November 4, 2006
The End is Near – Really!
This week I saw a cute cartoon somewhere that showed the funny little man holding a sign that read, "The End is Near," walking past two modern looking fellows. One guy said to the other, "That’s not so funny anymore."
Election Day is coming up this week and even Christians are getting caught up in the drama of it all, somehow buying into the belief that man can solve all the problems of the world without the Savior. But if we, like our Lord, are to be about our Father’s business, we need to keep in mind just what that entails. Our citizenship is in Heaven and when we get bogged down with this world order, we can veer off course so easily. It can be a trap and a snare to a wo/man’s soul. We need to keep eternity in mind.
There are several arenas in which signs point to the nearness of the coming of the Lord. These include:
The History Channel aired a documentary last week on their program called "Modern Marvels." This episode was called, "Doomsday Tech." The TV Guide said it was an "examination of current and proposed technology that could potentially lead to the destruction of civilization and earth." Not a pretty picture.
The program opened with the "Doomsday Clock" and how it started out at five minutes before midnight back in the 1960s during the Cold War. Now situations around the world have put it even closer to midnight as the nuclear threat from North Korea and Iran have the planet on edge.
The documentary examined several areas in which planet earth is being pushed perilously towards the edge of existence. It looked at "the law of diminishing returns," i.e. the depletion of oil reserves by around 2019. They noted that China’s importation of oil grew 225% between 1997 and 2004. They documented how the entire world’s food supply is dependent upon petroleum products for distribution and even cultivation. If it is depleted – since there is a finite supply – world starvation would result.
They also examined the potential threat of robotics gone haywire in which nanobytes, created to solve computer issues, could replicate themselves, grow like cancer, and destroy carbons which would result in what they call a "gray world." I’m not techno-savvy enough to explain it, but it sure sounded ominous.
That was just part one of the Doomsday Tech program. Part two focused on the potential for asteroids or comets to collide with earth; bio-terrorism; chemical warfare; and ended with a scary scenario of the potential for science fiction to become a reality via genetic engineering run amok.
Growth of Evil
The proliferation of evil is at an all-time high. The Bible records instances such as in the days of Noah and the days of Lot when His patience ran thin. In the case of Noah’s day, the judgment was global because the corruption of mankind was widespread. In the case of Lot – the judgment was centralized because the out-of-control immorality was contained to Sodom and Gomorrah. There are also extra-biblical instances of what appeared to be God’s judgment, such as the case of the destruction of Pompeii in the First Century. Just look up the frescoes that decorated the buildings in the ruins of Pompeii for evidence that it was a city given over to both heterosexual and homosexual prostitution.
Today’s immorality, unfortunately, is not contained to Las Vegas, San Francisco or Amsterdam. It is global and so God’s impending judgment will also have to be global, just as Scripture foretells. The Cup of Iniquity is not yet full, but it is close to the brim in regards to God’s judgment on sin – just like the Doomsday Clock is close to midnight based upon man’s ability to annihilate himself.
The recent scandal involving Pastor Ted Haggard, leader of the NAE (National Association of Evangelicals), is another example of how wide-spread sexual immorality has become. Romans 1 shows that homosexuality can be a judgment upon those who do not have a love for the truth. Isn’t it odd that even in the church, men fall into that sin, bringing shame to the name of Christ? Haggard joins a roster of men of the cloth outed for homosexual behavior, joining such big names as Paul Crouch, Paul Cain, Jim Bakker, and Roberts Liardon.
Access to porn on the Internet, I believe, has snared many men (and women) of God. It seems like pornographers target Christian ministries they find on the Web with provocative invitations in the subject-line. Christians are human too and the devil knows how to get them at their weakest moments. We all need to take heed lest we fall.
Unity on Political Common Ground
The "Religious Left" is now gaining ground on the "Religious Right" thanks to liberal movements such as the "Emergent Church." Religious political organizations find the lowest common denominator in order to add to their ranks. Politically charged religious groups such as the Christian Coalition need to get their strength in numbers. Therefore, Christian leaders involved in such organizations dare not speak out against false doctrines and teachings for fear of disenfranchising other members of their political group. At their gatherings they all pray together as if they are one, when they do not even agree with one another doctrinally. Truth takes a back seat to political expediency. It doesn’t matter if you’re Catholic, Christian, Moonie, or Mormon, what matters is your vote.
Leftist religious political groups get power in the exact same way. For instance, the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, (RCRC) founded in 1973 to fight for the right to kill the unborn, has an interesting roster of member organizations:
* Presbyterian Church (USA)
These are the same religious denominations that have political organizations to promote gay marriage and other immoral left causes. And yet most of these people call themselves Christian as they are headed on the road straight into hell.
Should Christians Get Political?
As Election Day approaches, what should a believer’s attitude toward it be? We are told in the New Testament:
"No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier" (2 Tim. 2:4).
For many Christians, the belief that man has all the answers and that the planet can usher in peace without the Prince of Peace is a new age concept. As Jesus put it:
"My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here" (John 18:36).
As we pray "Thy Kingdom come" – we know it will not manifest without the King. Unfortunately, that truth is being denied by those calling themselves Christian. Preterism is gaining popularity in the emerging church as the ideas of Reconstructionists and people like Rick Warren launch their own "peace plan" that includes anyone who professes any belief in any god. The cry for unity at any price will lead many to follow the false christ – the antichrist – who comes as a man of peace.
Does this mean that our critics are correct that those looking for the return of Christ have given up their responsibility to make this world a better place and are nothing but escapists? Maybe -- True believers are so few in number and we realize that no sold-out Bible-believing Christian can get elected to office without major moral compromise. So we are left with voting for the lesser of two evils, if you will. If you’re sold out to God’s word, you are outside the camp of today’s movers and shakers in Christendom. Jesus says to us: "For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it" (Matt. 16:25).
These perilous times call for us to be set apart – ready to be used by God for His purposes. We have to be careful not to have our feet in two kingdoms during these evil days.
"And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve... But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" (Jos. 24:15).
Heavenly Father, help us to keep our eyes on You and the things that matter for eternity. Give us wisdom in how to be salt and light in this world, being in the world, but not of it. We pledge our allegiance to You and You alone. Forgive us for getting so entangled in this world's affairs that we get side-tracked from the things that matter in exchange for the cares of this world. Rule over Your people so that we can demonstrate Your Kingdom to this lost and dying world. Unify us with other true believers so that Your Bride can be made ready for the Wedding Supper of the Lamb. Come quickly, Lord Jesus and bring us safely to Your Father's House. In Your great name we pray. Amen!
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