Our times can be trying. One hesitates to even tune into the latest Internet or cable news program and watch the updated saga of suffering. The recent blood bath in Paris is a prime example of why people are disconnecting and disengaging in disgust.
Sure, we were warned. Those last days were to be "perilous times." But who knew? Who could have warned us about the blood-soaked details? Then modern technology brings it all home to us in real time.
A weariness has set in as the weight of the world's sin presses down so heavily that it is harder and harder to keep going. We feel like we are climbing a steep mountain with a heavy load. Up is down, black is white, evil is good. Political correctness will eventually destroy the planet. We're tired of the Keystone Kops running the show in nearly every capital of the world.
Those of us anticipating Christ's return have a great advantage. We listen for a trumpet in the midst of the carnage. If we listen carefully, we think we hear the hoof beats of the four horsemen in the distance. The end is nearis not a saying on a sandwich board worn by some homeless person marching down Main Street. Rather, it is the hope of the believer. Most people call it the Rapture.And no, it's not an escape hatch.
But if you believe this, one Christian outfit calls us "zombie Christians." Christian Today magazine is not secular, it is Christian but with a Leftist bent. It has more of an ecological agenda than a spiritual agenda, and their version of the world ending is because we're killing the planet. The apocalypse to them is climate change. I'm quoting a few paragraphs:
"It's easy to point a finger at the fundamentalist fringe who have been mass marketing the apocalypse through films like 'A Thief in the Night' and 'Left Behind.' These are based on weakly-constructed theology of a Rapture where believers are beamed up to Heaven to avoid catastrophes awaiting the planet."
The magazine continues, "Their theological version is called Premillenialism. You don't have to live in the Bible belt to be affected by this way of thinking. Many of us started our Christian journey with a version of the gospel message that emphasizes escapist eschatology. Sadly, with the best intentions, Christians have tended to deliver an altered and edited gospel that is robbed of its scale and supremacy,producing zombie Christians that are merely souls waiting for Heaven....."
Sure. Bring it on. Heaven, that is. In the meantime, tell me more about this good news. We can only tolerate looking around if we also look up. The Bible says the world will only have "distress with perplexity" as we enter the end-of-days. (Luke 21:28) That means our headlines won't be getting better this side of Heaven.
Disengage. Disconnect. Despair. Without God and the hope of Heaven, what other options are there?
Noted author and co-founder of the Rapture Ready
website, Terry James, writes in an article titled, Pastors, Be Forewarned
, "When one gently probes one or the other of the Bible-believing/preaching pastors with the question, 'Do you preach prophecy?' the answers are along the same line. It's my experience, and that of others who ask the question, that 95% of those asked say something like the following."
- Prophecy is just too hard for people to understand.
- I just don't know enough about the subject because we barely touched on it in seminary.
- Teaching people how to live as a Christian is more pressing.
- It scares people, so I just don't want to worry them unnecessarily.
- People have been talking about this for years and we're still here. We need to deal with the here and now.
Terry James continues, "Despite the fact that there are those who are overly speculative in their views of Bible prophecy, the following must be said. To the pastors of America who claim the Bible as the inspired, inerrant Word of the Living God but callously ignore its prophetic content--be forewarned.
"Your excuses/arguments won't stand the test of the Bema -- the Judgment Seat of Christ. You will be held accountable by the very Lord you proclaim you love so much -- the same Lord about whom the angel told John: 'for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.' " (Revelation 19:10b)
James says, "That same Jesus gave us the Olivet Discourse, during which He laid out general and specific things to come. The Gospel accounts give Christ's commandment of what to do about the many prophesied things He had just foretold: 'And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.' (Mark 13:37)
"Prophecy makes up at least 27% of the Bible. Half of that 27% has been fulfilled, with half yet to be fulfilled. Anyone with spiritual ears to hear and spiritual eyes to see is capable of following the Lord's command: 'And when you see these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh." (Luke 21:28)
"Certainly, if God calls people to be pastors-shepherds of His flock -- He equips them to feed the flock His whole Word, not just parts the pastor selects as important, while summarily dismissing the other parts of God's Word."
The author concludes, "The world is in an end-times rage.The seas and waves of humanity are roaring with distress and perplexity. Violence fills the whole earth.
"Israel stands alone in the global spotlight as the most-hated nation on the planet. The world is in economic chaos, headed for total collapse. All the while, technology is progressing geometrically in ways that will one day provide earth's last tyrant with the satanically-endowed ability to enslave most all people on this fallen sphere."
I am just off of "Understanding the Times 2015," my annual conference that examines current events in the light of the Bible and prophecy. People come with expectancy each year -- because their own pulpits are silent. Because their home churches deny them the privilege of hearing about the fact that the King is coming, they fill our mega-church almost to capacity. This year we had almost 7,000 over two days. (See video review below.)
They want to understand the end-time rage the world is in if it helps them to better keep an eye on the sky. If we are "zombies" as that magazine states, we are proud of it. We are not ashamed to say we can't wait for Heaven.
The King is, indeed, coming. Somebody get very excited about it. Thankfully, this world is not our home.
Find Terry James' complete article here.