Tuesday, December 1, 2015

We're Not There Yet: Food for Thought

Forget all the speculations about the end times based upon blood moons appearing in tetrads, and the like. Imaginative as they are, such musings all fail the simple test of Scripture.

Although the Jewish people are once again in their homeland, rather than scattered as they were in the diaspora from AD 70 to AD 1947, and have reclaimed their ancient capital of Jerusalem, they have not yet rebuilt their temple there. And the reestablishment of the temple in Jerusalem is a sine qua non for the second coming (I know, I know -- they are working on it):
[1] Then I was given a measuring rod like a staff, and I was told, “Rise and measure the temple of God and the altar and those who worship there, [2] but do not measure the court outside the temple; leave that out, for it is given over to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for forty-two months. (Revelation 11:1-2 ESV)
Though most Americans apparently are blind to it, there is yet another, equally strong indication that we are not yet arrived at the end times described by our Lord in Matthew, Mark and Luke, or by St. John in the Book of Revelation. In our current world, America is still very much on the scene, and poking its nose into every fresh outbreak of violence.  Again, however, the role America is currently playing (for better or for worse) is one that fails the test of Scripture.

You may search the whole Bible, but you will find in Revelation, Daniel, Ezekiel, Jeremiah or any other prophetic book no reference to any nation that resembles today's America and that also plays any kind of a role -- either as a supporter or opponent of Israel -- in the wars that Scripture foretells for the end times.

Some would contend that America is the great "Mystery Babylon" of Rev. ch. 17:
[4] The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her sexual immorality. [5] And on her forehead was written a name of mystery: “Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes and of earth's abominations.” [6] And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.... [18] And the woman that you saw is the great city that has dominion over the kings of the earth.” (Revelation 17:4-6, 18 ESV)
After all, could this language not fit the world-wide mercantilism of America today?
[11] And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn for her, since no one buys their cargo anymore, [12] cargo of gold, silver, jewels, pearls, fine linen, purple cloth, silk, scarlet cloth, all kinds of scented wood, all kinds of articles of ivory, all kinds of articles of costly wood, bronze, iron and marble, [13] cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, frankincense, wine, oil, fine flour, wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and slaves, that is, human souls. (Revelation 18:11-13 ESV)
Well, even if America (or New York City) is the country (or city) portrayed there, that fact furnishes small comfort. Go to Rev. 18:10:
[10] They will stand far off, in fear of her torment, and say, “Alas! Alas! You great city, you mighty city, Babylon! For in a single hour your judgment has come.”
So: if America (or NYC) is to play any role before the Bible's end times, it is one leading to its extinction before the end of the first act. Which brings me back to where I started: America, as such, appears to have no role to play in the very end times. 

Indeed, I would suggest that what makes the Bible's account of the end times so unique is the utter absence of America -- the most prominent world power on the stage today -- in their unfolding. Such an observation implies, does it not, that America must suffer a pretty bad fate before there is any chance of the Second Coming?

Christians, never fear. America is working hard toward its own demise as a world power -- even as you read this. It is aborting its unborn at an ungodly and unprecedented rate. The number of lives it has snuffed in (or just out of) the womb completely blots out Herod's slaughter of the infants of Bethlehem. (Even at that, Herod didn't end so well, either.)

America under President Barack Obama has also turned its back upon Israel, and appears to be doing its best to give aid and comfort to her most determined enemies. Obviously, Obama has not consulted his Bible recently, or if he has, he must have skipped over Gen. 12:3:
[3] I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse ....
So all may yet be on track. As I say, it's at least food for thought.

1 comment:

  1. As a Christian missionary, the verse that forms the basis of my thinking of the coming of the end times is Matthew 24:14, i.e., "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come."