Signs of the Times
The number of subscribers to American newspapers has steadily declined over the past 20 years. According to the Christian Science Monitor, newspaper readership among adults dwindled from 81 percent in 1964 to 52 percent today (April 25). It’s especially bad among younger adults. Last year, just 39 percent of 18-to-34-year-olds even read a newspaper.
Obviously, a lot of this has to do with the Internet, which allows news consumers to locate stories of interest with the click of a button as opposed to leafing through a print edition. But another factor to circulation declines is this: People just aren’t reading much.
If you aren’t reading regularly—following world events, studying history, proving God’s Word true by diligent and consistent Bible study—now, more than ever, is the time to start. Let this issue of the Trumpet be your wake-up call. We are most certainly living in the final days of man’s civilization, just before Jesus Christ returns to this Earth! These are fascinating and terrifying times. Reading, in large part, is how we discern the signs of the times. As a young man, Abraham Lincoln walked for miles just to obtain a good book. He pored over biblical passages and Shakespeare’s plays. As an American, he felt it essential to study the life of George Washington. He studied law and eventually became a lawyer. Yet Lincoln never received a formal education. He never finished high school.
John Adams is believed to have come from an illiterate home. Here is how he broke free from the family trend: “I discovered books,” he said, “and read forever.”
If you tend to make excuses not to read, stop. Stop waiting for perfect understanding, or fast reading skills, or for things to finally settle down. Stop waiting for the ideal circumstances.
Of course, be selective. As Solomon wrote, “[O]f making many books there is no end” (Ecclesiastes 12:12). You can’t possibly read everything. That’s why you have to be choosy. Life is too short. The times are too urgent. Concentrate on the best.
Then, while reading, stop when something moves you. Highlight. Pencil thoughts in the margin. Chew over it. Consider the Trumpet, for example. Are the articles in this issue true? Can you prove them true? If so, what does it mean for you personally? How will it alter your behavior?
Someone once said the object of reading is not to just get through material, it’s to let the material get through you. That’s the kind of circulation we here at the Trumpet are most concerned about.