They Were the Worst of Times – and The Best of Times

Posted on December 11, 2023 by Elizabeth Welte in Freedom Fighters

Good morning on this new week of Freedom Fighter blogs. We thank you for joining us each week.

I have shared this several times over the years, but it seemed so relevant this year.

Sherwood Wirt, the Editor of Decision Magazine, wrote this in 1976!!! This was what the world looked like at the time of Christ’s birth.

  1. The people were being heavily taxed and faced every prospect of a sharp increase to cover expanding military expenses. Luke 2:1; also see Gibbon, “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.”
  2. The threat of world domination by a cruel ungodly power of an intoxicated band of men was ever just below the threshold of consciousness. See Paul Maier, “Pontius Pilate.”
  3. Moral deterioration had corrupted the upper levels of society and was moving rapidly into the broad base of the populace. See Romans 1.
  4. Peace propaganda was heard everywhere in the midst of preparations for war. See Jeremiah 6:14.
  5. The latest rulers were covering the landscape with their statues and images, invoking a subtle form of state worship. Mark 13:14.
  6. Intense nationalist feeling was clashing openly with new and sinister forms of imperialism. Mark 15:7.
  7. Conformity was the spirit of the age. John 9:16.
  8. Government handouts were being used with increasing lavishness to keep the population from rising up and throwing out the leaders. “Bread and Circuses”, cross reference Gibbon, Op.cit.
  9. Interest rates were spiraling upward in the midst of an inflated economy. See Gibbon Op. cit.
  10. External religious observance was considered a political asset. Mark 12:28-39.
  11. An abnormal emphasis was being placed on sport and athletic competition. Cross-reference Gibbon, Op.cit.: Will Durant, “A History of Greece”.
  12. Social life centered around the banquet and pool. Cambridge Ancient History
  13. Racial tension was at the breaking point. Acts 6:1 and 19:29.


In such a time and amid such a people, a child was born to a migrant couple who had just signed up for a fresh round of taxation and who were about to become political exiles. The child was called, among other things, the Prince of Peace. When He had grown up and entered upon His ministry, He said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you… let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

Does this sound vaguely familiar?

Paul wrote in Galatians: When the time came to completion, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba, Father!’ So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then God has made you an heir.”

Sounds to me like these same conditions are setting us up for the Second Advent when Christ will come as the King of kings and Lord of lords.

I know this – He will come at just the right time. Will you be ready?

Anchored to the Rock,

Bill Welte, President/CEO
America’s Keswick

You can email Bill:


Written by Dr. Bill Welte: Bill has been the President & CEO of America’s Keswick for 26+ years, living and breathing Keswick’s message of Victory every day. He has an empowering gift with people leaving each one with an impressionable sense of God’s love, grace, and truth. He hosts & leads various Keswick events, as well as speaking at numerous churches in the tri-state area. He now lives off-campus with his childhood sweetheart of 40+ years, Jan. They have four married kids and 12 amazing grandkids. In his personal time, he loves to read and weekly writes for Keswick’s Freedom Fighter blogs.

Think About This:  “Is man’s voice in your life stronger than God’s voice?” ― Paul Brady

The Daily Bible Reading: Acts 22-24. You can download our 2023 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here. 

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:  “The Lord is exalted, for He dwells on high; He has filled Zion with justice and righteousness. Wisdom and knowledge will be the stability of your times, And the strength of salvation; The fear of the Lord is His treasure.” Isiah 33:5-6

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