Years ago the Gaithers sang a song entitled Redemption Draweth Nigh…

“Years of time have come and gone since I first heard it told how Jesus would come again someday. If back then it seemed so real, then I just can’t help but feel how much closer His coming is today.

“Wars and strife on every hand and violence fills our land; still some people doubt He’ll come again. But the Word of God is true, He’ll redeem His chosen few. Don’t lose hope, soon Christ Jesus will descend.

“Signs of the times are everywhere. There’s a brand new feeling in the air. Keep your eyes upon the eastern sky. Lift up your heads, redemption draweth nigh!”

Signs of the times are everywhere… All through the Old and New Testaments we have proof that Jesus Christ came, died, rose again, ascended into heaven and will return. It is an undeniable truth.

Good men and women may differ on exactly when and how this will occur. But you cannot read the Bible without the understanding of what Jesus plainly said in John 14: “I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself, for where I am, there you may be also.”

The early church members believed this was an event right at hand. But we’re told that no one knows the day or the hour (so if you read that someone predicts His coming, you can bet ‘it ain’t true’!) Paul told the Thessalonian church the order of His coming and the rising of the dead and living Christians. And in the last chapter of the last book of the Bible, Jesus testifies three times “Behold, I come quickly (Greek tachu – suddenly) ”

I certainly would not profess to set a time for this momentous event, but I believe Jesus will come and I believe it could be at any time. Paul told Timothy that in the “last days” perilous times will come. Get your Bible; read II Timothy 3:1-9 and see if that doesn’t describe our world and nation today. And we’re told that in this time, even “members” of the church will “fall away”, something we see all too often!

As I write this today, I have been watching the news of the tragic shootings in El Paso and Dayton (the fifth and sixth mass shooting this year). Last evening on the local news, a story about “back-to-school” shopping showed “bullet-proof” backpacks. The news is filled with political rancor; everyone is offended; everyone has the right to his/her own opinion except those who don’t agree with them.

Another story told the story of a 4-year-old whose mother attempted to sell her to a pimp. Locally, domestic violence, crime, drugs, killings and the like are commonplace. And daily we continue to kill our unborn children! Frankly, I can’t see any of it getting any better!

Across the world there is famine, disease, religious genocide…yes, I know this type of thing has been going on almost since the beginning of time. But it certainly seems to me that these may be signs of the times, either the Lord’s coming or mankind’s slow societal suicide.

In 2010, Erwin Lutzer, pastor of the historic Moody Church in Chicago wrote a book called When A Nation Forgets God. What an indictment on any so-called civilized or Christian nation; what an indictment against America. Get the book; prayerfully read it and pray that God’s church in America will wake up and get busy loving, serving and evangelizing (and pray that it begins with you)!

The chapters of the book include: When God is Separated from Government, Judgment Follows; It’s Always the Economy (and no, Socialism is not the answer, never has been, never will be!); That Which is Legal Might Also Be Evil; Propaganda Can Change a Nation; Parents – Not the State – Are Responsible for a Child’s Training; Ordinary Heroes Can Make a Difference; and We Must Exalt the Cross in the Gathering Darkness.

As the Gaither’s sing, “Lift up your heads”. We must not give up; we must not believe Satan is winning or will win (he is an already defeated enemy); we must not forget that God is still on the throne; and oh, did I say it already … we must not give up!

Coastal Evangelism Conference

The annual Coastal Evangelism Conference will once again be hosted by Langston Baptist Church, 763 S.C. 905. The conference will be held this week. On Wednesday services are held at 6:45 p.m. and 7:50 p.m. Thursday services begin at 9:45 a.m. and continue throughout the day with the final service being 7:35 p.m. And on Friday the first service is at 9:45 a.m. and the concluding service is at 7 p.m.

Among the many guest speakers this year, you’ll hear Evangelist Tyler Blue, Pastor H.B. Charles Jr., Dr. Roc Collins, Dr. Johnny Hunt, Dr. Jeff LaBorg, Dr. Bob Pitman, Dr. Herb Reavis, Dr. Stephen Rummage and Pastor Mike Stone.

The LeFevre Quartet will be in concert on Thursday at 5:45 p.m. and Friday at 6 p.m. Worship leader will be Pastor Doug Smith. And this year there will be three “mass” choirs.

On Wednesday hear a choir anchored by Langston Baptist Church and joined by other Conway area churches. Thursday night the choir will represent churches along S.C. 9 and will be anchored by Living Water Baptist. And on Friday the choir will represent Lumberton area churches and will be anchored by the East Lumberton Baptist Church.

Phone (843) 365-5141, email to tjordan@langstonbaptist.com or go online to www.langstonbaptist.com.

CEF Softball Tournament

Child Evangelism Fellowship of the Greater Pee Dee will host its first Slow-Pitch Softball Tournament to benefit Good News Clubs.

The tournament will be held Aug. 16-17 at 8 Oaks Park in Georgetown. This is a co-ed tournament, teams of 10-15 players, age 15 and over. Cost is $15 per player.

Go online to www.cefgpd.org, phone (843) 365-4233 or e-mail susie@cefgpd.org.

Volunteers Needed

Holy Lamb Lutheran Church will host a BBQ Fundraiser for Help4Kids on Aug. 24. A lot of volunteer help is needed.

What can I do, you ask? You can pull pork, set up tents and tables, work in the kitchen, serve, clean up and take down. Email to info@help4kidssc.org.

Children’s Ministry Conference

Child Evangelism Fellowship of the Greater Pee Dee will hold its annual Children’s Ministry Conference Sept. 7 at Calvary Christian School.

This conference is a great training event and refresher for all who work in any children’s ministry: Good News Club, Sunday school, Children’s Church, etc. Go online to www.cefgpd.org.

Ground Zero News

Ground Zero of Myrtle Beach has the following three events upcoming. On Sept. 21 from 9 a.m.-11:30 a.m. you can participate in the National Day of Youth Ministry Training. This is a program for all members of the church youth ministry team. Eight different sessions will be held.

Then on Oct. 13, don’t miss iWorship with Sean McDowell. And on Nov. 16 hear the Newsboys in concert. Go wo www.mygroundzero.com.

Conway, Loris, Aynor and Western Horry

■ Mt. Vernon Baptist Church, 4301 Red Bluff Road in Loris, announces two special events. Saturday, beginning at 4 p.m. enjoy an Outdoor Youth Rally with games, food, fun and more (come prepared to get wet). Guest speaker will be Timmy Todd and special singing by the Jamie T Band will begin at 6 p.m.

This Sunday come to church for Family and Friends Day. Sunday school is at 10 a.m. and worship at 10:45. Lunch will be served. Phone (843) 756-6221 or go online to www.mtvernonbaptist.org.

■ Bethlehem #1 Missionary Baptist Church invites you to Praise in the Park Saturday from noon-4 p.m. Come to the Smith Jones Recreation Area for an afternoon of food, fun, music and fellowship.

Sunday the church, located at 1503 Dirty Branch Road, will celebrate its 130th anniversary at 11 a.m. Phone (843) 397-2703.

■ Salem United Methodist Church, 2376 S.C. 90, will have its annual golf tournament at Myrtle Beach National-South Creek on Aug. 17; register at 8:30 a.m. This is a Captain’s Choice Format; cost is $60 per person, $240 per team. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Epworth Children’s Home.

There will be lunch provided and door prizes. Phone (843) 251-8409 or email to salemumc90@gmail.com.

■ Quinton Mills will be in concert at Pleasant Union Baptist Church, 2940 Minnick Road in Aynor, Aug. 18 at 6 p.m. All are invited. Phone (843) 358-6588.

■ Johnson Edition, an upstate South Carolina sibling group, will be in concert Sept. 8 at 6 p.m. on Dogwood Hill Baptist Church, 1040 Mt. Zion Road in Loris. These young people blend a traditional and progressive sound for all ages and give the message the Jesus truly loves everyone. Phone (843) 756-3450.

■ St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church, 3449 S.C. 65, will be distributing food on the second and fourth Fridays of each month from 11 a.m. until all food has been distributed.

■ Loris First United Methodist Church, 3507 Broad St., has a Blessing Box in the church and it is available each Friday from 4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. This box contains nonperishable food items and individuals in need are encouraged to come to the church at those times. Also, if you would like to donate items, please place them in the box.

■ Dogwood Hill Baptist Church, 1040 Mt. Zion Road in Loris, has a food pantry on the third Saturday of each month from 8 a.m.-10 a.m.

■ Salem Baptist Church, 4008 Salem Road in Aynor, opens its Food Bank on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month from 9 a.m.-noon. The mission: “We serve Christ when we serve people.”

Myrtle Beach/The Coast

■ The Raleigh Ringers, an internationally-acclaimed handbell ensemble will be in concert in First Presbyterian Church of Myrtle Beach, 3810 Robert Grissom Parkway, Aug. 24 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 and available at the door or by calling (843) 448-4496. You may also go online to www.myrtlebeachpresbyterian church.org.

■ St. Philip Lutheran Preschool, located at 6200 N. Kings Hwy., is now accepting new students for the 2019-2020 school year. There are openings for 2-year-olds, 3-year-olds and 4-year-olds.

The first day for the new school year will be Sept. 4. Before and Aftercare is available upon request (fees apply). Call preschool director Janice Myers at (843) 449-4322 or visit the Preschool page on the church website at stphiliplutheranchurchmb.com.

■ Have you ever secretly wished you could try your hand at acting in a small part or have you actually acted before? The Well By The Sea on Forestbrook Road is launching a new Creative Expressions Department.

The Well has a script in hand and is seeking community members from age 5-85, who want to be considered for a volunteer part in the drama. Speaking parts and nonspeaking parts are available. And there is a need for various volunteer stage crewmembers. No experience is necessary! If interested, please email Deborah at personalityprism@gmail.com.

■ Knitting Hearts Ministry will present Ted Bowen and Jeremy Deas in a program titled Knowing the Voice of God. This will be held Aug. 17, beginning at 9:30 a.m. Email knittinghearts.col2.2@gmail.com.

■ Temple Emanu-EL by the Sea, 65th Ave. North and N. Kings Highway, invites you to Friday night service at 7:30 p.m. (Kosher Oneg), Shabbat Service at 10 a.m. (Kosher Kiddush).

Current Second Nature Project: we are collecting individually-wrapped snacks and juice boxes to help both the Community Kitchen and Helping Hand. Place in the basket by the front door of the Rosen Center. All Mitzvoth greatly appreciated. Questions? Contact Karen Osborne at (843) 446-1060.

Camp Judaea: Israel, Judaism, Nature, Community, Individual growth. For boys and girls age 7-15. Phone 1-404-634-7883.

■ Myrtle Beach Christian Church, 1226 Burcale Road, opens its Thrift Store each week, Thursday-Saturday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. You are encouraged to come out and browse and buy and in so doing you’ll be supporting this community outreach. Phone (843) 236-1121.

■ Temple Shalom, 4023 Belle Terre Blvd., invites you to Shabbat services each Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Phone (843) 903-6634 or go online to templeshalommyrtlebeach.net.

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