Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The End Times

Somewhere around 16 people braved the cold last night (yes, it does get cold here!) to attend our second week of studying the book of Daniel.  Although the first part of the book focuses more on Daniel's life than prophecy, chapter 2 does introduce the reader to some pretty awesome realities.  Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, the 10-toed confederacy, and the Rock that crushes it all.

Christians down through the ages have thought at various times that they were near the end, or had even identified the Anti-Christ.  Even in Biblical times, some thought Nero was the culprit.  Hitler was named by many.  Perhaps even more interesting is how trying to identify the 10-nation alliance has changed.  Back in the day, Russian and the USSR just had to be the vehicle the bad guy would use to dominate the world.  Then, when the European Union with its common currency was instituted (with 10 nations as a part of that at one point), many thought this block of countries would take us into the tribulation. 

Now, many are wondering if the block of countries identified in Daniel 2 as iron mixed with clay might not be Muslim countries, or a combination of Muslim and Arabic countries.  Joel Rosenberg has written a novel (we listened to the audio version during a recent trip) entitled The Twelfth Imam.  In his book he details Islamic prophecies about a coming religious leader, their version of the Messiah, who in many ways fulfills Biblical prophecies concerning the Anti-Christ. Just google "The Twelfth Imam", and you'll be amazed at all the information there is regarding this subject.  Could the "Arab Spring" and various realignments that we are now seeing in the Middle East be a precursor to the end of the world as we know it?  Maybe.  Could others look back 50 years from now and smile about how some of us concocted all of this?  Very possible too.

I remember when a missionary friend excitedly told my parents that he was pretty sure Christ would come back in 1981.  Why?  Well, the fig tree, Israel, had budded in 1948.  A generation was 40 years.  1988 minus 7 years of tribulation...1981!  No one knows the time of Christ's return...only the Father (Matt. 24). 

What is definitely true is that we live in a day and age where technological advances have made the sort of world control much more possible.    I remember working on some of the very first Commodore and Atari personal computers back in 1985.  Green and orange monochrome screens.  Dot-matrix printers.  Impossible configurations just to print a text in bold or underline.  (254) Cumbersome. (254)  The Internet only began in the mid-90s.  Facebook is maybe 6 years old.  Aspects of life that my three kids take for granted now are really quite new innovations.  A Smart Phone contains more information than all the history of mankind combined...or something like that! 

Interesting that with our increase in knowledge, there has not been a corresponding increase in wisdom, in discernment.  The majority of people are more able to be influenced by mass media and by charismatic leaders than ever before.  The stage, indeed, has been and is being set.  Be sober, and be watchful.  Now is the day of salvation.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Rod,

Good thoughts on the end times. There is definitely a tension between discerning the times not setting dates. As you mentioned, every generation has thought that they lived in end times, and they were all right! And now it's our turn.


PS Glad we lived through December, 2013 :)