This phrase from the Bible is highlighted in an enlightening way in the following letter written by Pastor Jim Bickel to his church family, Bethel Baptist Fellowship of Brooklyn, New York. In the troubled times in which we find ourselves, may we find hope in God’s sure Word.

Dear Church Family,

These last few weeks have proved to us the truthfulness and accuracy of our Bible.  It says that the last days will be very difficult and marked by dangerous times. People will only love themselves.  They will be arrogant, scoffers of God, rebellious, not considering anything sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving, slanderers of others, and have no self-control.  They will be cruel and even hate what is good (2 Timothy 3:1-3).  Their tongues will be filled with lies, and their mouths with cursing and bitterness like snake venom dripping from their lips, and they will rush to commit murder.  Destruction and misery will follow them and they will have absolutely no fear of God at all (Romans 3:13-18).  What a perfect description of what we see unfolding daily in the news.

What we have seen in the murder that began in Minneapolis and the murder and mayhem that have followed, would be totally depressing, were it not for the promise God has given to us.  He said that in these same “last days” He will pour out His Spirit upon all flesh (Acts 2:17, 32-33, 39).  If we believe this promise from God, then we have hope at such a time as this.  We also realize that this hope is the only real answer to our desperate time and all the devastation around us.

For this cause, I am calling upon all of us to begin and to continually cry out to the Lord to fulfill His promise to us now.  For our God is not a man that he could ever tell a lie.  He does not change his mind like we do.  He has never spoken and failed to act.  He has never made a promise and not carried it through (Number 23:19).

I am proposing that following July 4th, on Sunday July 5th, Bethel Baptist Fellowship will observe a day of prayer and fasting together.  Let’s set this  day aside to come together and call upon the Lord to pour out His Holy Spirit and to send a spiritual awakening to NYC, and the cities across our land.

Will you join us in this heart-cry to God?

Your Shepherd,

Pastor Jim Bickel

The key is following the Holy Spirit. Perhaps others may feel led to join in this God-pursuit, whether in the same way and time or however the Spirit leads you.

Acts 2:17, “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh.”

John Van Gelderen

John Van Gelderen

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