Friday, January 11, 2013

Waiting for the Apocalypse

People who aren't saved are not immune from God's presence in the world. And He IS present. He is present by the Holy Spirit indwelling Christians all around. He is present by having revealed Himself in the world as Romans 1:18-20 says--

"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse."

What does it feel like for a non-believer to writhe under the presence of God and His wrath being revealed? What does it look like? Perhaps like this--

Waiting for the Apocalypse, Part II: In the beginning, a fear of the end
"We’ve worried about the end from the very beginning. Since Biblical times apocalypticism has been a constant human narrative, providing fearful ideas and images about the ultimate destiny of the world. In recent years, despite the cultural influence of science, it has taken on a whole new impetus and impact. “Apocalypticism ... (has) become a constant and unavoidable presence in everyday life,” say anthropologists Kathleen Steward and Susan Harding. We might all share the humour if the idea of apocalypse didn’t affect so many."

The article appeared in the Ottawa Citizen just before the apocalypse-that-wasn't, the Mayan end of the world thing that was predicted for December 21, 2012. The article reported that entire governments were sending out bulletins to reassure people. NASA was inundated with queries from scared kids. Prisons described mass psychosis. Whole 'bug-out' mountains were closed due to panicked survivalists scurrying to clamber up and hide.

The thrust of the article was two-fold. First the authors note that 'apocalypse mania' has been among the people since biblical times. The tone of wonder and perplexity underlying the article reveals that they can't figure out why. 'Aren't we rational? Haven't we gotten past all that, yet?' the authors seems to say. And secondly, that perhaps, just perhaps, since this kind of notion has been embedded in the human psychology all this time, it might, just might, bear looking into.

The former attitude is revealed when we read statements from the article like--

--We’ve worried about the end from the very beginning
--has been a constant human narrative
--recent times a new impetus and impact
--affect so many
--Notions of apocalypse are rooted in our understanding of history

It is evident that the human race has been dealing with notions of the end of the world and will continue to deal with those notions despite all man has done through culture an science to rid themselves of that pesky fear. The worry does not just affect the few and the insane, the article's authors are forced to admit. It is pervasive.

The second notion that authors seem to be grappling with is that because the fear of the end of the world has affected humankind for so long, it is not a historical or cultural phenomenon we can easily dismiss. Try as they might to rid themselves of the fact that people do indeed worry about the end of the world, there must be something to all this, they say. However, they make a failure of the attempt to understand why fears of the end of the world won't go away. They continue in the latter part of the article to construct a complicated secular humanist argument to grapple with this notion that so irks them and yet won't go away. They write:

"Perhaps before dismissing this kind of thinking we need to understand it."

The job of the rational being here, of course, is to inculcate a proper understanding of this persistent but ridiculous notion of the end of the world, before dismissing it. The end game all along is to dismiss it. The job of the rational being is to pigeonhole it and then say "AHA!" with pompous authority, then to dismiss it.

But they can't. They won't. They never will. Not until right up to the time when it states in Revelation 6 that the day of wrath is here.

"For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?" (Revelation 6:17). That verse isn't talking about the believers who converted after the rapture saying that the Lord's day of wrath has come. The verse just prior says that "everyone" will be saying that. Everyone.

It's through articles like that where one can get a real sense of the Romans verse. God is the authority on the end of the world, and behind that, we know, is the judgment. The reason we have had whole populations worried about the end of the world is that there will come a day when the world will end.

"Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead." (Acts 17:31).

The psychologists and sociologists and anthropologists all try to understand the mass fascination with the end of the world and the answer is simple- but they never study it. It is all in the bible. The reason there is a fascination is that the verse from Romans is being lived out in humankind. God has revealed Himself, and what is known about God has been made plain to them. And if God is plainly revealed to humankind through His creation, that means His holiness has been revealed. If His holiness is revealed, than our sinfulness is revealed. Humankind can never escape knowledge our our sinfulness, no matter how many pretty words and social sciences overlay it with reasonable sounding arguments. All that article reads to me is that the Romans 1:18-20 verse is true and living. Its truth is making them squirm. See, the article continues in Part 3:

"So why in our supposedly post-ideological age has apocalypticism returned so strongly? Why despite all the “progress” of modernity — scientific, social, political, moral, etc. — do so many think the world is going to end, at least as we know it? And what might be the consequences of this new Apocalyptic Era? The problem is that even in our supposedly rationalist era a lot of people — billions in fact — subscribe to apocalyptic scenarios of one sort or another."

Why won't it go away? Why? Why?

The article concludes like this:

"The only end-times prediction that can be made with any reasonable certainty, at least according to science, is that a few billion years from now the sun will go nova and balloon into a red giant and turn the planet into a cinder. Long before then we, as a species, will either have disappeared through our own folly — surrender to some apocalyptic delusion? — or evolved into entities that will take us home to the stars."

Are those our only choices? Die in a delusion, or become a cold and heartless star-baby, doomed to ever wander the universe in a perpetual evolution upward...to nothing? You can see exactly why Jesus is HOPE. The non-believer has no choices before him with regard to eternity, the future of the planet, and our reconciling to the higher power. Articles like that one from the Ottawa Citizen are really a plea for answers, because they have no answers and thus, no hope. But when given the answer: Jesus Christ, they writhe and shy away from the truth. But no matter, He is the answer.

Jesus Christ is our savior. There is no sweeter relationship on earth or heaven one can have. If you repent of your sins and believe that He died on the cross for your sins and rose from the dead to rule from His throne in heaven, you will be saved. Not Allah. Not the Mormon's Heavenly Father, not Buddha or Gandhi or Obama. Only the name of Jesus saves.

"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." (Acts 4:12).

When I was saved the Holy Spirit came into me and suddenly I understood the scriptures. He opens your mind. (Luke 24:45). He gives knowledge of your future. He offers HOPE! HOPE! HOPE! You will know about the end of the world and you will understand. It is my prayer that if you are wondering, seeking, or chafing under conviction of a weight you cannot shed, or living with an emptiness you cannot fill, here is how to be saved

How to be saved

No comments:

Post a Comment

"And they crossed on dry ground...

We know about Moses. We love him. We know of his his foibles, his sins, and his great faith. Moses is in the Hebrews Hall of Fame Faith and...