The Redundant SeaApril 6, 2015
Over the past several years, a myriad of catastrophic events have been forecast which created a frenzy, but in the end, went away without a stir. Some were rendered irrelevant once a particular date passed, such as Y2K, the end of the Mayan calendar in 2012, and what have you. Other predicted calamities have had a more open timetable, however, as the years progressed, concern began to wain when the predictions either failed to manifest in a timely manner, or, events begin trending in a direction that was contrary to the predictions. Global warming is a primary example of this. A supposed environmental tipping point that was embraced by much of the scientific community and discussed widely in the various media outlets, but failed to live up to the expectations. More recently, there were predictions of massive Ebola outbreaks in the United States and Europe, when patients from West Africa were flown in for treatment.
They enter the forecast of “things to come,” create a frenzy, spawn an array of predictions as to the extent of their impact, prompt those with an agenda to utilize the uproar to their advantage (let no crisis go to waste) and then vanish with little more than a whimper. Today, few remember the panic surrounding the predictions of Y2K, while the end of the Mayan calendar became a non-issue right after the date passed. Many Christians were caught up in the Mayan calendar frenzy; a phenomenon to which one particular individual made an observation, containing words to the effect of “The Mayans were pagans and received information from demonic entities. Why are Christians getting worked up over something that essentially came from the father of lies?” I don’t remember who made the observation, however, it was spot on. Satan continuously seeks to change times and seasons while drawing folks away from the Creator of all that is. But God inhabits eternity and sees the end from the beginning. He holds in his hand time, seasons, judgments…….and the breath of every living thing.
I Samuel 2:3 “Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.”
These would-be calamities, while failing to live up to their billing, still manage to have an adverse effect on many who were present when the hype was in high gear. Below are three primary ways that non-events impact the population. In many instances the ramifications can have eternal consequences as they contribute to the overall state of slumber that has gripped this generation.
1. Non-stories bolster the misplaced confidence that those who know not the Lord Jesus have in the present world. As dire predictions create a frenzy, but then fail to materialize, they begin to “merge,” as it were, into a redundant sea of false warnings. This creates skepticism toward any report that threatens the continuance……including authentic warnings that have a scriptural foundation. An unsaved person may well view warnings about the rise of antichrist in the same light as the warnings about Y2K; despite the abundance of physical evidence that a beast system is emerging. In many cases, they become increasingly sketpical when the issue of salvation and coming judgment are presented; choosing rather to cling to their own beliefs…..“a way that seemeth right.” We all know people who have such confidence in this world and/or their personal beliefs that questions about whether or not their beliefs about either one are accurate true never come into consideration. This confidence in a false security is bolstered every dire prediction fails, a false prophecy falls to the ground…….and another preacher replaces scriptural truth such as except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” with soothing phrases about living our best life now.
Confusion and slumber are two attributes of our age. Yet regardless of all the confusion, the truth of Gods word remains steadfast and each of us will be judged according to truth. (II Peter 1:20-21) All of us have a checkout date; a moment when our final breath is exhausted and we leave this theater of atoms……..a moment that can arrive without warning. Every fatal automobile accident tells a tragic tale of someone who had plans that were just beyond their allotment of time. When our time in this world ends, we will be judged according to the truths found in scripture; whether we believed them, rejected them, or fell for a twisted representation of them. John 14:6 records it like this: “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
2. Many of the would-be calamities were considered by many Christians to be signs of the end times. Many placed a lot of captial in these predictions and, instead of seeking the Lord Jesus on the matter, embarked on a campaign to prepare for the non-event. One family from Ohio prepared for Y2K by stockpiling enough food, clothes, personal effects, survival gear, and what have you, to maintain themselves, their children, and their grandchildren, for months. The home was packed to the ceilings……until a fire in the summer of 1999 consumed everything that had been assembled. When we fail to hear from the Lord and go about doing our own thing, we waste time that can never be retrieved, squander resources that could have been utilized in a more profitable manner, and put a tremendous amount of thought and energy into preparing for an illusion. This is not to say that we shouldn’t seek to be prepared for the unexpected. We should, however, inquire of the Lord as to how we should do this.
But false predictions go beyond the misplaced allocation of resources. Many will monitor the goings on in the physical realm, and listen to report after report of the dire situation that is unfolding, until they are convinced that the bottom will fall out any day. (On more than one occasion, I have been fully convinced that the economy was two weeks away from total collapse) Then, as time progresses and the bottom doesn’t fall out, they become dull of hearing……even to the point that the verifiable warnings found in scripture also begin to lose their urgency. This is a real danger; especially if a person is given to emotion and sensationalism, as opposed to prayerful inquiry and searching the scriptures. I have known of people who spend so much time consuming one report after another, that they neglect to take time to step away from the computer, go before the Lord Jesus, and inquire “is this true, and if it is, how do I respond?”
Proverbs 14:15 “The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.”
3. False reports, non-events, and distractions of like manner, create an atmosphere of confusion to the point that identifying the legitimate issues becomes almost impossible. We simply cannot navigate the terrain in our own wisdom or understanding. Because buried somewhere, amidst the stories about Niburu, an eruption in the Yellowstone caldera, the return of the Nephilim, Spetsnaz soldiers operating outside of Dayton, the potential for a major earthquake along the New Madrid fault, Cumbre Vieja crashing into the sea; triggering a mega tsunami, and what have you, there are legitimate reports that signify that the end of the age is at hand. While many of the aforementioned issues may, (or may not) be credible, there are issues that we know to be, not only credible, but they carry serious eternal ramifications…..such as the manifesting of the beast system, the great falling away, and the limited amount of time that we have to compel those around us who know not the Lord Jesus to believe on him before the door is shut.
We know from scripture that prior to the return of Jesus, the earth will be ravaged by earthquakes, famine, plagues, fearful sights, signs in the heavens, and what have you, we know to expect them…..but we should not be fearful of them; nor should we believe every report concerning predictions as to the when, where, and how severe. Here is what we should be watching with godly fear: “Take heed that no man deceive you.” Because if we embrace deception, follow after a false Christ, or abandon our faith because something else suddenly seems more verifiable (a false way will always appeal to the flesh) we have placed ourselves into a hole from which there may well be no escape. The remainder of this postg will focus on three passages which sum up many of the conditions found upon the earth in the spring of 2015 and are sure to increase as the end of the age draws ever closer:
Matthew 24:6 “And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars; see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass.”
Wars and rumours. We think of it in terms of armed conflict and, without a doubt, there are many armed conflicts underway and expected to be underway in the future. The fog of battle; where one doesn’t know which reports are verifiable, which ones are a deception, and how to prepare accordingly. Currently, there is war in several nations, including Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, Eastern Ukraine, Yemen, Gaza, while a number of lesser campaigns are underway on every continent. (except Antarctica…..but then again……we know about the Nazi activity involving Antarctica back in the 1940’s. Who knows what may be transpiring now) But rumors go well beyond conventional conflicts. Wars and rumors are found in every facet of society……right down to the microcosm of a family, where strife, accusations which may or may not be true, displays of drama over irrelevant issues, and the like create an environment of confusion and sorrow until, finally, affection begins to wain. While in the verse above, I believe that Jesus was referring specifically to conflict of a national and international nature, there is conflict and rumor at every level of society. “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.“
Luke 21:25-26 “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;
26 Men’s heart’s failing them for fear, and looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.”
A time where everything is being shaken and one can no longer find a place of stability. A population that is so overwhelmed by the myriad of coinciding calamities that the hearts of many will fail. Interesting, as I was writing out this verse, I began to think of how many times it has been quoted over the past few years. Over and over and over – every day Rick Wiles broadcast opens with a reading of this verse. And while it is indeed an accurate picture of the time of the end……we can hear it so often that we lose sight of its significance……especially when each day, the mail arrives on time, the electricity is still on, and people have time to worry about such things as how their favorite sports team is doing. We must be on continual guard against complacency – never allowing scriptural truth to fall into the redundant sea. The west has been so saturated with truth that many no longer hold it in as high esteem as we should…..even as these events are right at the door. The final verse defines the apathy that is prevailent in society and even in many churches.
II Peter 3:3-4 “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.”
It’s the battle cry of all who refuse to believe, or even consider, that there is an end to the present continuance. A majority of the people in our ambiance, even those who identify themselves as Christian, are so attached to this present world, that they give no thought to such things. And yet history is filled with examples of societies that bought, sold, and married on the final day of their existence. It happened in the days of Noah, it happened to Sodom, and for an added historical perspective, it happened to Pompeii. Despite the fact that Vesuvius was showing signs of an explosion, the casts taken from the solidified ash reveal a society that was completely caught off guard. The mountain had been stable for so long that thoughts of a calamity were non-existent (I visited Pompeii in 1986)
While Pompeii was buried by a volcano that was plainly visible, Sodom was destroyed by brimstone falling out of the sky. There was no physical anomaly that a citizen of Sodom could have pointed to and said “that physical aspect is acting different.” Any confidence in physical continuance is unfounded…..even if all the collaborating evidence supports the continuance. We are reminded in Nahum 1:3, that “The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind.” (One of the current issues that has me intrigued is the number of sinkholes that are showing up in divers places across the globe.)
II Peter 3:5-7 “For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.”
Well I have to go. May we all look steadfastly to Jesus, not be rattled by the events that are underway (or soon will be) and not become dull of hearing when, despite the rhetoric coming at us from every angle, the status quo seems to remain intact. As Jesus explained it, “Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.“
Blessings in Jesus name.