In 1920, Warren G. Harding ran for president with the campaign slogan of “The return to normalcy.” Despite harsh criticism for his use of such an obscure word at the time, the idea of returning to “normalcy” swept him into the Oval Office.
His motto had great appeal to Americans in 1920 as they longed for normal lives after the turmoil of World War I and the deadly Spanish Flu pandemic. Sound familiar?
In the financial world, a bubble refers to something that acquires an unrealistic and highly inflated value. When it bursts, it causes economic havoc.
Typically, a bubble is created by a surge in asset prices that is driven by exuberant market behavior. During a bubble, assets typically trade at a price, or within a price range, that greatly exceeds the asset’s intrinsic value (the price does not align with the fundamentals of the asset).[i]
Many today live in a “bubble of normalcy” where they feel secure because of exaggerated and unrealistic hopes of either a return to normalcy or of it continuing indefinitely into the future. Even a great number of believers reside in a world of highly inflated expectations regarding what lies ahead for them.
Many in the world are waking up and rallying against the threats posed by globalists, but sadly, this has yet it to stir many people in the U.S. Why is that?
The Normalcy Bias
Because of America’s long history of peace and security, its citizens live with what’s called a “normalcy bias.” As a result, critics label those of us who warn of the dangers inherent in a world speeding toward the Tribulation period as “conspiracy theorists.” “No one can really be that wicked or deceitful so as to cause such widespread suffering and death,” they tell us. Such is the outlook inside the bubble.
Terry James and Pete Garcia, in their book New World Order, describe the “normalcy bias” in the following way:
Another aspect of this illusion of modernity is the “normalcy bias” that creates an artificial barrier between people and the unrelenting nature of this fallen planet…. Our natural state of mind is on normalcy bias cruise control until some event momentarily shakes us from our slumber. Even then, most believe the latest advancements can save us from whatever calamity nature throws at us… until it can’t. These brief lapses into reality brought on by sudden catastrophes fade in memory just as quickly, and we go back to a normal state of mind by forgetting the past.[ii]
Unfortunately, this “normalcy bias” also characterizes many in Bible-believing churches. Many saints see the dangers but fail to recognize that they signal the end of human history as we know it. In order to cope with the threats, they often lapse back into the rhythm of life as though the perils don’t really exist or will somehow go away. Because they have no prophetic context into which they can place the chaos of our day, they hope that normalcy will somehow prevail.
In their effort to make this life work, they miss all the “pins” that threaten to burst the bubble of normalcy in which they seek refuge.
The Pins That Threaten the Normalcy Bubble
For those outside of Christ, the pin that will forever burst the bubble of normalcy will be the Rapture. It’s the wildcard; it could happen today, next week, this year, or even later.
We just don’t know how much more of the world’s ills will touch us before Jesus’ appearing. Many saints around the world already suffer intense persecution or the scars of war.
Another pin that’s sure to burst the bubble of normalcy is that of God’s judgment on America. It’s already started but will grow to catastrophic proportions shortly after Jesus takes His church out of this world.
When one considers the previously unimaginable vileness that’s rampant in America and the looting of stores that’s driving a considerable number of them out of business, it’s difficult to conceive of any sense of normalcy returning to my country. The growing lawlessness, wickedness, and deception that’s rampant in the U.S. will negatively impact an increasing number of believers between now and the Rapture.
As the draconian policies of the globalists impact more people, it’s sure to explode many normalcy bubbles in the U.S.
Why Does It Matter?
I realize that the majority of my readers recognize the signs of the times and live well outside the normalcy bubble that affects those both inside and outside the faith.
Even so, it’s vital that we don’t lose our focus on future things and resist the lure of the normalcy bias that continually competes for our allegiance.
First of all, a great number of our fellow believers are hurting today because of cancer, the loss of loved ones, financial woes, and a host of other afflictions. They, like us, need frequent reminders that this world is not their home as they traverse through this vale of tears we call life.
As I wrote in The Importance of Our Heavenly Citizenship, there’s unspeakable joy and comfort inherent in the implications of our heavenly citizenship. Since it’s a message that so few hear in churches today, we need to be ready to comfort fellow saints with the specifics of our glorious hope.
Secondly, a firm grasp of biblical prophecy enables us to look realistically at the chaotic and lawless world around us and share the “blessed hope” of Titus 2:11-14 with those outside of Christ. Such a two-world perspective provides us with a solid foundation from which to give others a “reason for the hope” that we possess (1 Peter 3:15). We not only recognize what’s happening around us, but we also know why.
Third, the practice of eagerly watching for Jesus’ appearing has a purifying effect on us. That’s the message of 1 John 3:2-3:
“Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.”
This upward focus motivates us to live in a way that’s pleasing to Him. The realization that today could be the day we stand in the presence of our Savior impacts the decisions we make.
Fourth, most of the unsaved men with whom I have had conversations during the past few years recognized the dangers inherent in our world. My wife and I had the opportunity to talk with one of them about Jesus’ return, and he was pleased to hear about it, but he didn’t respond to the Gospel as we had hoped. We still pray for him.
Contrary to what many believe, churches that boldly proclaim the truths of the Rapture and apply biblical prophecy to the perils of our day experience significant growth in terms of people coming to faith in Jesus. Many of those outside of Christ recognize that the world is rapidly heading toward the seven-year Tribulation, but they lack the scriptural context into which they can put the dangers, lawlessness, and rampant deception of our day.
Fifth, remaining grounded in biblical prophecy matters because it shields believers from false teachings. The most popular view of the end times in Christendom today asserts that because the church is God’s kingdom on the earth, it will prevail over all the evils and reign over the nations before Jesus returns. (That’s totally a “bubble of normalcy” mindset and far away from what the Bible teaches.)
Kari Jobe’s song, “Simple Gospel,” exemplifies this errant teaching as it proclaims that the church will rise victoriously in the future. Sadly, it gives a false sense of security to believers, locking them into a bogus expectation of what lies ahead. The song communicates that we must trust the church rather than Jesus for our deliverance.
Why would we want unbelievers to hear such a message?
And as we watch the storm clouds of the coming Tribulation period gather on the horizon, is it not far better for our soul to be able to put them in the context of Bible prophecy? Does it not bring a sense of relief to know that, yes, the threats to our livelihood and even our lives are indeed real, but we can walk in hope of Jesus’ appearing and our homegoing to the place He’s preparing for us?
We have the most wonderful and exciting news imaginable to not only share with the unbelieving world but also to the saints dozing in the bubble of normalcy.
Please know that my purposes in writing The Triumph of the Redeemed-An Eternal Perspective that Calms Our Fears in Perilous Times were first to glorify Jesus, encourage fellow saints, and enable them to comfort others with the hope of Jesus’ appearing. My heart grieves for my fellow saints who never hear the glorious specifics of our “blessed hope.”
My newest book is Cancel This! What Today’s Church Can Learn from the Bad Guys of the Bible. In it, I explore what we can learn from less than stellar biblical characters that help us live in today’s cancel culture.
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[i] Will Kenton, “What Is an Economic Bubble and How Does It Work, With Examples,” updated April 3, 2022 on the Investopedia Website at: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/bubble.asp
[ii] Terry James & Pete Garcia, New World Order (Crane, MO: Defender, 2023), p. 87/