Stepping out of the Wellington Hotel on Seventh Avenue, my friend, Mike, and I traversed the concrete time after time until my now 74-old legs hurt. I say now 74- -year old legs” because I was sixty-nine when we were in New York City those several years ago, and I turned into a septuagenarian shortly upon returning home.
I really thought I was in the best of shape. That is, the best of shape for one who had just a year and a half earlier been clinically dead three times in the space of an hour due to a “widow maker” heart attack, on Good Friday, April 22, 2011. My cardiac workouts over those months sense the heart “event,” as I like to call it, took me on an hours-upon- hours ordeal of going nowhere on a treadmill with a vicious incline and speed of operation. Yet, I came back to the hotel room each time and lay with my legs draped over one of those large, round, tubular pillows that my wife tells me are really there just for decoration. Walking in the big city is much different than walking on the treadmill, I found out.
So, biting into the Big Apple was a painful experience physically, much as biting into the Edenic apple (or whichever fruit it was) was painful both physically and spiritually for Adam, Eve, and all of the rest of us. But take a bite out of the apple we did, and we are prayerfully hoping that the seeds planted during that visit will bear spiritual fruit.
I received a request for the interview from a Canadian film company asking that I agree to answer some questions on camera about Bible prophecy. They particularly wanted to talk about the Rapture, after having visited www.raptureready.com and reading some of the thousands of articles on the topic posted there.
Todd Strandberg, the founder of the site– and I have agreed that any on-camera interviews will be done by me, since I’m such a ham. Actually, that wasn’t the reason we decided that I do the on-camera stuff, but the quip fits the jocular motif I wish to establish for the moment. Actually, there is some rather ironic humor in a blind guy doing all of the on-camera work–wouldn’t you agree?
That said, the subject and our purpose in agreeing to the request is a most serious matter. Talking about God’s prophetic timeline and the Rapture at this advanced stage of the Age of Grace is most critical for people around the world. The urgency made my answer to the producer’s request the only one we could give the filmmakers.
Whether to do the interview in the city that has been called “Babylon on the Hudson”–New York City—was a more serious twist of irony, as I considered and agreed to make the trip. I’m more than glad I did. I’m thankful for the opportunity to get the truth of where this generation stands at this crucial point in the nation’s history before the eyes and ears of America and the world. I am even more thankful that we put that truth on film in the most influential city and in the most influential part of that city, in the view of the people of most of the Western world.
Every year, the New Year is celebrated as it arrives at Times Square in the heart of that great metropolis. As the big, glittering ball drops, the masses gathered there shout the countdown in unison and break into deafening cheering when the ball reaches the bottom. The Canadian film crew placed me directly in front of where the ball reaches bottom, framing the interview within the area where the big clock is positioned in the background.
The masses went about their many activities while I answered the producer’s questions and the cameraman shot the film, occasionally stopping me to reload the cameras. The ambient noises in that great city are stunning, with people’s voices in conversation or shouting, vehicles honking, sirens blaring, and all the other sounds that town generates. Times Square is the center of the most frenetic activity, and although the producer stood near enough for me to hear his questions, my friend Mike and our friend Chris, a native New Yorker, said they couldn’t hear either the questions or the responses. Fortunately, the microphone was attached to my tie, just beneath my chin, so my words were easily picked up by the recording devices connected to the cameras.
The first question was simply a request, something along the lines of, “Will you tell us about the Rapture, and talk about what happens from now until the Rapture?”
Interviewers, particularly those in secular media, are often naïve with their questions. They have little understanding of matters involved in the pretribulational view of the Rapture, for example. To answer questions such as this one requires much longer than these venues have time to include. So, trying to be precise and to the point is always the challenge.
I responded that there is nothing that must happen from that point until the Rapture, so far as Bible prophecy is concerned. That was precise enough. But, then, I felt it necessary to go into what is in fact going on right now that makes us know the Rapture is imminent. That line-up of current issues and events and what the future of the Middle East–for example—might hold, seemed to pique the producer’s interest, and he wanted to know about what is the most important of these “signs of the end of days.”
They always like that phrase, “the end of days.”
My immediate, precise answer was, of course, that Israel is at the center of the world’s spotlight, with a diplomatic proposal in process of attempting to force peace between Israel and its enemy neighbors–all surrounding Islamic countries. These things are exactly as God’s prophetic word says will be the case at the very end of the age.
Most important, the interview offered me the opportunity to give God’s plan of salvation, which I hope I did to the Lord’s satisfaction. It was up to Him to make certain it survived the cutting room floor, once they began putting the documentary and weekly program together. I have no doubt that He saw to it.