I have addressed this end-time signal a number of times over the years. I will include in what I write here past portions from news accounts, etc., I have used in those past writings. Because we are flooded these days by individuals and media scoffing about Christ’s return, and particularly about our position on the rapture, we must continue to present that scoffing for what it is–significantly a part of the overall deluge of prophesied last-days indicators.
The key prophecy, of course, is given in the following:
“Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation” (2 Pet. 3:3-4).
I once received an e-mail containing an article that, in my view, encapsulates some of this type of scoffing. The mocking coming from those who claim to be within the body of Jesus Christ makes it doubly troubling, because it leads to throwing fuel on the fires of rage against things of Christ–including prophecy yet future.
“’I am so frustrated by how so many so-called mainline Christians, clergy included, are caught up by dispensationalism,’ said the Rev. Robert Flowers, a local peace activist who also heads the Wesley Foundation, a United Methodist center just off the Baylor University campus.”
The article reported the reverend’s further castigation of those of us who believe as, he thinks, we believe. “’This view of a militant, violent sequence of events for the end times,’ he said, ‘has no problem with Jesus coming back in a blaze of glory, casting nonbelievers into hell with modern weaponry.’”
Rev Flowers believes that the Revelation and other apocalyptic writings in the Bible are just a reflection of the times John wrote it, in dire opposition to Rome, and to give some comfort to those under the oppressive thumb of their Roman masters. He scoffs at any literal interpretation of those passages involving God’s wrath, and says those of us who do believe in a literal interpretation are…well, I’ll let his own words from the article say it:
“’These people want to help usher in the so-called second coming of Jesus by any means necessary, even violent destruction via militarism,’ Flowers said” (excerpts taken from “Are we living in the final days? Local clergy weigh in,” Sunday, July 23, 2006, by Terri Jo Ryan, Tribune-Herald).
His is but one of many voices deriding, mocking, and scoffing at the pre-trib view of prophecy, the rapture, and Jesus’ literal return in the second advent to put an end to mankind’s sin-filled madness. From such diatribes, secular media constantly question me, as well as Dr. Tim LaHaye, Hal Lindsey, and many others, wondering over how we can wish for all-out war in the Middle East so that Christ will return.
Such is the furthest from the truth possible. We simply put forth what God’s Word says about these matters. For example, the strikes Israel must make in either defensive action, or in preemptive action must be reported, in light of Israel’s place in Bible prophecy. This doesn’t mean we relish the death and destruction. Such turmoil and unrest –such tragedy—is prophesied for Israel and its blood-vowed enemies the closer the age draws to Christ’s second advent.
The defensive and/or preemptive acts by Israel –to hit its enemies—is fact. Such acts, as time moves on, ratchets up in earnest the polarization of the international community against Israel –and perhaps the U.S. for its refusal –to this point—to twist Israel’s arm to accept an international community demand that Israel give in at every point in the effort to establish a Palestinian state on the tiny land area that makes up the present Jewish homeland. This is part, I feel, of the Mideast situation building toward Zechariah, chapters 12 and 14, predicting that Israel will become a “burdensome stone” to the whole world. They will become, ultimately, surrounded, and threatened by all the world.
We live on this planet, too. We have loved ones who would be affected by World War III, or Armageddon, the same as everyone else. We don’t want Armageddon. But, regardless, Armageddon is on the way. God’s Word says so, in very specific and horrific terms. Those opposed to the literal truth of God’s words on the coming apocalypse seem to want to stone the messengers. So, we must ask: Where does the violence really lie? With we who are trying to warn people of the wrath of God to come, or in those who want us off the planet, to shut us up?
That, incidentally, is exactly what will happen. Our critics will have wish fulfillment beyond their wildest imaginations. One day –perhaps very soon—Christians will indeed be removed. The rebellious earth-dwellers can then attempt to build their Utopia. They will even have a genius master architect to guide in constructing the one world order so fervently sought over recent decades. The final results will be catastrophic beyond any ever thought possible, according to Jesus, reflecting on the prophecy He gave Isaiah the prophet. Jesus said: “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matt. 24:21).
Scoffing is a prime signal of where we must be on God’s prophetic timeline. While we do not want global war, or regional war, or any other kind of war, we must proclaim that God’s Word says it is coming. We can do nothing to stop what God has plainly prophesied will occur. He is omniscient, and cannot lie.
Although we want peace, not war, we do look for His coming for us, first for all believers in the Rapture, then, at least seven years later, in the glorious appearing of Revelation 19:11. We do not shrink, therefore, from saying with the prophet John: “…Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (Rev. 22:20).