One of the most telling signals of these last days I want to point to in this essay flashes daily in the spiritual eyes of observers of these prophetic times.
We are bombarded, of course, by things surrounding the nation Israel, which is the number-one sign of where we stand on God’s prophetic timeline. We see the violence that seems to be rising to the level, perhaps, nearly like it was in the days of Noah. The moral depravity hits us between the eyes hourly with homosexuality on the way to becoming the preferred lifestyle, not merely an alternative lifestyle, if Hollywood, the media, and the political left have their way.
We have become worse as a generation, just in America, than some of the most pagan of societies of past ages. I refer to the murder of more than 59 million unborn babies who have been sacrificed on the altars of convenience since Roe v. Wade in 1973. Abortion is indeed a religion of sort for those who worship the god of self rather than the God Who is the giver of life.
All of that said, I can think of no signal, sign, or attitude that more strongly signifies the lateness of the prophetic hour than that of the current, irrational anger toward Jesus Christ.
Those of us who hold to biblical values for maintaining sane, moral society and culture are accused of waging war on women, are said to be sexists, are called extremists of every description, or are designated homophobes and Islamaphobes. If we want an America like the Founding Fathers gave us and for which millions have fought and died, we are called judgmental and full of hate speech. We are insensitive, inflammatory, and in need of being locked away or sent for re-education/training.
The progressives brand us with all of the phobias they have coined or invented. They equate our belief system with irrational, schizophrenic behavior that is intolerant and that must be judicially dispatched so everyone else can forge ahead into a new age free of Christian restrictiveness.
They are absolutely right in one respect. It is the Christian worldview that is the holdup to wickedness being given free rein and/or reign, make no mistake. Paul foretells in 2 Thessalonians chapter 2 that it is the Restrainer–the Holy Spirit, resident within each believer–the Church, that is indeed holding back evil.
Islam is not considered in the liberal mind as being part of things gone awry. This is because the same father of lies directs this sort of thought process like he directs the perverted theology of Islam. Muslim thought and action are, for example, given almost complete non-culpable status around the world by a large portion of those within our political system and by mainstream news media.
This same spiritually dark thinking was made manifest in the Benghazi matter when a video–which practically no one viewed—was blamed for an uprising that murdered the American ambassador and others. The truth is that it was Muslim hatred–Islamist terrorists— that planned then perpetrated those ghastly murders.
One example of this was a number of years ago when the Nigerian Christian schoolgirls were abducted in Chibok. Rather than blame the Boko Haram Muslim terrorists, the Obama administration line was leaked that it was the Christian government of Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan that was to blame for the abduction. It was proposed that if that Christian government had been less restrictive and more accommodating to those of Islam, the (group) would not have acted as they did.
That American president from the very beginning made it clear that he viewd America as a non-Christianity-oriented country. He announced right after taking the oath of office that this is no longer a Christian nation.
Now, I’m not saying I disagree with his assessment. America certainly is moving fast and furiously away from the docks of Judeo-Christian moorings to which this ship of state was safely attached by the Founding Fathers. But, it was Obama’s administration’s constant and consistent support of or silence about judicial action against Christians that was so starkly disturbing. I will just mention a few very brief examples here of the hatred by governmental agencies and others for Christian, Bible-based thought. These were from several years ago, but the Christ haters still strain at the bits to punish and destroy Christian businesses.
I could cite dozens, and I’m sure you’ve read or heard dozens of examples yourself.
A Methodist church in New Jersey was sued for not offering its facility for use during same-sex weddings. A judge ruled against them. (LifeSiteNews.com]
Christian photographers, Elane Photography, in New Mexico was approached by a same-sex couple looking to hire a wedding photographer. Elane Photography politely declined, citing their Christian faith. The studio was sued by the couple under the state’s antidiscriminatory laws, and the couple won. (Amicus Brief in Elane Photography v. Willock; cited by Eugene Volokh on November 2, 2012 in Freedom of Speech)
Twin brothers, Jason and David Benham, were preparing to launch a show on HGTV entitled Flip It Forward. In the show, the brothers would be helping families in need renovate their homes. But when their staunch Christian beliefs were brought into the limelight by Right Wing Watch, HGTV cancelled the show before it ever had a chance to air. Their crime? A strong stance against homosexuality, abortion, and radical Islam. (Terresa Monroe-Hamilton, “The Silencing of American Christians,http://www.rightsidenews.com/2014050934250/life-and-science/culture-wars/the-silencing-of-american-christians.html; published on May 9, 2014)
These post-Christian-era bastions of “toleration” call Christian “homophobes” and “Islamaphobes,” and accuse Bible-believing people of being “haters.” But, it is becoming increasingly obvious that they, themselves, are victims of the reprobate thinking–the turning toward insane ways of thought, as given by the apostle Paul in Romans, chapter 1.
They are “Christophobes.” They fear and hate anything to do with Jesus Christ. They see what is represented by His Holy Name as inflammatory and intolerant.
This doesn’t surprise. As a matter of fact, it is a major signal of where we are at present on God’s prophetic timeline.
Jesus said: “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.” (John 15: 18-21)
Books are published and videos produced that deal with God’s judgment upon those who curse Israel. Some put forth that the Lord answers each attempt at forcing the Jewish state to give up land for peace by sending direct violent, natural phenomena—that is, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, etc.
These books and videos are produced by strongly devoted Christians, most for whom I hold considerable respect. They view these correlations between nations dealing with Israel and such geophysical rampages as documentable in every case.
Most begin their premises with the familiar pronouncement recorded in Genesis chapter 12:
Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. (Genesis12:1–3)
Some hold that presidents have paid the price for dealing with the Jewish people in a way that might be viewed as a “curse.” for example, Franklin D. Roosevelt died of cerebral hemorrhage after deciding the U.S. would not help in the formation of the Jewish state in its God-given land. Harry S. Truman was made president upon Roosevelt’s death in 1945. Truman was raised by a mother who was a strong Christian believer. She instilled in him the biblical truth that Israel is God’s chosen people.
Truman, in 1948, supported Israel’s rebirth, defying most everyone in his cabinet and the U.S. State Department. Thus, some who believe that God deals directly in the matters involving Israel hold that Roosevelt was removed because of his treatment of Israel. Truman, they believe, was blessed because he took Israel’s side. In fact, the polls and all political watchers wrote Truman off in the 1948 election, believing New York Governor Thomas Dewey would win the election.
Truman’s smiling face as he held up a newspaper the morning following the election tells the story, so far as those who think the curse vs blessing applies today are concerned. The headline read “Dewey Wins!” Of course, Truman won against all odds.
We know the end of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime. They came to their demise in the most ignominious way imaginable. They brought the entire German people down, dividing their nation. Similar disasters have befallen most all who have come against the Jewish race and Israel in a way intended to destroy them.
Coming into our day, those who write the books and produce the films point to events that prove their postulation that God deals directly in many cases with anti-Israel actions.
George H. W. Bush and his secretary of state, James Baker, held Israel at arm’s length, viewing the Jewish state in many cases as the problem in the Middle East. On one occasion, while the Bush Administration was trying to force peace on the region by trying to make Israel give up land, hurricane-force winds drove the Atlantic into the Bush home at Kennebunkport, Maine.
The son of Bush 41, President George W. Bush, it is pointed out, by trying to force Middle East peace at Israel’s expense, opened the divine door for Hurricane Katrina. That horrific storm occurred at the same time Jewish people were forced to leave their homes within territory won by Israel after the nation was attacked. Many in America were, approximately at the same time, forced to move from storm-stricken areas.
Now, what am I saying? Am I, with my commentary title’s question, pooh-poohing the proposition that these storms and other disastrous-type occurrences might have any correlation to leaders and nations dealing with God’s chosen nation and people?
No, as a matter of fact, I have quoted in my own books excerpts from some of the books by those who have written on the matters just mentioned. Most of my inclusion of those quotations have been positive. I do believe there is credence in many cases to the supposition that there is documentable evidence to support these writers’ position.
However, as I’ve asked in the title of the commentary: Is God judging? That’s a point to consider, because there are inconsistencies. Not every move against the Israeli people or Israel has thus far resulted in such direct judgment.
For example, Iran continues to declare their death wish for Israel. The entire U.N. is against the Jewish state—except for a very few. America, herself, was led to be against Israel by the previous administration.
There isn’t always, or even most of the time, direct, heavenly action against the diabolists who come against Israel.
So, Is God truly “judging” at the present time?
I will accept that it might merely be a matter of semantics. But, I view these events—the disasters thought to correlate to dealing nefariously with Israel—as not judgments, but warnings—very dramatic warnings in some cases. They are harbingers of things to come.
The truly God-directed judgments that are coming are stipulated throughout the old and new Testaments. Revelation particularly lays out the judgments of God in no uncertain terminology. God is going to bring the whole world into the place called Armageddon specifically because of the way the nations of the world have dealt with Israel—with the Jew.
For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land. (Joel 3: 1-2)
To my way of thinking, the number-one societal/cultural manifestation that points to the fact that this generation is at the very end of these last days is the wickedness that’s in every direction one looks. Evil permeates not just our lives through the never-ending crimes that assault us in every way imaginable, but also our very imaginations—individually and collectively—constantly delve and wallow in every sort of evil.
I find myself mesmerized, for example, time after time after time by the horrors of Adolf Hitler and his rampage against the Jews and all of humanity, while listening to the recounting of that beast’s short but unbelievably brutal time on the planet. There seems no end to the documentaries just on Hitler, alone, that fill hours upon hours of television fare. Likewise, I’m intrigued far more intensively than I should allow myself to be by the TV channel offerings that present factual accounts of murders, rapes, and other vileness man perpetrates upon man.
Entertainment venues are devoted to bringing us accounts of violence—both fictional and factual. So are the hard-news journalists who bring us their versions of the “news” during this late hour of the age. In that regard, we can hear reports of every sordid kind of local evil within the thirty minutes allotted for local news every evening.
So, not only are we bombarded by evil from our surroundings that could take our very lives, but our fallen imaginations—already wicked in and of themselves—are also encouraged to relish in the terrors suffered by others through the mayhem presented hourly on our computer monitor, TV, and movie screens.
Beyond that given above, we now face a burgeoning wickedness by a religion that threatens all of humanity in the name of their god.
Islam, headed toward 2 billion in number, is purported by the woolly-minded of the American left to be a religion of peace that has as its objective to bring all people into tranquility so that fighting and dissensions will end. It is more than overtly obvious, however, that that tranquility is intended to come through the death of anyone and everyone who won’t bow the knee to Allah. It is the same for all luciferian planning. It’s bow the knee to whatsoever regime, be it secular or religious, or lose the head…or be removed by the equivalent means of dispatch.
Antichrist will be the ultimate such beast, we are told. We are seeing his rise today that is swift and certain.
Evil continues to dominate the cultures throughout all of humanity. Jesus prophesied that the very last days before His return will be like in the days of Noah. Here is what God’s Word records about that time: “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5).
Paul the apostle prophesied that evil men and seducers will grow worse, deceiving and being deceived. We certainly see the truth of that foretelling in every direction we look today. Although Islam and all it entails manifests the absolute evil that is leading this generation to another juncture in human history when God must again take wrathful action as He did with the antediluvians, we must look within ourselves to see the true manifestation of the wickedness that separates humankind from the Creator.
When we are born again, we have a new, eternal, life in Christ. Old things have passed away, and all things within our souls have been made new. We are to live in that glorious light while we progress toward our heavenly home. We are instructed how to begin living in that light, putting the evil that continually plagues fallen man behind us as the Holy Spirit gives us the ability to do so.
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you” (Philippians 4: 8–9).
Recently I listened to a well-known preacher on his TV program saying something to the effect that only those “watching” for Jesus will go to be with Christ in the Rapture. He defined “watching” as those Christians who are truly wanting for Jesus to return and that believe with great faith that He will call them to Himself in that great Rapture event.
This didn’t totally surprise me, because this particular preacher has, in my opinion, never been clear in his thoughts on the security of the believer—that is, the once saved, always saved doctrine, as the sometimes hotly debated term goes.
While his remark in making such a statement—to be watching is commanded by the Lord—is scripturally correct, I totally reject the premise that it is possible for even one truly born-again person to be left behind when Christ says: “Come up hither” (Rev. 4: 1).
I believe that the apostle Paul made very clear who will be taken in the Rapture when Jesus calls the Church. Paul, in revealing the mystery of the Rapture, said the following:
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:51–52)
Paul, given the key to this mystery by the Lord Jesus Himself, tells us clearly that all will be changed. It will take place in less than a microsecond. That’s the Rapture!
The word “we” is the pronoun that is all-inclusive as given in this context. The “we” here means all who are born again—the Church.
There is no room for any believer to be left behind in Paul’s declaration. Those who are truly saved—that is, who are in Christ Jesus, who shed His blood and resurrected to redeem all who will but received this free, grace gift, will go in that twinkling-of-an-eye moment.
Paul, under divine inspiration, further enlightens concerning the security of the believer:
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
Again, Paul uses a pronoun that is all-inclusive of believers in God’s way to salvation—Jesus Christ—the only righteousness God the Father recognizes. Paul, under that divine inspiration, says that nothing and no one will ever be able to separate “us” from the love of God.
Paul is undeniably talking about the born-again, because he goes on to say that this “love” of which he speaks is “in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
The pronoun this time is “our,” meaning those he is talking about—including Paul himself—who are born again—that is, who are believers in Christ for salvation.
The TV preacher then said that watching for Christ means one is “worthy” to stand before the Lord on that Rapture day. Again, implying strongly that unless one is watching, he or she is not going to go in the Rapture.
He used the following Scripture in that declaration:
Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. (Luke 21:36)
Some years ago, I addressed the matter of being “worthy” in God’s holy eyes.
What does it mean to be “worthy,” as given in this Rapture example? Again, the answer is wrapped up in the same name as before: Jesus. Jesus is the only person “worthy,” in God’s holy eyes, to be in the heavenly realm.
Remember what Jesus said to a man who addressed Him as “Good Master”?
And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God. (Luke 18:18)
Jesus, the second person of the Godhead, was not seeking to chastise the man for addressing Him in this way. The Lord was confirming through this question that He is indeed God, the only good, the only righteousness. Righteousness is the only ticket to Heaven–either through the portal of death, or through the Rapture. Only through Jesus—being born again into God’s family through belief in Him—can a person enter the heavenly realm.
Jesus spoke to this all-important matter by addressing Nicodemus:
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (John 3:3)
God’s Word says about fallen mankind:
As it is written, There is none righteous no not one. (Romans 8:10)
For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. (Romans 8:23)
So, Jesus is the only person “worthy” to enter Heaven. It is through Him that any of us are worthy to stand before Him in that heavenly realm. That is the truth found in the Scripture in question.
On a less magnificent scale, the word “worthy” in this passage means that we should be in a constant mindset of prayerful repentance. We should always want to be found “worthy”—cleansed of all unrighteousness, as stated in 1 John 1:9, so that we will hear our Lord say to us on that day:
Well done, good and faithful servant. (Matthew 25:23)
Many of God’s children will doubtlessly lose rewards at the Bema (judgment seat of Christ,) for not being watchful and not listening for their Lord’s call in the Rapture. But, they will make that fantastic trip into Heaven, every single one, because of the Lamb of God who redeemed them.