Has anyone ever asked you a question that momentarily stumped you? Recently, I mentioned an Israeli archeological find that confirmed scripture. The respondent totally stopped me for a minute as he asked, “Why don’t I know that?” I eventually mentioned, “I subscribe to archaeology magazines; do You?” Of course, he didn’t.
I have always been fascinated by archaeology, especially biblical digs. However, I prefer the text version instead of being on my knees in hot, sandy weather. The magazines were the solution. However, his response generated my thoughts for this article. At first, I thought his response was rather dumb. Then I realized the religious impact of such a question.
I hesitate to use the word ignoramuses to describe a group of people who would ask the same question. I delved a little deeper and learned ignorance is from the Latin meaning, I do not know. Furthermore, a lawyer named Ignoramus was the title and featured character in a 1615 British play in Latin. In modern usage, the word has some rather undignified synonyms such as dunce; numbskull; or know-nothing. Rather than such inappropriate terms, we will use such words as unknowledgeable or uninformed to describe modern ignorance.
I recently came across a clever secular expression about ignorance: “I didn’t know how much I didn’t know because I didn’t know how much there was to know!” (Paul Hellyer, former Canadian Defense Minister). On two occasions, St. Jerome expressed his belief on this: “Ignorance of the scriptures is ignorance of Christ,” and “To ignore scripture is to ignore Christ.” However, the scriptural background for our commentary should be familiar to every Christian: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6).
Christians need to be familiar and informed about scripture. READ THE WORD is not just a popular religious axiom. If we are ignorant of Satan’s activities, he can use temptation, infestation, or obsession to increase his kingdom. We need to recognize his subterfuge. Furthermore, our Lord does not want us to be ignorant of our future. He even promised a blessing if we read, hear, and are obedient to His chronicled words (Revelation 1:3).
Ignorance is really twofold. This includes church members and non-believers. Which do you think are tougher to reach with the Word? The expression that someone is a tough cookie can be applied to either as they are both stubborn in different ways.
The church group needs a tremendous push to open the Bible to find out about the Christian life. I believe that down deep they are looking for more than the average church today wants to supply, which is feel-good rhetoric in place of the gospel.
For some non-believers, they think they do not need God; for in some ways, they think they are God. After all, didn’t Satan promise they would be like Gods? There are so many different divisions with alternate views or no view except science. They include atheists, millenniums, New Agers, Easter Religions, and occult groups. In addition, there are the cults which claim to be Christian. However, they all share life in a vacuum without God.
We have to reach them now, not only with the gospel for their salvation, but also for their safety in the current and developing End Times. The Rapture will bring an intelligence crisis as well as an opportunity now to focus on God’s Love for His church and those who are believers. Now is the time before the calamities increase and the restraining of the Holy Spirit is lifted.
The number one religious topic across the Christian media is the forthcoming Rapture and why hasn ‘t the Rapture taken place, as every pre-condition seems to be ratified? In fact, the national preachers have reduced the time factor from happening anytime to any minute now. The new operative word in vogue is imminent which implies it is about to happen. Then, why hasn’t it? We searched the scriptures for an answer and found that it is simply man’s timing versus God’s timing.
Paul gives the answer as, “For He wants all men to be saved and come to know the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4). Peter also commented on God’s great love for people: “The Lord does not delay in keeping His promise, though some consider it a delay. Rather, He shows you generous patience since He wants none to perish, but all to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
God’s love for all people is also revealed in the Old Testament: “Do I indeed derive any pleasure from the death of the wicked, says the Lord? Do I not rather rejoice when he turns from his evil way that he may live? (Ezekiel 18:23). Consider God’s reply to Abraham that if he found ten people, He would not destroy the city (Genesis 18:32).
Finally, God told Ezekiel that He would not destroy the land if Ezekiel found just one person to make a wall and stand in the gap (Ezekiel 22:30). Jesus’ entreaty, “Come to me,” is the ultimate reason for the delay (Matthew 11:28). For all of us, I imagine God’s comment would be, “Are you ready?”
There are two aspects to our readiness: namely, us and them. The first is contained in Matthew’s gospel: “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14). Clearly the Christian media is active with, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17, initial preaching from Jesus).
While our task in enlarging the kingdom is evident, we don’t seem to be involved. I’ve heard people say, “Oh, God wouldn’t use me.” This is a flimsy excuse and certainly false humility. Paul showed that Jesus emptied Himself to be like mankind. As a result, Jesus did not begin His public ministry until He was filled with the Holy Spirit. When we are saved, we receive the same Holy Spirit to help build the kingdom. However, the church seems to be in a status quo mode. The operating system seems to be stalled, not wanting to download anything controversial or unfavorable to their parishioners. Therefore, except for biblically active churches, the rest seem flawed, as the Laodicean church.
The second part of readiness is our culture which is becoming the “So What” generation. I can illustrate this by an example. My wife was out to lunch with someone who almost immediately announced, “If you mention anything about politics or religion, I will turn around and bring you home.” This is the problem we have in attempting to reach people with the gospel message regardless of being in the Last Days. I know many of us have family members where religion is a forbidden topic. They do not want dialogue about God, religion, church attendance, or anything not cool and secular. After all, any question they have about anything, they can find the answer in their hand.
Besides family members, there are organizations dedicated to thwarting anything religious. Here are a few:
This grouping is actually twofold: Generation Y (people born between 1981 and 1991) and Generation Z (people born between 1991 and 2001). They can both be categorized as self-centered or “me first.”
I am reminded of a phrase from Genesis 3 where Satan stated, “You will be like God!”
The proof of self-importance is the Selfie. We used to take photographs of friends. Some still do, but the main focus now is the one standing in front and holding the camera in front of everyone. The selfie personifies the importance of the individual. Millennials are in charge. Their beliefs are the only convictions that matter. This is especially true for religious matters or the lack of scriptural issues. The new philosophy is, “What is wrong for you may not be wrong for me, as I choose what is right for me.” Modern man has no fear of God, completely oblivious that “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31).
As we await the second coming of Jesus Christ for the Millennial Reign, will there be any millennials who are saved or any even alive? Statistics show 36,000 of them died in 2017 due to drugs, alcohol, or suicide. So much for self-rule.
The worldwide rise in loathing hostility and demonstrations against the Jews is not new. However, it is increasing in so many modern ways. The actions by teachers and college professors are widely noted and documented such that young minds are falsely led to classical hatred as well as socialism. Since we communicate by individual letters in the modern era, the action against Israel is abbreviated as BDS. The meaning is Boycott; Divestment; and Sanctions. The reality, once ascertained, reveals the madness behind such actions.
Have the protestors researched the fact that so many electronic chips for TVs, computers, laptops, notebooks and mobile phones were either developed or are manufactured in Israel? The same is true for search engines. What about Israeli innovations for AIDS, HIV or other modern medicines? Boycotting Israeli products is very dangerous to our personal or professional life as well as the fact that Israel is our ally in a dangerous part of the world. In addition, what are the ramifications of the Jews being called My Chosen People by Almighty God Himself?!
Apostasy among the Christian churches should be well known as Jesus indicated this as one of the signs of the Last Days (Matthew 24). The apostasy pertains to rituals, doctrines and even the commandments, as well as people no longer attending church.
There is another modern church teaching that is not only anti-Semitic but hard to believe. This is the teaching of replacement theology. The formal word for this is supersessionism; now, anything with an expressive word like that cannot be true. The meaning is that the Christian Churches have replaced Israel in the divine plan, regardless of all the promises and scriptural teachings that Israel is the chosen of God. Unfortunately, this belief is quite wide among the churches, the largest proponent being the Catholic church (Mystici Corporis Christi-Pope Pius XII). Numerous Protestant churches accept variations of supersessionism.
We need to expand our discussion of apostasy as it has become a universal phenomenon. But first, let’s make sure we understand it. Apostasy is defined as, “A total desertion of or degrading from one’s religion, principles, party causes, etc. (Webster’s Encyclopedia Dictionary). Consider these apostate changes in our modern culture:
-Abandoning the American Judean/Christian culture and formation
-New math and the dumbing of America
-The push for socialism in spite of what is happening today in Venezuela and in history
-The swift rise in Eastern religions, New Age beliefs, and Satanism
-The adoption of wiccan curses against political figures
-The betrayal by the Democratic party of historic goals and roles
-The abject destruction of people’s personality and livelihood.
-The incredible response of women lobbying to kill the child of their womb
-The magnetism of the phone screen so dominating even when crossing the street
-The unimaginable push for a LBGT lifestyle including gender change
-The almost every media type spreading news far from the truth
-How about an America census without declaration of citizenship?
I was concerned how to end this work until we watched a cowboy movie the other night. One of the guys exclaimed, “Nothin’ been right these days.”
That explains the problems we Christians have in spreading the Word. Remember the promises of Jesus and the Holy Spirit within you, as you will never be alone. Paul also helps us again with his guidance:
“Proclaim the message with intensity; keep on your watch; challenge, warn, urge your people. Don’t ever quit. Just keep it simple. You are going to find there will be times when people will have no stomach for solid teaching, but will fill up on spiritual junk food and catchy opinions that tickle their fancy. They will turn their backs on truth and chase images. But you, keep your eye on what you are doing. Accept the hard times along with the good; keep the Message alive. Do a thorough job as God’s servant” (2 Timothy 4:2-5).
Author of A Gilded Walk; Gifted-How God is Glorified; Choices for our Eternal Home; and Together-Never Alone – available at Amazon and other fine booksellers.