Earlier this week, I unexpectedly stumbled onto a blog which described a scenario that was positively frightening: “This present state of helplessness and great concern has now finally engulfed the hearts of those Americans who had once clung onto optimistic appraisals and hopes. They have now finally come to understand that the very hour in which they are now living is indeed the end of America…optimistic appraisals of our return to our Founder’s vision for America are now but a vapor and the reality of our nation’s estate have finally set in frightening those who now understand and can see that the implosion (morally and fiscally) of our nation is at hand and lawlessness, tyranny, and governmental slavery are at our very door…Almighty God has been finally ousted from our three branches of government and a secular agenda and government is now the new god of America. We look back at what once was America and understand that we are now in a new era, a new realm…the American Left’s fascism…has now revealed itself to be the consuming Dragon of old (John 8:44, Eph. 6:122, Rev. 12:9)…the master politician has now set the stage for his soon reception and 666 global state (2 Thess 2:3-12, Rev. 13) in which none shall escape (I Thess. 5:1-4, Rev. 6:19)”*
Wow. That’s about all I could say. The publication date on the blog is shown to be July 22, 2015. But the piece originally dates back to 2012, so its statements have been reverberating through whatever hallways gave it entrance for the last three years. Currently its flame of destruction was being re-fanned as the headliner for the July 22 edition of the website Prophecy Update, which describes itself as “news and information for the End Times.”
That phrase, again. End Times. I think I have created new parameters in defining that almost-annoying phrase. I now consider it a panacea catch-all, like a giant flypaper trapping every random act of evil that occurs on earth and attributing them to either a vengeful bent of God’s nature and actions, or to a permanently-preset Plan of Earthly Annihilation by which all in that time frame will be sent reeling.
But let me think, now…isn’t the last book of Scripture most- commonly referred to as “The Revelation of Jesus Christ,” not “The Revelation of Earthly Annihilation”? Hmm. I venture to say that we are called to stand in the gap between those vastly differing viewpoints and serve as comforters, counselors, bearers of His truth, and representations of His Love.
It is highly ironic that we – who are, as Paul taught, “a letter of Christ…written not with ink but with the Spirit of the Living God” – would not be drawn into this debate, asking, how can I provide a witness to a kind and loving God when the conversation moves into this dark realm of doom? I’m guessing (because I’ve been there) the most common and comfortable solution is to make no comment at all, or to switch topics quickly. However, “Qui tacet consentit”: Silence gives consent, and those responses do not change the narrative or spiritual understanding in a person’s life.
My recommendation – let’s engage. Gently. In love. Calling on the Spirit Who lives within to speak through us. It isn’t necessary to know every detail of every “end time scenario” to be able to state divine Truths which, like the planting of seeds, enable the Holy Spirit an extra opportunity to grow a redemptive crop within someone’s life.
Multiple times throughout the Book of Psalms, different verses repeat the theme, “For the Lord is good” and that “His lovingkindness is everlasting.” Are we still living in times that would be considered part of “everlasting”? I would say, yes. Also from Psalms, “Your faithfulness continues throughout all generations” (Psa. 119:90) Are we part of a lineage that fits into the phrase “all generations”? And I would consider the Scriptures in I John that point out “love is from God,” and “God is love.” People simply don’t know or understand our Abba, Father…
Jesus gave His Promise, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matt. 28:20) “The age” hasn’t ended…and He hasn’t walked away. Paul described believers as “ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us.” (2 Cor. 5:20, NASB) We have great diversity of ways to explain and rejoice in the Father’s choice to reconcile the world to Himself. Like Paul, we are positioned in a perfect time and place to proclaim, “we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” (2 Cor. 5:20b)
J. Lee Grady, author/speaker and Director of the Christian organization The Mordecai Project, recently shared these thoughts online: “Everywhere I go today I meet Christians who are wringing their hands and fretting about how dark the world has become. Some are conspiracy theorists who say the world’s economy is controlled by dark forces. Others are convinced that recent astronomical phenomena signal the end of the world, and they are stocking their garages with food to prepare for Armageddon. If I suggest that Jesus might want to pour out the Holy Spirit in a fresh way on this generation, some people get angry…many people have exchanged their passion for God for a misguided fascination with doomsday eschatology. They latch onto Bible prophecy ‘experts’ who make a living speculating about things nobody knows for sure. …”**
In my opinion, Grady has hit the proverbial “nail on the head” when he zeroes in on using the word speculation. Paul responded to the handling of “speculations” quite directly: “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God…” (2 Cor. 10:5) He countered speculation….with Truth…as can we.
And what, in the “grand scheme of things” could that accomplish? Well….perhaps the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in a fresh way on this generation…