In the past 30 days, we should have heard this call about two different events. One was the Standard & Poor downgrade of the US outlook for paying debts from Stable to Negative. What does that mean? Well, listen to this.
Very large budget deficits and rising government indebtedness” are cited as reasons for Standard & Poors decision to downgrade the United States economic outlook to negative. America’s dangerous deficits have come home to roost,” said Joint Economic Committee Vice Chairman Kevin Brady. “Standard & Poors is comparing our nation’s deficits and debts to our AAA peers and finding reason for concern.
This article appeared in the Texas GOP Vote on April 28, 2011. The article went on to say, S&P said today their move signals there’s at least a one-in-three chance that the United States’ long term rating could fall within two years.”
Please don’t get hung up on the fact that it is a Republican paper reporting this information. Standard and Poors is NOT a political party. They are a legitimate, objective issuer of Bond Ratings which effect the interest paid on borrowed money. The lower the bond rating, the higher the interest rate. Forget about the technical part of the equation, the real statement here is that one of the most respected National Financial Institutions in the world is telling the US Congress, “You are not managing your debt well.”
A few days later, The International Monetary Fund issued a bombshell. “According to the latest IMF official forecasts, China’s economy will surpass that of America in real terms in 2016 — just five years from now.” This was reported in MarketWatch.com April 25, 2011.
While the IMF report has been criticized, the American people realize the impact of this statement. Who is one of the major purchasers of US Bonds? China. My brothers and sisters, please do not dismiss this as a political statement We must be aware of our surroundings, while we live here on earth as part of our Stewardship of God’s assets. Let’s see if the Bible has anything to say on the topic.
The Pharisees and Sadducees came and, to test him, asked him to show them a sign from heaven. He said to them in reply, “(In the evening you say, ‘Tomorrow will be fair, for the sky is red’; and, in the morning, ‘Today will be stormy, for the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to judge the appearance of the sky, but you cannot judge the signs of the times.) An evil and unfaithful generation seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it except the sign of Jonah.” Then he left them and went away” (Matthew 16:1-4)
The Pharisees and Sadducees came to test Jesus, to dare him to prove himself by showing them some sign for his claims of who he was. When Jesus told the Pharisees and Sadducees they could not judge the “signs of the times,” he was talking about them observing what God was doing through him. People were being healed. They were delivered from demon possession. They were forgiven their sins. These are things only God could do, yet they refused to accept him as the Son of God, the Messiah.
What are the signs of our times? God speaks of not borrowing money ( “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender” (Proverbs 22:7).) The Bible speaks of what pleases God and displeases God — the Ten Commandments. The Bible speaks of respecting people and not harboring anger or impure thoughts — the Sermon on the Mount. Some have deluded themselves that we can disobey God’s commands and still expect God to prosper us financially. God cannot dwell with sin.
Does it scare anyone else that the signs of our times are that in a short period of time, the United States of America can and will probably be (the borrower) a slave to China (the lender)? It is time to pray for America. I have written an e-booklet, The Rosary for America, A Rosary for Catholics and Protestants for the healing of America.
So, the signs of the times are these: “Jesus began to preach and say, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand’” (Matthew 4:17). This country and the world are headed for very tough economic times. I am not a prophet of doom, I am a pragmatic. We can not use Federal money to fund abortions, promote same-sex marriage, and push God out of our lives without suffering the consequences. This has been proven time and again in history.
We have just celebrated Easter. This year, the Feast fell on the same time schedule as the Jewish celebration of the Passover. That feast celebrates God freeing the Jewish people from the Slavery of the Egyptians. Easter celebrates Jesus leading us out of the slavery to the flesh.
The signs of the times are there. How does one obey them? Set up a budget, a spending plan, start tithing, and get out of debt. Pray. God will show you how. One of my favorite passages when I was in financial slavery, “For God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” God will make you willing and able to obey his commands. I don’t know how many times my prayer was, “God, I am willing to do your good pleasure, now you have to make me able to do it.” And God did.