I begin by noting I do not believe what I am going to propose. I believe that Jesus is coming again and I am not opposed to using the word “soon” to describe that event though I truly have no idea when that day will come. For the record, I am a non-millenialist. That is I do not think of the coming of Jesus using that term. I do not hold to the rapture, an Antichrist, seven years tribulation, or a thousand years of peace followed by the war of all wars, the Great White Throne judgement or variations on the theme. My personal belief is that we will be blissfully moving through history when all of a sudden a trumpet will sound, CNN with go off the air and Jesus will be here. There will be a judgement where good and evil will be judged and those whose names are in The Book of Life will continue to live in Heaven and those whose names are not there are headed to eternal Hell. That out of the way, let me continue.
Here is the point of this blog. If in fact the end of time theories are true, if in fact the New World Order is rising and the Antichrist is ascending, then there is no fight for us to make. If this is the God ordained end of the world, then it is God ordained. That means that it is time for us to think in entirely new terms. Forget asking when we get to go back to our nice comfortable church buildings. We now ask how do we remain true to Jesus under persecution. How will we identify one another? Are we ready and willing to die for our faith? How will we function without the mark? (A chip is the latest in a long line of previously mistaken identified marks.)
The current situation with stay at home orders, closing of some businesses (without any real logic or sense to what is and isn’t open, but that is another discussion), masks or no masks, constitutional rights vs public safety and all, has produce an exceptional number of theories. Several of those theories suggest that we have entered into the last days, that the One World Order has begun to develop or show itself as having been deep in governments. Several have involved naming people either as the Antichrist or a team set to crown him as the sheep (you and I) blindly give up our freedom. These theories call for us to rise up and defeat said enemies of logic and freedom. We are called to expose the ‘truth’ as seen by the particular pronouncer.
I would hold that American Christianity is not the only Christianity that counts. It counts so don’t get me wrong. Christians, however, have been living under all kinds of governments and cultures, some hostile to it and some embracing it. The Bible does not guarantee peace, comfort, or free expression of our faith without danger. In fact, if we read it carefully, the exact is promised. So, Church, while we wait patiently for the current situation of clarify itself, while we wait for our American lives to return to “Normal” let’s also prepare ourselves for the possibility that it won’t and we can’t make it no matter how many videos we watch and Facebook posts we share. And remember:
“Blessed are you when people insult you persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”Matthew 5:11-12
Oh, and if I am right and this isn’t the end of the world, it might still be the end of what was normal and the above preparations are still valid. That is all.