OUT OF THE CLOSET

      A decade ago, the mainstream media had almost succeeded in excluding GOD from the public discourse. Favorable media discussions of Bible-GOD and the Christian faith were clearly off-limits to the PC crowd.

     But, it turned out to be more difficult than they supposed to stuff Bible-GOD into a Christophobic closet.

     With 911, theologically-driven terrorism blasted onto the world stage. The End Times rhetoric of Reformation Islam re-opened public discussions about prophecy, GOD’s role in history and the end of the world.

     Add to the mix the public fascination with the Aztec calendar’s prediction that the world will end in 2012 and the growing concern that Western Civilization might actually be crumbling and you have the perfect storm to drive End Times curiosity.

     In mid-February, a spooky video clip of protesters in Cairo was posted on YouTube. A pale green horseman seems to drift through the crowd before riding off into the air. The bizarre scene had millions wondering if they might be viewing the Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse (Death and Hades) who is predicted to precede the second coming of Christ. Revelation 6:8.

     Then came the tragic Japanese quakes, tsunamis and nuclear calamities of the last week which have had many in the media dithering over how to properly interpret what is happening in the world.

     There have been various references to The Book of Revelation and Matthew 24 on different news shows. Wednesday a CNN reporter referred to the events in Japan as apocalyptic. Another reporter referred to what was unfolding as being of Biblical proportions.

     I wonder if they know they are speaking the language of The Apocalypse of St. John?

     Joel Rosenberg blogged (“Japan today, Jerusalem tomorrow”, World Net Daily, March 14) about recent calamities in the world. He thinks loud about Jesus’ prediction (Matthew 24) that the season leading up to his second coming will be like birth pangs: characterized by escalating earthquakes, wars, and rumors of wars.

     As the intervals between 7.0+ quakes in the world over the last century have shortened from years to mere days, Joel wonders if the climax to this Age is just ahead? The Big One–he correctly reminds us–will occur just as Jesus returns to Jerusalem and sets foot on the Mount of Olives (Zechariah 14).

     Glenn Beck has been referencing the book of Revelation for some time. He said this week he feels like the recent major quakes are a wakeup call from God for everyone to get ready for what is coming. (He doesn’t think God is the one doing the shaking.)

     Laurence O’Donnell (apparently distraught that Jesus has escaped the closet and slipped back into the public discourse) went on a Christophobic rant Thursday night.

“…MSNBC host Lawrence O‘Donnell brazenly declared that the Bible’s Book of Revelation is a “work of fiction” about a “truly vicious” mass murdering God that “no half-smart religious person actually believes.”

     The two burning questions are these:

          Are we coming to the End of the World?

          What – if anything – does GOD have to do with this?

Short answer to Q 1:

     I can say with a high degree of confidence that we are coming to the end of life as we have known it in America. Our own lies and greed and immorality and idolatry have brought us to cultural and financial ruin. As a people, we are spiritually blind, so we really don’t understand why and how the foundations are disintegrating under us.

     I say this with all sincerity: if your sense of security and your hope for the future are based on how well America is doing (and is going to do), you are in a VERY precarious position.

     I agree with Glenn (and Jesus). It’s time to wake up. Time to get right with God. Time to prepare ourselves for what is coming straight at us.

     This may turn out to be the End of this Age. I’m inclined to think it will be (and am trying to conduct myself accordingly).  But there is no need to debate the point. Just hang on. We’re about to find out together.

Short answer to Q 2:

     GOD is not a passive spectator to world events. He is the Creator of this world. He is the Overseer of history. He is the One who causes empires to rise and fall. He is the One who decides when a nation is past the point of redemption and there is nothing remaining for them but The Day of the Lord.

     Bible-GOD is incredibly loving and gracious and patient. He is also righteous and holy and just.

     “Oh,” you say, “I don’t believe in a God who would release the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Or cause earthquakes and tsunamis. My God would never do such things.”

     Check out Revelation.

     The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world is the very one who opens the seven seals, sends out the Horsemen and inflicts the earth with angelic plagues.

     Jesus has every right to deal with a humanity that has ignored him, blasphemed him and tried to stuff him in a Christophobic closet. And he will deal with us when he has completed his purpose for this Age.

     If your God might not be the one in Revelation, I encourage you to immediately run a Quality Control diagnostic to ensure you are worshipping the GOD of Biblical revelation rather than a god of your own imagination. It’s really quite critical to get this one right.

     Final comment: In the End, every person on earth will meet Jesus face-to-face. When we do, we will discover he is either a loving Creator and friend beyond our wildest dreams…

     Or…we will discover GOD to be an implacable, eternal enemy beyond our most insane nightmares. 

     As the knight in INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE said of the dissolving Nazi, “He chose poorly.” And of Indiana Jones when he correctly selected the Holy Grail from among dozens of more attractive cups, “He chose wisely.”

     Time to pay attention. Time to choose wisely. Time to get ready.

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