We are in dangerous, unsettling times. The earth is nearly shaking on its axis. Previous generations were spared dealing with concepts such as Sharia Law, Islamic Caliphates, nuclear centrifuges in rogue hands, chemical weapons, NSA spying, IRS lawlessness, border invasions, and corruption and serial lying at the highest levels of government.
Even nature is out of control. And today’s church is compromising so there aren’t many shelters any longer.
If you dwell on headlines too long, you would think that Armageddon is on our door step. And maybe it is. If you listen carefully, you just might hear the footsteps of the four horsemen of the apocalypse in the distance. Has their journey begun?
A Coalition of Comfort
That is why thousands travel every year to various Bible and prophecy conferences so they can compare notes with like-minded believers and comfort one another. They want to encourage one another (Hebrews 10). They want to be a “coalition of comfort” to one another. They also want assurance that their perspective on the world and church is on target.
In mid-July I participated in Dr. Dave Reagan’s annual Lamb Lion Bible conference near Dallas, TX with a number of great teachers and leaders. I came away with some distinct impressions I’ll share here. Many of you will identify.
His Return Trumps Dark Times
Every single person I spoke with was tired of bad news and dark headlines. Yet no one was depressed. No one wanted to give up. Why? They all had the hope of Christ’s imminent return.
That trumps dark news, slanted stories, the glorification of evil, the threats coming from Washington, and the hypocrisy from people in high places.
Many of those I met have been told to keep things light and even major in minors. They cannot do that. Some feel like an island even among other family members.
Just as I was writing this, someone e-mailed me the following. It fits in well. “We need one another. We are instructed to join together and worship and share and build up each other in Christian love. And we need commonality. We need people who can relate to the crisis of the day, or the hassles of the job, or the latest news headlines, or the sorrows of pain and loss. We need people who can help us discern doctrine. We are brought together by God for that purpose. God knows who we need and He brings us together.”
Why Is the Church Silent?
The conference attendees were 90% in unison that their church was silent on all of the important issues of the day, and particularly silent on the theology of the Lord’s return. That’s another reason why folks travel hundreds or thousands of miles to have like-minded fellowship.
They have been told that such topics don’t promote church growth. This subject matter is “controversial.” (Really???) Bible prophecy makes some people uncomfortable. Just what do all those bowls, vials, and seals really mean?? Their pastor might not have been trained in eschatology and he doesn’t want to risk preaching it. He might have it wrong. Or their pastor has been taught all the varying prophecies and they are unsure which one is sound.
And date-setters have given the topic a black eye!
Come, Lord Jesus, But Not Too Soon!
I asked many attendees what their experience was when dealing with the younger generation and current issues. Most responses were the same: Younger folks want to live out their lives on this aching planet and THEN enjoy Eternity. In other words, come, Lord Jesus, but not too soon!
They knew some young people who were an exception to that but not many. Most younger folks really wanted to enjoy life even with today’s struggles. They want to see kids grow and get married. Eternal issues can wait.
Yet I met a 15 year old who said to me, “I want to pass this torch.” He wanted to pass on the information, and the urgency of our times, to his generation! Rare, perhaps, but such occurrences happen to let us know we should not give up hope. You never know who you are affecting! I regularly hear from the younger generation. They are not all focused on the now and self.
But everyone left undaunted and built up in their faith. And they will keep journeying to various places far and near for this kind of like-minded fellowship where the minors are overlooked for the majors.