Word of the Week: Omniscience

End times being discussed in the news

UPDATE: adding this link from MSNBC's Lawrence "It's Not The End of the World" O'Donnell, refuting Beck & O'Reilly saying it IS the end of the world. Probably.

End time fundamental Christian prophesies are increasingly the news. People are beginning to wonder, "Is there something to all this?" It would take a person living under a rock not to see that things are not normal, and that a bit of personal introspection is in order, because the end of time prophesies just might be true. The massive earthquake in Japan and resulting tsunami are the latest events to really cause non-believers to wonder these things.

Of course, Fundamentalist Christians already believe them, wholeheartedly. We believe ALL of the bible is true. All of it. Liberal Christians believe differently. As Richard Niebuhr once famously said, liberal Christians believe in "A God without wrath brought men without sin into a kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a cross.” (H. Richard Niebuhr). So it goes without saying liberal Christians are not so hot on Revelation, believing it to be allegory and just plain weird, besides.

Here is a letter to the editor from a non-believer that sums up how the lost see us:

"St Louis Suburban Journal: Better to miss the "rapture"
"Please leave me behind! A number of fundamentalist Christians believe Jesus will soon come back (no date is set) and "rapture" them to heaven. All the rest will be left behind on earth to suffer misery, supposedly caused by Satan and his hosts. Those who are "raptured" will probably be ultra-right fundamentalists such as James Dobson, Pat Robertson and the late Jerry Falwell. Since I have no use for these people, I would prefer to stay behind and party with the "unrighteous." Though I believe in some kind of "higher power," I subscribe to no religious belief system. Most mainline Christians do not believe in the "rapture." They believe doing good here on earth (preserving the planet, helping others) is the number one priority. I'm on their side. "Rapturites," however, are anti-science, anti-government, anti-sex and anti-environment. They do not believe in evolution and think the world is only 6,000 years old. These beliefs are held by many "tea party" types recently elected to Congress, something which I as an American "progressive" find very embarrassing. To the extent that fundamentalist "rapturites" have political power, real, positive common sense says progress will be set back decades. People have the right to believe whatever they want, but they should not be able to push their beliefs into government policy. To paraphrase an old joke, "rapture" Christians and "tea-partyites" remind me of Moses. Every time they open their mouths, the "bull rushes." Count me grateful to be left behind."

Please remember to pray for the lost! He does not know the horror of what he asks for.

Since the mainstream media is so negative toward fundamental Christians, I am always happy to see reasonable articles about reasonable pastors and Christians in the news who are discussing the end time! The following two excerpts are from Christian publications, though, so they really are preaching to the choir:

The Christian Post: Pastor says end of world is near, really
"Every generation has cried "the end of the world is near." Yet "here we are still," noted one Southern California pastor. "Yes, we have heard this message before but over the years, certain things have happened that have immense prophetic significance," he said. He listed the dramatic escalation of global wars and terrorism, the push for unity or globalism, the change in world economics toward a cashless society, the unprecedented increase of killer earthquakes, and false teaching permeating the church. The world isn't quite yet at the seven-year Tribulation Period that the Bible prophesizes, Laurie said, but he believes it's close. "That means the return of Jesus Christ is even closer yet," he said. There may be some disagreements over the order of the prophetic events, he noted. But there is no division on "this one truth: that Jesus Christ is coming back again soon."

One News Now: Repentance in the wake of tragedy
"The founder of a Messianic Jewish ministry believes the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan last week is actually a "birth pang" for what the Bible says will grow more frequent and more intense in the very last days. These so-called 'birth pangs' really are intensifying and getting greater and more frequent -- and I think it's a wake-up call, not just for the Japanese," she offers. "We'd all like to think that the nation of Japan would turn and repent as a result of what happened. [While] we know that won't happen, we know individuals will. "[The] same is true in America," continues the ministry leader. "We're hoping that some of these horrible things can open up some eyes; that they can see that God allows these things for greater purposes; that time is indeed short, and that people would get right with the Lord."

Overall, it's the greatest to see a discussion occurring in mainstream newspapers about the end of days. Such a discussion happened yesterday as the Rev Franklin Graham was interviewed by a mainstream news outlet about the earthquake and tsunami, and end of the world prophesies. He was being interviewed because his organization, Samaritan's Purse, had collected 91 tons of relief supplies and was at the North Carolina airport ready to ship it to Japan. His answer is getting a lot of play in the mainstream press.

In the face of such negativity about biblical prophecy as shown in the `first letter above, and in the face of firm stances uttered by the two pastors in the next two excerpts, it's a bit sad for me to see that Rev Franklin's answer was less firm than I think it could have been. It's my opinion that Rev Franklin squandered an opportunity to speak with authority about prophecy to a lost and dying - but curious - world. However, I'll leave it to you to make an opinion for yourself. He did point to Jesus and the need to be ready to stand before Him at any time, which is a good thing to get out into the news stream. Here is a transcription of that part of his interview and below that is the entire video.

JOURNALIST: Some Christian authors and pastors claim that recent earthquake activity points to the soon coming of the return of Jesus. That we are living in the last days before the return of Christ. We’ve had the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. We’ve had the earthquake in Haiti. Hurricane Katrina. The devastating tsunami in Indonesia. Are folks right to link these natural disasters to end of world prophesies?

GRAHAM: Jesus' disciples asked Jesus what are the signs of your Second Coming…of your return. He told them there will be wars and famines, there would be earthquakes, that it would be escalating like labor pains. As a woman gives birth to a child, those labor pains as they begin, would start to intensify and with more frequency. And so, maybe this is. I don’t know. But regardless, all of us need to be ready to stand before Almighty God. Because every one of us someday is going to die and where do we stand, are our sins forgiven? Are we prepared to meet Him? And Jesus said I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and no man comes before the Father except through Me.

JOURNALIST: So, these end of world prophesies, you’re saying there could be something to them?

GRAHAM: There could be. I don’t know. But the bible tells us that we should watch. We should pray, we need to be vigilant, and no question, the bible teaches that the Lord Jesus Christ is going to return someday and for many of us we believe that day is sooner rather than later.

Rev. Franklin Graham: Japan Quake May Be Beginning Of Second Coming

In all seriousness, the point of the birth pangs is that they will increase as the birth nears. People will notice them more as unusual as they get worse. The pangs will penetrate their consciousness. The birth in my opinion being the Millennium Kingdom, the fulfilled promise of the Messiah to the Jews, and New Jerusalem, the Blessed Hope of our dwelling with Jesus in the place He has prepared for us). People are talking, and that is good. We can all pray that as the pangs grow more devastating and painful, that more people would look UP and seek Him. "And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself." John 12:32


Comments

  1. I won't be surprised if nothing happens for awhile and just as people start crying FOUL!, we'll be out of here...

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  2. http://newsomesinjapan.blogspot.com/ Miracles all around us, update from March 21 on relief work in Japan from a missionary's point of view.

    An updated report on CRASH, JEMA and Samaritan's Purse working together in Japan: http://theaquilareport.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4254:crash-japan-takes-lead-in-evangelical-christian-relief-efforts-throughout-the-tsunami-affected-region&catid=51:ministries&Itemid=134

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  3. Lawrence O'Donnell has some pretty not-so-nice things to say about his creator, huh?

    Wow.

    ReplyDelete

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