America and the nations of the world, as we have explored, are–according to Glenn Beck and Hal Lindsey–moving quickly down the road that leads to global socioeconomic cataclysm. I agree. Such a destiny lurks in the murkiness of the not-too-distant future. However, exactly how that destination will be reached and who among the planet’s current population will suffer the disastrous fate predicted by Beck and Lindsey are matters for much closer scrutiny. Two questions we will try to address are in view as we look at the near future through the prism of Bible prophecy:
1) Will America and the world suffer Beck and Lindsey’s feared versions of economic collapse, thus societal catastrophe? 2) Will Christians in America suffer severe persecution as part of any such catastrophic breakdown?
Now, here’s where things can get quite confusing, if careful attention isn’t paid to the thoughts I’m trying to convey. I am of the conviction that America and the world will suffer Lindsey and Beck’s predicted economic, thus societal, catastrophe. Persecution and martyrdom will coalesce to make life for believers even in the U.S. region hell on earth as a result of that immense calamity.
I am at the same time equally convinced that there will neither be national and worldwide economic and societal collapse nor severe persecution and martyrdom for American Christians. Lunacy? Not if one views things to come through Bible prophecy as it is truly given for us to understand.
God’s ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts (Isa. 55:8). Believe it or not, like it or not, God’s Word demonstrates that He deals with mankind in dispensations–distinctive eras that He alone determines. This generation is part of the dispensation of grace–the Church Age. This dispensation will morph into the Tribulation, a period of seven years of God’s judgment and wrath also known as “Daniel’s seventieth week.”
My seemingly irrational claims, viewed in light of dispensational truth, are on sound biblical footing. Please consider slowly and carefully. Putting forth that I believe America and the world both will experience and will not experience apocalyptic socioeconomic collapse makes sense from dispensational perspective. Holding that American believers in Jesus Christ will not go through such persecution that includes martyrdom, all the while proclaiming that believers living in this nation will suffer persecution and martyrdom, is a biblically correct dispensational pronouncement.
These paradoxical proclamations are made understandable by the words of the greatest of all prophets–the Lord Jesus Christ. His astonishing prophecy about the end of this dispensation in which you and I are living addresses the two questions for which we seek answers.
Bible prophecy’s answers to these are as follows, I’m firmly convinced:
1) Neither America nor the world will suffer societal and monetary catastrophe that will bring about apocalyptic collapse due to man-made accidental bungling or contrived manipulation. However, there will be a crash of the world’s socioeconomic system, which will cause chaos of unfathomable scope, brought about by the God of heaven in an instant of time.
2) Christians in America today will not face persecution of the sort suffered by martyrs in past ages and by believers in parts of the world at present. But, following God’s next catastrophic intervention into earth’s history, believers in North America–as well as all other believers in Jesus Christ–will suffer persecution even worse than that inflicted upon believers of previous times.
Most Relevant Prophecy
When thinking on prophecies that are stage-setting for the wind-up of history, we most often point to prophecies involving Israel being back in the land of promise as most key to where we stand on God’s end-of-the-age timeline. The peace process and Jerusalem being at the center of the world’s spotlight show precisely the lateness of the hour.
That said, I believe no prophecy is more relevant for this moment in history than that given by Jesus Christ Himself, which encompasses not just the future of Israel and Jerusalem, but of the entire world:
And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. (Luke 17: 26-30)
This prophetic declaration by the Creator of all things is about the generation that will be alive at the dénouement of the age. Specifically, it refers to one catastrophic moment in the present dispensation when all of this world system will come crashing down. We will next look in-depth at the details wrapped up in Jesus’ foretelling of planet earth’s near future.