A primer for beginners/A reminder for waverers
(with editing help from a sister in Christ, Lynda Janzen)
The Future Is Now:
I watch this world with a great degree of sadness. Shortly, it is to pass into what the Bible tells us is ‘The Day of Wrath.’ This is to be an extended period of great tribulation. Many millions are to be lost. Among them will be many of my own relatives and friends. Jesus warned of this time as He told his apostles both the type of events that would occur and how terrible they would be.
I’m not a spectator. Saved as I am by the atoning grace of my Savior, Jesus Messiah (and familiar with his Word), the difficulty for me and all believers is how to live ‘in’ this world but, conversely, not be a part of it as we live our lives in and for Christ.
Having ended our own lives of denial and given ourselves to God through Jesus, believers are instructed to wait patiently, remaining faithful to God until the time comes that He suddenly calls us home. We believe that this time, well-known as the ‘Rapture’ or ‘Snatching Away,’ is also imminent. And relevant Scripture teaches that it is to immediately precede the commencement of the ‘Day of Wrath.’
The sign of its imminency is to be the appearance of a man who will become, for a short time, ruler of the world. He is referred to as ‘Anti-Christ.’ Before this, our sudden disappearance will occur.
The world will not see this rapturous event where the faithful church of Jesus is suddenly taken, nor will they hear the preceding trumpet blast and the shout of Jesus that calls us to meet him in the clouds.
On the other hand, the tribulation that is shortly to fall upon this world will be experienced, felt and heard by all who remain. It is a last ‘wake-up call’ for people to repent their lives of sin and call upon the name of Jesus directly, seeking the forgiveness of God.
It will prove very difficult, almost impossible, for millions who are committed to their lives of spiritual blindness – that which denies the part that God plays in all our lives – to open themselves to repentance through Jesus and be saved from eternal death.
If I were a cynic, I might well adopt an attitude of bemusement. Cynicism appears to sit well upon the shoulders of deniers. Believers, however, tend not to be among the bemused; we are simply horrified that the world has reached this point where, so obviously, it is virtually out of control.
Do you remember those once-popular giant Spinning Top toys? As they lost momentum, they began to wobble, finally falling over. So spins this world – toward its Biblically prophesied destruction.
This is to be the cost of denial of God. Where once existed His glorification, expressed in worshipful adoration, it is now, conspicuous by its absence, replaced if anything by outright derision. As the Creator of all things, God is legally entitled to be praised and glorified because, in terms that a lawyer would readily understand, He ‘owns’ the title deeds to the real estate of Earth. Biblically, it is referred to as ‘His footstool.’
As the world succumbed to spiritual blindness, the community of those who previously had been ‘content’ to be known as Christian dramatically decreased as denial increased proportionally. These days, it is almost ‘fashionable’ to declare yourself part of the millennial ‘new age’ and even express antagonism towards God. This is made much easier when you have a visible target. We who have remained faithful present that target. The bulls-eye lies equally between our collective shoulder blades. The world hates us with a vengeance, and our brothers and sisters are increasingly being slaughtered throughout the world or are abducted and taken into slavery.
The signposts that readily identify this lost generation of God deniers can be observed by the gratuitous nature of their self-indulgence. Almost with impunity, it is a generation that pursues a lifestyle of depravity at both individual and corporate levels of community life. And it attracts the worship of dubious celebrity, even of families whose extravagant lifestyle personifies this perpetual lust for self-gratification.
It reminds me of an old burlesque tune, ‘Whatever Lola wants – Lola gets!’ It could well become the mantra of this generation. That is precisely why God has caused to be prophesied that this world is to meet a similar fate to that befalling the pre-flood world. It is to vanish, along with all its supporting infrastructure that is necessary to feed its vociferous appetites.
The tools the ‘lost’ apply to both achieve and maintain the perpetual self-lovefest of their existence were once reserved almost exclusively for despotic king-emperors and, more lately, crime syndicates. Now, they are the knives and forks used by all levels of society/ government/ bureaucracies and even law enforcement and military services. These include manipulation of the truth, blatant exercise of power, and a sea of corruption that controls the destiny of millions. These ends are achieved through the tactics of sexual blackmail, coercion, character assassination (with its subsequent ruin of personal and professional reputation), sexual abuse, and even the murder of innocents.
‘Whistleblowers’ have a remarkable history of ‘premature’ death through alleged suicides and ‘car accidents.’ These people are deadly serious, and any threat to their lifestyle or plans is not tolerated in any form.
Running parallel with the latter is the present desire of ‘our’ scientific and medical intelligentsia to redesign man. This state of spiritual blindness has made mankind oblivious of the fact that he (speaking in the plurality of both sexes) now lives in the closing minutes of an age that is destined to perish. In denying such an inevitability, man consigns such ‘hysteria’ to the wastebasket of harmful conjecture and myth.
In applying a relevant title for this series, after some discussion with my sister in Christ, Lynda Janzen (a new writer to R/R herself), we agreed that ‘Eyes Wide-Closed’ might fit pretty well. And I am mindful of the comments of Jesus in Matthew 6:22-24 and again at 13:15 (NKJ).
The Lamp of the Body:
6:22-24: “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!”
6:13:15: “For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.”
When Jesus speaks of eyes and light, He means all people should keep their eyes on God alone because the eyes are the windows to the soul. If your eyes have become clouded with the evil presently pervading this world with an unceasing tsunami of depravity, it is as if your eyes have become like plantation shutters. They have been adjusted to filter out the soft glow of goodness, yet the blades are pre-set to admit the blinding glare of evil.
Jesus told His disciples that God would sweep this world away as He did the evil of the previous one. He destroyed it with a global, cataclysmic flood, sparing only faithful Noah and his immediate extended family, immediate descendants of Enoch. This man of God, like Noah, existed near the beginning of ‘pre-Flood’ history. So, even in that fallen world, destined to be swept away, we find a man known for friendship with God. We do not know much about the life of Enoch, but we do know that “after he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked faithfully with God 300 years!”
The ‘pre-flood’ world had become a cesspool of sinful depravity. And it had become peopled by the hybrid offspring of the fallen angels whose brief had been to watch over mankind. Instead, the angels bred with the women of mankind and blatantly denied God. It was at that point (saving His precious remnant through Noah by instructing him to build the Ark) that God brought the Flood upon the Earth and swept that polluted age to oblivion.
Those of us presently given to God through Jesus believe that mankind has reached the point where (equaling the evil of the pre-Flood world) we will shortly surpass it! Our belief is entirely Bible-based.
Spiritual blindness has, of late, led this world to believe that man-induced ‘Climate Change’ has caused premature over-heating of the Earth through a build-up of Carbon Dioxide. Allegedly, that is attributable to our lifestyle and excessive misuse of resources. Some proponents of this theory even believe that without radical steps, we may have doomed our planet.
Advocated by the rich and powerful, those radical steps include ‘forcible’ population control as absolutely essential to ‘save the planet.’ These measures come under the heading of ‘eugenics.’ And they are being planned to include total control over personal property and assets, total control of farming, food production and food stocks, including water. They advocate restriction of meat-producing animals, a vegetable diet, euthanasia of the aged, and full-term abortion. The latter has recently seen its vile supporters advocate post-natal ‘abortion’ up to three years of age. That, of course, would be legalized murder.
Alternatively, Bible-based believers, through their faith in Jesus Messiah (having closely studied the comments of our Savior that deal with the destruction of this age), are convinced that what has actually doomed this world is the sin of the denial of God. The manner of its destruction is painstakingly set out throughout the Bible.
“Sorry, Greta, my dear; your parents sold you a donkey!”
The apostle Paul wrote to Timothy about the perils that were to fall upon this world in the last days that would lead toward its destruction. And this, because of man’s denial of God. Nowhere did Paul see fit to opine the destruction of the planet through Carbon-Dioxide pollution. Maybe it was an oversight, do you think?
Bible-centered believers are convinced that the Bible must be read and understood literally as far as possible. Notwithstanding, when Jesus spoke deliberately in parables, He always subsequently clarified their meanings to his apostles.
There are many, many passages of Scripture that describe the ‘last days’ of the age. Moreover, they specifically give us the ‘word pictures’ that Jesus spoke of to His apostles to help them understand the perils God had destined to fall upon the world. Suffice it to say that this world, known to us as the ‘church age,’ is swiftly passing. And within its present form, this, ‘the church age,’ will never return to the earth. The earth, however, will, under the kingship of Jesus, be renewed and repopulated.
I’m quoting extensively from the New King James Bible. Hopefully, this more modern language version may assist readers not particularly familiar with the Bible.
2 Timothy 3:1-5 “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!”
Want a little proof? Try watching some of these atrocious ‘reality’ shows, if you can stomach them. They deliberately set out to expose the worst characteristics of human nature as they push the participants into the revelation of their more ‘natural’ instincts. In them, we get an insightful view of the real world on show.
THE PLANET EARTH:
God created this wonderful planet we know as ‘Earth.’ He placed it precisely in orbit to spin upon its axis within a universe of other planetary bodies.
As hard as it is to comprehend that, we have to go further. The little universe in which the Earth resides occupies an incalculably small area of what we know as ‘Space.’ And Space itself is incalculable, so much so that astronomers have gazed in awe at it for thousands of years.
How God relates to the whole is totally beyond me, as it is also to most believers. We simply are not aware of His impact beyond the Universe nor of the extent of his power. On Earth, we know He is unconstrained. And many believers are of the opinion that this applies across Space.
Are there, then, any constraints upon His power outside the Universe we are convinced he created?
The intellectual ‘giants’ of Earth’s human occupants pondered these questions for generations. And convicted by (no, I do not mean convinced in this illustration) the limits of the World’s science and technology, they concluded that ‘it could not possibly be; therefore, ‘He’ could not possibly be.’ Better then to consign the whole ‘God’ deal to the myths, fables and race memories of peoples who have constructed some sort of religious hocus pocus to validate their faith.
Currently, the Jesuit astronomers are at the forefront of this very hypothesis.
Yet, we possess a series of texts recording both the eternal existence of God and the work of His hand. They tell us of a supreme being whose power is indeed limitless. So much so that, having created Earth itself from the firmaments He brought into existence, God then placed a number of other planets (none of which have yet been determined to contain life forms) in almost co-aligned orbit.
And so, our Earth spins upon its axis in a small universe in this ‘corner’ of that which science calls The Solar System. It consists of our realm – Earth, the moon, the sun, and the other planets and their moons.
The Solar System is a minute part of the Milky Way Galaxy, and there are, supposedly, billions of galaxies in the Universe. Created by His hand, according to His expressed will, God then began to create upon ‘our’ planet life forms of the most diverse description. And abundantly so.
Moreover, we are taught that the Creation of planet Earth and all the life forms thereon were not simply confined to a capricious act of His will. Within His own divinity, God created by design for a specific purpose. And it pleased Him to do so. We are told that it pleased God so much that He took pleasure in His handiwork as each step was concluded unto His own satisfaction.
And at the conclusion of the sixth day, God is recorded as gazing upon all that He had done and saying that ‘it was good.’ In other words, He was well-pleased with His own handiwork, as is even the lowliest craftsman whose skill delivers that one-off in a lifetime of superlative achievement.
There is nothing unusual about God’s satisfaction with His creation. Particularly as it pertains to His ultimate creation – man.
Maranatha! (Come Lord, come)
Part I will conclude with (b) The Consistency of God.