Have you heard of the Doomsday Clock? It was started by a group of nuclear scientists to represent “the end of the world” (so to speak), a “man-made global catastrophe” envisaged originally as a nuclear holocaust. Since 2007, climate change has been included as another possible cause.

So for the Doomsday Clock, 12 midnight is the “end point”. In 1947 the clock’s first setting was 11.43 pm. Since then it has been moved earlier and later more than 20 times. The closest to midnight was 2 minutes, set in 1953. The furthest was 17 minutes, in 1991.

At present, it stands at 2½ minutes, the second closest it’s ever been.

So what happened in 1990?

It was a time of great optimism. The “Cold War” had ended. Nuclear arms reduction was under way. Then U.S. President George H. W. Bush (the senior) announced the onset of a “new world order” heralding a time of unprecedented peace. Such optimism – but it did not last long.

Since then, two Iraq wars and 9-11; IS, North Korea and so much more. That’s why it’s now 2½ minutes to midnight.

The Bible says these “days are evil” so make “best use of the time”. The New Testament word translated “make best use” is EXAGORAZO, meaning “to buy out”. It depicts buying a slave’s freedom. In some Bible translations the word “REDEEM” is used – “Redeeming the time because the days are evil.”

The Doomsday Clock’s present setting refutes the optimism of 1990. These are EVIL DAYS. We need to “redeem the time”.

For too many Singaporeans, to REDEEM represents the freebies we get at the supermarket or when we buy something. The Bible uses REDEEM to describe what Jesus did for us on the cross. His death redeemed us; paid for our release from slavery to sin. So as Christians we also must do REDEEMING work.

Part of the work of redeeming time is to INTENSIFY INTERCESSION.

Our optimism is that prayer is God’s means for His will to be done on earth as in heaven. We need to intensify intercession especially at our Church Prayer Meeting (CPM) and at cell. It would be good if more could prioritise CPM as part of our personal commitment and response. Remember John Wesley’s words: “God does nothing except in answer to prayer.”

Let us grow as God’s Praying People.

| From the Pastor’s Heart | Rev Melvin Huang | Pastor-in-Charge |
Article extracted from TheJourney Newsletter (Dec 2017)