Derek Prince - We Cannot Solve The World's Problems
This is an excerpt from: Why Should We Be Longing for Jesus' Appearing?
All right, moving on. The third reason why I believe all Christians should long for the return of the Lord, the appearing of the Lord, is that it’s the only hope for suffering humanity. Now, there are those who preach what is called a social gospel. I am not criticizing that. I do believe that Christians have an obligation to identify with the suffering, with the persecuted. And to do whatever is in our power to help them. James says pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to visit the fatherless and the widows. That’s neglected in a whole lot of churches today. We have committees for almost everything except the fatherless and the widows. James says our religion is unreal if we don’t take care of those who need our care. I firmly believe that. But, I do not accept what is implied by some who preach the social gospel; that we can solve the world’s problems with that gospel. We cannot.
If you traveled as Ruth and I do, in different countries praying for the sick, sometimes I just have to say, my mind is absolutely staggered by a little glimpse of the total suffering of humanity. And I don’t believe it’s getting any better. In fact, you could argue that it’s getting worse. Modern medicine has done miracles, but how many people have access to modern medicine? You know, the population of the United States is 7 percent of the total world population. Don’t judge the condition of the world by what you see around you in America. They say 10 million people die of starvation every year. And most of them are little children. If you consider the extent of war, famine, of oppression, the injustice, the cruelty, the hatred, the sickness. I really don’t believe our minds could bear a total revelation of that.
Now I am naive enough to believe that when the Lord comes and establishes His kingdom, He will banish war, oppression, famine, sickness, hatred and all their attendant evils. I believe we have an obligation to demonstrate even now His compassion for the suffering. But let’s not have the idea that we, the Church, by ourselves can meet the total needs of humanity. I don’t believe we can. Furthermore, I don’t believe that a large majority of humanity are prepared to meet the conditions to have their needs met. That’s the real root problem. If man does not lay down his rebellion against God, he shuts himself off from the mercies of God. So I want to read to you a picture of what I believe will be what we call the Messianic kingdom. Some people use the word millennium, which is allright by me. Millennium simply means a thousand years. I do believe myself there will be a millennium. It says so six times in the 20th chapter of Revelation. So I don’t, know how many more times God has to say it before we can believe it. But if you don’t believe, I mean, that’s your privilege. How you will interpret these words, that’s your problem.
Let’s look at Psalm 72. Which is a prayer for the king’s son. Now the king was probably David. In a sense, his son was Solomon. But as we read the story of Solomon’s life it’s very, very obvious that Solomon didn’t fulfill this prayer. I believe, and I think many Biblical scholars do, that it’s ultimately a prayer for the greater son of David, Jesus the Messiah. And for the setting up of His kingdom. And in the first 14 verses there’s a pretty thorough description of what His kingdom will be like. I want you to notice that His kingdom will banish oppression, injustice, poverty, sickness and war. And I want you to notice the special emphasis on God’s concern for the suffering, the afflicted and the oppressed. I don’t think most of us have got any concept of how much God hates oppression. So here we are. Give the king Your judgments, O God, and Your righteousness to the king’s son. He will judge Your people with righteousness. And Your poor with justice – or Your afflicted, one or the other. The mountains will bring peace to the people and the little hills, by righteousness.
And I don’t believe there will be peace by any other means but righteousness. There’s a lot of talk about praying for peace which I think is rather unreal. Everybody wants peace but how many people want righteousness? I don’t believe we can have peace apart from righteousness. Verse 4: He will bring justice to the poor of the people. He will save the children of the needy. Of whom today in the earth there are millions and millions. In Mexico City alone there are probably 5 million at least. Children of the needy. And will break in pieces, or crush, the oppressor. I like that. I don’t know whether you think that’s a Christian attitude, but I’ll be happy to see the oppressor crushed. I’ll be happy to see some of the injustices that are perpetrated in Soviet Russia and other countries, in Afghanistan. I think they need to be crushed. Maybe you think I’m a little extreme, but I believe God agrees with me.
We’re going on, verse 5: They shall fear you as long as the sun and moon endure, throughout all generations. This is an eternal kingdom, it’s not just a temporary kingdom. He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass, like showers that water the earth. What a beautiful picture. And notice He shall come down, He’s coming from above. In His days the righteous shall flourish, and abundance of peace until the moon is no more. He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river, that’s the Euphrates, to the ends of the earth. Those who dwell in the wilderness will bow before Him; and His enemies will lick the dust. The kings of Tarshish and of the isles will bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba will offer gifts. Yes, all kings shall fall down before Him: all nations shall serve Him. For – now this is why God blesses Him. For He will deliver the needy when he cries; the poor also, and him who has no helper. He will spare the poor and needy, and will save the souls of the needy. He will redeem their life from oppression and violence; and precious shall their blood be in His sight. He’s going to require that humanity accounts for the blood of the unjustly slain.
It says in the book of Revelation the earth gave forth the dead and those that were slain. I’d like to read also in Psalm 102. Just two verses which really just enforce this picture. Psalm 102:16-17. Key verses. Verse 16: For the Lord shall build up Zion. Build up, modern English: restore. He shall appear in His glory – that’s very clear. He shall appear in His glory. The Old King James says: When the Lord shall build up Zion He shall appear in His glory. In other words, the Lord is going to appear in a season of restoration of God’s people. For this century we have lived in that season, you understand? It started right at the beginning of this. And God has two covenant peoples in the earth. The Church and Israel.
And if you like to look over the history of the past 90 years or so, you’ll find that there has been a consistent parallel work of restoration of God’s two covenant peoples. The Lord couldn’t return, until He built up Zion. For the Scripture says, when He will build up Zion, then He will appear in His glory. Now, note the next verse. He shall regard the prayer of the destitute and shall not despise their prayer. So the coming of the Lord in His glory, one purpose will be to vindicate the poor and those who have been unjustly afflicted and oppressed. I had an experience which was very vivid to me. As many of you know, Ruth and I live about half the year in Jerusalem.
One of the places we love to go to from time to time, is what’s called the Western Wall or the Wailing Wall. The western foundation wall of the old temple area. Which is the most sacred spot on earth for the Jewish people. And they go there regularly to read their prayer books and hold services. And to make their prayer requests. The way they make their prayer requests is they write them out on little pieces of paper, just like we would in a church service. But instead of putting them in the offertory bag they go and stick them in the cracks between the rocks. And so, any time you go there you’ll see literally thousands of little pieces of papers stuffed into the cracks between the stones.
I happened to be there one day, it was a very windy day. And the wind was blowing a lot of these pieces of paper out of the cracks. And they were blowing up and down on the stone pavement floor. I was just a little bit cynical and I looked at all these little pieces of paper. And I said to myself, there’s a lot of prayers that haven’t been answered. It was like the Holy Spirit gently reproved me and He said this: But there’s a day coming when multitude of prayers will be answered in a very short time. And I suddenly saw that the coming of the Lord, amongst other things, is an answer to the cry of the desperate and the poor and the afflicted. Who really have little or no other hope. Because this world system doesn’t do too much for them.