Oct 10, 2005
A Bad Time for Christians To Lose Their Eternal Perspective
When Terry and I talk on the phone, we often discuss the subject of how
there is such an amazing disconnect between the fulfillment of Bible
prophecy and the way the world reacts to the end times. I clearly remember the days
when the most mundane bit of news would spark the interest of prophecy
students. Today, I see major prophetic events pass with little attention
paid to them.
In the earlier 1980s, prophecy leaders gained a wide following by claiming to
have visions of judgment coming to America. Now that it can be more easily
argued that judgment has already begun to impact U.S. and the rest of the
world, most Christians seem disinterested in the idea. Any type of reaction
that does takes place is very short-lived.
The response to Hurricane Katrina and Rita set a new standard for prophetic
apathy. There is no point in American history where we have witnessed a
financial disaster of such magnitude that has not caused the general
population to wonder if a supreme being is trying to tell them something.
Instead of seeing people turning to God, I've observed several examples of
open defiance to the Creator. After Katrina struck New Orleans, Jon
Stewart of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" made a series of blasphemous
remarks. In the first program to follow the storm, Stewart challenged God
with an, "Okay tough guy" remark. In reaction to President Bush's call for a
day of prayer, Stewart said, "Shouldn't we have a day of shunning the
In the days leading up to Hurricane Rita's landfall, Stewart and company
topped their previous mockery. One reporter, when asked why we are having so
many hurricanes, said, "God was just being some kind of a [short for
Richard]." A couple of days later, Stewart opened a show by asking the
creator, "What part of 'God bless America' don't you understand?"
I think it is fair to assume that the cast of the Daily show will not fare
very well on Judgment Day. Because it takes silent Christians to allow
such blasphemous remarks to continue over the public airways, believers need
to be mindful of their own culpability.
Another insight into man's defiance came as the result of Hurricane Katrina
hitting Mississippi's riverboat gambling district. If God was trying to send
officials in Mississippi a clue about the evils of gambling, the point was
lost. The state legislators in Jackson quickly voted to allow casinos to
move onto dry land.
New Orleans' mayor had a similar reaction to Katrina. He proposed building
a casino zone near the historic French Quarter to jump-start the
hurricane-ravaged city's economy, saying a bold move was needed to restore
lost tax revenue.
Most Christians do not realize that lack of end-time awareness is the
greatest indication of the rapture's nearness. The Word of God repeatedly
says that the days leading up to the great event will be marked by a
world in spiritual blindness and a Church that has largely lost its focus.
"Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come" (Mat.
"Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of
man cometh" (Mat. 24:44).
The prophetic birth pangs have reached the point where you can almost
predict their regularity. A week ago, I was thinking that it must be about
time for another big earthquake. Of course, most of you know about the big
tremor that struck Pakistan and India, killing over 30,000 people.
The frequency of these disasters has me wondering about how close we are to
the end. If you check historical records, massive hurricanes, earthquakes,
and floods normally don't occur every few months. It was just in last December
that we had a massive quake that killed 270,000 people in the Indian Ocean
region. I can only find one other point in history where two giant quakes
occurred this close together.
After two tremblers struck China and Guatemala in 1976, there wasn't another
large quake until nine years later. I highly doubt we will have a similar
respite from misfortune.
While the world is focused on the devastating quake in Asia, another
disaster has occurred in Central America and Mexico. Mudslides and floods
sparked by tropical storm Stan have taken 1,000 lives, with Guatemala being
the hardest hit.
If the mountain of evidence for the birth pangs weren't already high enough,
Sunday morning the 20th tropical storm of the Atlantic Hurricane Season
formed between the Azores and Canary Islands. Only one other Atlantic season
had more tropical storms and hurricanes since record-keeping began in 1851 -
there were 21 in 1933. With nearly two months remaining in the 2005 season,
it appears likely that we will set a new record.
I firmly believe that we have reached the point when even the most
carnally minded Christian needs to contemplate adopting a more spiritual
focus on life. If time is short, our priorities need to be tuned to the
C.S. Lewis once wrote that to live with an eternal perspective means "living
as commandos operating behind enemy lines, preparing the way for the coming
of the commander-in chief." Unfortunately, most Christians live as if their
allegiance belongs to the current world system.
Because time is a limited commodity, it is vitally important for believers
to be seeking God's guidance in what they can be doing to be productive. It
is wonderful to think that the signs of the time are pointing to the soon
return of the Lord for his bride, but it is bit disturbing to realize we may
soon have to give a full accounting of our actions.
Revelation, Chapter 13, begins to become more understandable regarding prophecy yet future when considering a recent Associated Press report. We have examined the relevant Scripture many times in these commentaries, but let’s have another quick look.
“And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name” (Rev. 13:16-17).
If one views God’s Word as literal, inerrant, and divinely inspired –and we do—the world’s people are obviously in for a time of having to choose between obedience to a dictator and starvation. This prophecy plainly foretells that the forced obeisance to the beast, whose number in some mysterious way adds up to six hundred, three score, and six (666), will be implemented through a system of numbers and marks. Such a system would have to consist of some sort of linkage device to make such bondage possible.
Daniel 9: 27 tells us that this “beast” –the dictator who will invoke this system of economic enslavement—will be “the prince that shall come” out of those who destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple atop Mount Moriah in 70 A.D.That force was from Rome, led by General Titus, son of Roman dictator Vespasian. Antichrist, then, in that future time of Tribulation (Daniel’s seventieth week) will emerge upon the world scene out of a revived Roman Empire.
The swiftly developing geopolitical and geoeconomic power that presently makes up the nucleus of that area of Europe that was the heart of the ancient Roman Empire is the European Union (EU). So, we as watchmen of Bible prophecy developments must ask: Is there any movement by the EU to involve itself in any linkage device that could in the near or distant future be the vehicle through which to institute such political and economic –not to mention religious—bondage?
As stated in the opening line of this commentary: Revelation, Chapter 13 begins to become more understandable regarding prophecy yet future, when considering a recent Associated Press report.
“Brussels --The European Union insisted Friday that governments and the private sector must share the responsibility of overseeing the Internet, setting the stage for a showdown with the United States on the future of Internet governance…”.
Disagreeing with the U.S. insistence that America continues to be in charge of the Internet’s governance, the EU made its intentions known.
“EU spokesman Martin Selmayr said a new cooperation model was important ‘because the Internet is a global resource.’
‘The EU ... is very firm on this position,’ he added…”
Things seem to be coming to a head in the matter of who will ultimately control Internet, worldwide. A summit in Tunisia in November called “The World Summit on the Information Society,” could, according to the report, cause a stalemate over who should serve as the principal traffic cops for Internet routing and addressing.
The AP writer reports further:
“At issue is who would have ultimate authority over the Internet's master directories, which tell Web browsers and e-mail programs how to direct traffic.
That role has historically gone to the United States, which created the Internet as a Pentagon project and funded much of its early development. The U.S.
Commerce Department has delegated much of that responsibility to a U.S.-based private organization with international board members, but Commerce ultimately
retains veto power…” ("EU Wants Shared Control of Internet," Sep 30, 2005, AOIFE WHITE, AP Business Writer).
The Internet already chains much of the world together with electronic bonds. Todd and I receive daily e-mail messages from a Christian minister in Pakistan, for example. We receive messages daily from many other places around the globe. The point is, the linkage is there already, like so many other aspects of things developing, that look like indicators of where this generation might stand on God’s prophetic timeline. Such binding will certainly be essential –along with instantaneous electronic funds transfer capabilities, satellite/bio-genetic chip implantation monitoring, etc., to solidify Antichrist’s grip on all transactions, as indicated in Revelation 13:16-18.
Alert students of God’s prophetic Word shouldn’t be surprised to see the EU, one of the key players in the great end-time drama, grasping to take control of the Internet.