and many other problems and troubles for which she has not the answers. Where is the wisdom that helped this nation become established? “Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this, in whose hand is the life of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind?” (Job 12:9-10). “He has made His wonderful works to be remembered. The Lord is gracious and full of compassion. He has given food to those who fear Him; He is ever mindful of His covenant. He has declared to His people the power of His works, in giving them the heritage of the nations. The works of His hands are verity and justice; all his precepts are sure. They stand fast forever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness.” (Psalm 111:4-8).  For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.” (I Cor 1:19).
Mankind, it appears, is oblivious to the intelligent design in the universe, nature all around us, and even the formation of man and his unique abilities and complex fashion. Ignorance has allowed such lack in our thinking to come about and misguided nonsense to exist; it is everywhere we choose to look. Just exactly what was written in the Scriptures some 6000 years ago is now coming to pass. Transformation, you bet, but not what most are thinking. I have heard them say, “We are America. We will pick ourselves up and get back in the game.” I tell you the truth; ignorance is about to become knowledge. Hope for some will become despair, and for a few others, welcomed deliverance. Society will be turned up-side down; fear and lack will dominate. As long as man is happy and satisfied and in need of seemingly nothing, true knowledge will elude us. God has, for the most part, taken a “hands-off approach” to man for six millennia; however that is about to change. Until man finds himself on his knees or face calling out to God, things will continue to trouble society. Man apart from God’s wisdom and knowledge is truly incapable of dealing with these many problems now facing our nations today. We are only now beginning to see the sorrow that is shortly going to come to pass here on earth. We are just seeing a small portion of the iceberg, much like what happened to the “unsinkable” Titanic that did sink back in 1912. It was not what was seen that sank her but what was just under the surface, unseen. This seemingly unsinkable ship on her maiden voyage sank in a very few hours. Much like what America will experience in the not too distant future. Rich and poor alike drowned in those cold waters. The Titanic didn’t just sink, it was torn in half and sank to a depth of 12,000 feet. It was said that men had said that “not even God could sink the Titanic”. I just wonder if God heard their statement and brought her down just because of that ridiculous statement.

There is no doubt that God has brought Mr. Obama into office. Even Scripture states that God places leaders in their positions as it pleases Him. President Obama’s first act as President should have been to convene both Houses of Congress for a joint prayer meeting and called for America to go on a month or more of prayer and fasting. Mr. Obama states that he is a Christian, and we know he is a leader, but does our new leader know God? I think I can, without question, state that he does not know God. Unfortunately, there also are the millions of professing Christians that too do not know God, and do not see the signs of the times, and who are not able to match these signs to the Word of our Creator.  A presidential call for prayer and fasting is exactly the kind of change America needs, and the world needs to be lead into, especially at such a time as this. Our President had a captive audience and could have made a difference, using his office to reach out to the masses. He lost his opportunity to bring about the only change that will make a difference. America’s, and the world’s, only road to a bridge for survival is our Lord Jesus Christ. The Word of God states that unless you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior your sins will not be forgiven, and the second death will be your epitaph.

The word hope was used along with change; but hope is a very weak word compared to the word trust. Trusting in our Creator is the only answer to the myriad of problems facing the world. We must trust in Him if we are to have prosperity once again. Hope in man is like trusting that you can patch a hole in the side of a sinking ship, while still at sea. Ignorance and relying on ourselves is a story that will end in folly. Do you remember the story of Jonah and the city of Nineveh? God sent Jonah to Nineveh to see if they would repent of their sins; but Jonah did not want to go. Well, God won that difference of opinion. God got him there anyway; even though the story is quite bizarre to say the least. In the end, God saved the people from utter destruction because Jonah’s message of needed repentance was heard and acted upon.

Hope is a nice word; but it does not have the same power as trust, when it comes to God. Have you heard the saying, “Ignorance of the law is no excuse.” The penalty must still be paid. If we accept Jesus, His blood will cover our many sins; however, turning our back to Him will result in total destruction. Both the rich and poor alike on the Titanic had hoped that they could survive the destruction; however it was not to be, because it was seemingly man’s word again, “unsinkable”. Over 1000 people lost their lives, because there were not enough life boats to save everyone. ‘Why would you clutter up the deck line with needless boats?’ the ship’s builders thought to themselves.  Even Captain Smith, who had a long and distinguished career with Kinard Lines, as the ship’s leader, thought so too. Yet, he could do nothing but go down with his wonderful shiny new ship.

Both leaders and ordinary citizens will have the same fate in the coming calamity, that is about to befall us.
The journey from hope to trust is a vast and dramatic one. Some would say that they mean the same. But the level of the faith involved is far different, miles apart. When we use the word trust, a much deeper feeling is suggested. For example, Saul hoped that David would be successful in defeating the giant from Gath; however, on the other hand David didn’t just hope but trusted in God to deliver this great adversary into his hand. The difference was the faith that both of these individuals demonstrated.  Saul was the king, the leader of God’s army. He should have been out there fighting Goliath; but he lacked the faith required, so he offered his armor to David. But David’s body was too small for Saul’s armor. David was just a boy. So David took 5 small stones into battle; but it only took one to bring down his enemy.

I Sam 17:10 “And the Philistine said, ‘I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.’ :11 When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid. :26 Then David spoke to the men who stood by him, saying, ‘What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?’”

A man or woman of God no longer just believes in God; but because of their relationship with God and knowing God (which usually takes some amount of time to develop), they can move from hope in God, to trusting God. That is, they are trusting in a lasting and timeless relationship, and lasting commitment to God, and receive assurance from God that He is with them, no matter what. Their faith has grown. They no longer hope God will save them, to knowing without any doubt whatsoever that their love for God is even less, than His love for them, and that their God and Lord, only want the best of everything for them. Their confidence is based on faith and trusting in God, all doubt is gone.

Very soon now, just as in the time of Jesus, His power will once again be demonstrated to the world, to show that God is real. Not some mystical aberration only formed in the mind of man. One day everyone will know God and His blessings will be made manifest for all eternity. Hope must change to faith and trust to experience the power of God. It is impossible to please God without faith. Our Father wants to share His provision and power with us but we limit these blessings because we fail to exercise faith.

Even though hope and trust share a common line for the title of this writing, they are far from being the same or even similar in meaning. For example, if you were given an opportunity to ask Jesus how He thought the outcome of His life and ministry would be, He would not use the word hope to describe the outcome. He would say something such as, His trust was in His Father to provide the outcome that would be pleasing to God the Father. He would state that He came to work and minister according to His Father’s will and He would be happily trusting in the outcome.

I ask you now the question of where is your trust or do you trust in anything really? I hope your hope, if that is what it is, will change to trust, before it’s too late. You see, I use hope because your life eternal, rests in your own able hands, it is not for me to trust in. Only you can for yourself, develop your own trust in God. Your hope and trust can be put into many different things, but what will yield you the greatest return. The more we invest in time on our knees in prayer to God and time reading the Word of God, and asking Him for understanding, greater will be the opportunity for trusting in God and His blessings both now and forevermore. Jesus has yet to come back to earth. There is still time to come to trust in Jesus. However, time is about to run out. What could be more important?  “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb. 4:16). “Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, ‘He catches the wise in their own craftiness.’ and again, ‘The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.’” (I Cor. 3:18-20).

Understanding must come by faith. However, faith is a gift. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.” (Eph. 2:7). What is faith anyway?  “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Heb. 11:1). Abraham is the father of many nations. Bu what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” (Rom. 4:22) And all those who are of faith are truly the children of Abraham (Gal. 3:7).
Jesus spoke about the sign of Jonah in the fish for three days, just as He would be in the earth for three days before His resurrection. We too have abundant signs, especially in the dessert town of Las Vegas with all its signs and abundant lights that light up the night sky in this party town. I have been there several times both on business and pleasure; but now I have no more desire to see all of the trouble that it seems to represent. Lights yes, signs yes; but un-seen darkness and trouble brewing, just as in the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. Las Vegas has become the modern-day Sodom and Gomorrah in my judgment. Understand, it’s not just that drinking goes on or the gambling (the Bible does not say these are wrong in moderation); but what is wrong with Las Vegas is summed-up in their advertising statement: “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas “?  This implies that there is no fear of God, and that you can readily do whatever you fleshly desire to do without any consequences.  This is why Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed – they had no fear of God or His judgment.

The pending doom is everywhere around. Unless you change your ways, repent and humble yourself before God, utter destruction awaits you for sure. Darkness resides in the great city of lights.   But just as was the story about what took place in Noah’s day, with the water coming forth, people again will be terrified by the rumblings that will be felt, the light that will shine forth and the trumpet that shall be heard throughout the land, as our Lord comes forth.

Jesus said to them, “Did you never read the Scriptures: ‘the stone which the builders rejected has become the Chief Cornerstone? This was the Lord’s doing, And it is marvelous in our eyes.’ Therefore I say to you, the Kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruit of it. And whoever falls on this stone will be broken [humbled]. But on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.” (Matt. 21:42-44).



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