April 3, 2006
Are You Doing Something Productive?
It never ceases to amaze me how the information age has blessed us with such a wealth of knowledge. We have libraries that contain millions of books, and we have the internet that puts billions of web pages at our fingertips.
As good as we are at generating information, there is no guarantee that the resources we are creating will have a productive purpose. While some information is vital for historic and practical purposes, most of this knowledge is purely frivolous. It simply has no lasting importance.
I recently did a random search of the bookseller Amazon.com the internet to get a measure of the type of information being presented to the public. In my random search, I ran into a novel about the Russian mafia and I found a page that answers the burning question on everyone’s mind, “How is synthetic urine manufactured?” I wouldn’t say the world would be a better place without these two resources, but it certainly wouldn’t be in any worse shape without them.
What led me to start this web venture was asking myself, “What can I do that would be the most productive?” Because prophecy and the Kingdom of God are the ultimate forces driving our future, I decided to write articles about these two interrelated subjects.
When I sit down to plan out a new article, I look for an information void that needs to be filled. The search engines have been helpful in verifying whether we are achieving this goal.
When I conducted a Google search for the phase “lazy people,” my recent new article on the subject of laziness ranked in the top five. Even though there were 45 million other web pages with some connection to those two words, the article on RR was judged to be the most relevant. A search of “European Union” and “Prophecy” brought up another RR article - European Union in prophecy – as a top-ranked destination.
There is no special relationship between Google and Rapture Ready. You could find several articles ranked in the top 10 on other search engines.
I’m now working on an article called “Downward Spiral.” After its completion, I fully expect it will dominate the search results. I’ve already checked, and there is really nothing to prevent it from rising to the top. If someone were using the internet now to find answers explaining why his or her life is in a downward spiral, he or she would get directed to articles about the band Nine Inch Nails, or to some commentary written by people who share the same predicament.
There is no great secret about having a sucessful web ministry. The key ingredient is determination and the willingness to be a public servant. You simply can’t help bring lost souls into the Kingdom of God if your primary goal is building up your own earthly province.
I once worked with a gentleman who had a site similar to Rapture Ready. We exchanged articles for each other's sites—I’ve done this with many sites over the years. He had very extravagant plans. He was going to host conferences around the nation, build a radio broadcast, host tour groups to Israel and publish his own books.
His high-minded vision of himself eventually led to his undoing. He made a series of decisions that ended in complete disaster. When it became obvious to him that the gravy train of recognition and reward was nowhere on the immediate horizon, he closed his operation.
I am very grateful that Rapture Ready is supported by a number of people who understand the importance of having a long-term vision of the future. It has taken nearly 20 years get to this point, but the most important thing is that we are here. As one reporter recently told me, the site has become the “leading depositor of end-time information.”
When we leave this world behind, the sole indication that we led productive lives will be what we did to help bring the lost to faith in Jesus Christ.
An e-mail from a friend of the RR website this week caused the prophecy needle within my spiritual senses-meter to jump into the red zone. The friend prefaced his message with the following:
“I'm writing to you now about an issue which, while not related to Bible prophecy directly, is a case that you may have heard about in the newspapers, the
media, etc. It's the story of Imette St. Guillen.”
The writer of the e-mail reminded me of the case that has received considerable national attention as of late. The young woman’s body was found in New York City in February of this year. She had been tied, her mouth stuffed with a sock, then taped. She had been, it was determined, raped, then murdered.
Even though the writer, named Christopher, didn’t personally know the young lady, he was, and remains, deeply touched by Imette’s death, in part, because she went to school in his old neighborhood near upper Manhattan. He is now joined with a number of other people to protest a bar and its owner, whom they hold responsible, in part at least, for her death. Interestingly, It was the same bar owner whose bar (another one) was at the center of controversy in a high-profile case of rape and murder in the 1980s. That crime involved Jennifer Levin, victim, in the so-called "preppy murder."
Christopher says the group of protesters is running up against fierce opposition by New York media and current and former politicians with powerful political clout who are friends of the bar’s owner. He claims they have miscast the group in their reason for protest, which is in fact, “to have the bar closed in the awful death of this poor girl.” Christopher says every indication is that Imette was a girl who did not invite danger in her life, and the group of protesters has gone to considerable lengths to learn about her as a person. Like in many cases, accusations are flying that she was a less than worthy person to be concerned about because she was in a place she shouldn’t have been. There seems to be much more concern for the bar, its owner, and the bar’s bouncer than for the victim.
Certainly, I won’t try to justify any person, young or old, male or female, putting himself or herself in positions that could lead to violence. In my view, however, every person in this nation has the right of liberty to go to places, private or public, without danger of being attacked, raped, or even murdered. If not, none of us is safe, anywhere. Thus, the charges by some unthinking people –even some Christians—who claim that Imette got what she asked for, are heartless and out of place.
Bottom line: the perpetrator of Imette’s horrible death is to blame, not the victim. But, we have come into an era of reprobate or upside-down thinking, where the criminal’s rights have begun to usurp the rights of law-abiding citizens.
My friend, Christopher, is wrong. It IS, in fact, a matter of prophetic relevance –this case of the death of Imette St. Guillen. We find the prophecy wrapped up in Paul the apostle’s words of 2 Timothy:
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be…fierce…” (2 Tim. 3: 1-3)
Most who are reading this and who have cable TV will know I am being accurate when I say that almost every evening, channels such as A&E, Discovery, and the History Channel present graphic documentaries of the most vile crimes committed –for the most part from recent times. True stories of physical abuse, beatings, rapes, murders, and every other kind of man’s inhumanity to man fill our eyes and ears. American viewers must be fascinated; otherwise, the programs would cease being shown.
We are a world of rebellious earth-dwellers by nature. Thank God, He has reached down and moved heaven and hell to bring many to repentance and salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ. And, we are observably –demonstrably—in a generation that is deeply into endtime behavior. Christians attuned to God’s prophetic Word will not disagree with the statement that we are in times much like those reported in the Bible about Noah’s antediluvian world, and the times of Lot at Sodom and Gomorrah. Jesus said that it is exactly at such a time that He will break in upon an unsuspecting generation of God-despisers.
Paul said they will “have a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof” (2 Tim. 3:5). They will accept anything religious, so long as it does not include the only righteousness God accepts for redemption.
We must ask the question, then: What is the one name that seems to elicit scorn in America today? Is it Mohammed? Is it Allah? No, it is the name of Jesus. Even after the attacks of 9/11 and the ongoing barbarism in the name of Allah, it is the name Jesus that the civil libertarians and federal court judges seem determined to choose for castigation. Any religious thought must be tolerated, except evangelical Christianity –the truth that the one God and Creator of all things requires that all sin be dealt with in order that any person come to Him for eternal life.
The only form of godliness the Creator accepts is His only begotten Son, Jesus the Christ, the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world. Jesus is the only permanent remedy for the end-time behavior Planet Earth continues to experience.