Continued from Sign #3, last post
SIGN #4: The alliance between the nominal Church and the world
There is a marriage that has been happening over time; in fact probably the most notable generation may have been during the days of Constantine in the fourth century. At the time Constantine came along and through his power as Emperor, intervened on behalf of the church by forcefully stopping the gruesome persecution perpetuated by his predecessors, it was seen as a blessing from Heaven. True, Christians were now accepted in a positive light, and the mass murders of Christ –followers had mostly been stopped, but there was a greater danger brought to the Church.
The Church, after a season of great persecution which saw an enormous amount of believers in Jesus butchered in the worst ways man could invent, now were given favor. The devil became quite successful in bringing compromise into the belief system. Once again, I think of the verse penned in the Book of Jude which says that it is necessary that one take a stand and “…earnestly contend for the faith that was once and for all delivered to the saints…”
It does not take a great deal of research into the history of the Church to see what happened starting with the reign of Constantine. The Church, as it became favored, began to compromise many of the doctrinal absolutes that had been given to the followers of Christ. The Church also began to gain power and influence in society, as well as greater and greater wealth. It didn’t take long until the Church began to get involved in matters of State, and corruption began to take hold in every area.
Much of what had been taught as strict doctrinal beliefs was now being compromised and turned into damnable heresies. Much of this happened by denying the literal interpretation of Scripture and accepting allegorical teachings. The problem with exchanging the literalness of Scripture for allegorical interpretation is that one can make Scripture say anything they want. Pretty soon every uncomfortable teaching in God’s Word was exchanged for something easier to accept. This also gave the Church great power, especially since people were not allowed to own a copy of the Scriptures for themselves! The Pope became “all-powerful”, and the priesthood had complete control over the people because they had a great fear of not living in obedience to what they were taught—supposedly from the Word of God.
There is a good reason why the Middle Ages were also called the “Dark Ages”. It had to do with the great darkness which overtook the Church and the people who had a blind dependence on the leadership of the Church. This is of course over-simplified, but pretty accurate when one reads how history of the times unfolded.
Today we are not without the Word of God, but the majority of people do not read it for themselves, much less “study to show themselves approved” as we are commanded to do in the New Testament. No church leadership, no matter how many letters after their name is infallible. NONE. God has promised to open His Word to anyone that asks! How many of us take God up on this promise to us? Not many, I’m afraid. In our modern “fast-food” society, we figure that the pastor is PAID to do this for us. Why should we take the time to do something that should be provided for us? Yet, Scripture was meant to be searched out by every single one of us who call ourselves Christ-followers.
Studying God’s Word takes time and effort; maybe more effort than we want to put out because it will cut into our fishing time; our “much deserved” relaxation on the golf course; or the latest episode of a TV soap opera. I wonder how our priorities will change when the great chaos invades our comfortable lives—just as God has said it would? I’ve probably said enough to become an irritation. I do want to emphasize once again that most of these things are not a sin in themselves, only when we give them a higher priority than they should have in a committed child of God.
SIGN #5: A vast population increase
When “Earth’s Earliest Ages” was written, the population of the world was only around 2 billion. The latest figures I could find are about 7.4 billion. Even the most secular talking heads are screaming that the end is near. Yet, it is not so much the population that is the problem. The earth was made to accommodate multiples of the population we have on this planet today. 90% of the population lives on the coast lines and up river valleys. The majority of the landmass has very little population!
Here’s an example. The United States alone has roughly 3.8 million square miles within its 50 states. This multiplies out to about 2.5 billion acres. This means that every three people on the planet would have about 1/3 of an acre within the U.S. alone. This is of course not feasible due to many factors; the point being though, the earth was created to have many more people on it that it presently does–if all things were as they were originally created to be.
I know that there are inhabitable areas and there isn’t anyone that could expect America to become a solid mass of 1/3 acre plots (if I did the math right), but you get the point. Look at the size of Canada which only has a population of about 30 million. Russia’s land mass is enormous. Then there is Australia and so many more locations that have a population density which is hardly significant. Even China, which is the most populated nation on earth with about 1.3 billion people has almost all of their population concentrated on the coastline or in mega-metropolises. Even my own home state of Oregon has nearly 100,000 sq. miles within its borders, yet the vast majority of the population is located in the Willamette Valley, and most of that only in three major cities; Portland, Eugene, and Salem. The eastern portion of the state is sparsely populated, especially the southeast. There are hardly any people there! Locations in SE Oregon are designated by someone’s cabin, which may be 40 miles from someone else’s cabin! So, the problem with the population of the world is more a problem of distribution, not the number of 7.4 billion.
Mismanaging of the planet is most of the problem. We have pestilence, famine, disease, and so much more, but bottom line–man is the problem, not the population. Jesus the Messiah will soon show how it is done. During the Millennium there will hardly be any death at all. Mankind will multiply greatly…and there won’t be war, neither will there be famine. There also won’t be the disasters which have been caused by the fall of man for the last 6 thousand years. People will apparently spread out because each will have their own property and as well as the benefit of all the vegetation God put on the planet to begin with.
Today, faulty science is blaming the failing ecosystem on global warming due to the “unprecedented” rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide and pollution which will supposedly lead to an environmental Armageddon. The science is questionable at best, yet the angst is appropriate—though for other reasons.
For some time now, God has been pushed out of every segment of our society. We don’t want Him in our politics, government, schools, colleges or universities, any reference of God on any of our public buildings, etc. As a result, our world is swiftly becoming a twin of the society that Noah lived in. The story is the same with Abraham’s grandson Lot in Sodom.
As I addressed above the world population is not a problem, man’s insistence on running the planet his own way is. The consequences of this are now coming in hard and fast. Abortion has cost our own nation somewhere around 60-70 million lives since Roe vs. Wade. The subsistence the U.S. has given to other nations in the world in order to help them provide abortions has brought the deaths of these infants to numbers that have been reported up to possibly ½ to one billion or so. I don’t know that there are any numbers that are really accurate for this. It is however an enormous number that can only be seen as a massacre beyond any possible comprehension. Do we really think God is ignoring this?
Then there is man’s redefining of what God defines as marriage. One thing I’ve learned about God is that He expresses a greater fury with mankind messing with His creation and how it was meant to function, than even the sin of homosexuality. God is very willing to forgive any sin and set a person free from it. The rebellion of the human race flies in the face of God, when it comes to His laws and is bringing a judgment that no one in the human race can even fathom. Pandora’s box has been opened to evil like we can’t even imagine. I’ll have to go into details on some of this at another time.
Moving on, the year 2012 brought some of the most gruesome crimes to light. Just the cases of people who attacked others biting flesh off of another human being is enough to make one wonder what has been unleashed. Then there are the cases of cannibalism. There has been cannibalism throughout history, but it has usually been relegated to places on our planet where dark paganism is regularly practiced. Now here we find it in the U.S. Can I predict that we are going to begin to see an epidemic increase of this and other related atrocities, in the very near days ahead? I guess I just did, and it will happen.
God is God, and there is none other. He has set a standard for the human race to live by. When mankind rebels against His laws, he will have to live with the consequences of his actions. Almighty God is not answerable to us; we are answerable to Him! He has given us choice whom to serve and He’ll honor our choice, but we need to understand that it is a life & death choice—for eternity.
SIGN #6: The rejection of prophetic warnings and preaching; and the most pertinent to our discussion.
The generation that G.H. Pember was part of already showed an aversion to Biblical prophecy. His writings showed that it was something that greatly troubled him. Here we are in a generation so many years later and find it to be so much worse yet. I have said it so many times that many probably are tired of hearing it, but it is more the affluent western culture that is guilty of this than anywhere else in the world. This is human nature, and the ancient Israelites provided us a good example of just that. This is why we are instructed in Hebrews chapter three that the story of the failings of the Israelites were recorded in God’s Word so we can learn from their mistakes and not have to make all the mistakes ourselves. It seems King Solomon said something along that line when he said, “It is a wise man that learns from the mistakes of others and doesn’t try and make them all himself.”
For the most part, today’s world is nearly oblivious to what is really going on. This is especially true in our modern success-oriented churches. We are so much into experiencing success and gaining as many of the material “blessings” the world has to offer, that we stick our fingers in our ears when someone attempts to let us know the lateness of the hour. Way too many supposed “Christ-followers” really don’t want the Lord to come back very soon because they are having too good a time living here! What an insult to the God who paid the ultimate price to provide us an eternity with Him that will make our short stay here on earth seem like we were living in a cesspool. Does that sound like an insult? I hope so, because it was intended to be. We have fallen in love with the world, and that is exactly what God told us not to do.
The people of Enoch’s day and Noah’s day didn’t pay any attention to what these “crazy” prophets had to say, and so missed the boat (excuse the obvious pun I couldn’t resist). Enoch, for his part, didn’t live to see the event he prophesied all those years, but he didn’t let up. He knew that God never lies and so what God told him to warn the people with, was going to happen, without a doubt.
Noah was put into the position of building this monstrous ship which was not even located near any water. To add to his trial, he worked on it for about 100 years, as this was still an era when people lived nearly 1,000 years.
Didn’t he look like a crazy man?? Credit needs to be given to the other seven members of his family though. I’m sure they had to deal with unending ridicule, and I’m sure there were times—probably many of them, where they wondered for themselves if Noah was off his rocker. Noah said it was going to rain, yet it had never rained on the earth to that point. It had been watered by a mist which God built into the system at creation. The earth was much like a great big terrarium at that time. Can you imagine how hard it became to believe that it was going to RAIN? They probably couldn’t even picture what rain was like!`
There were scoffers then and there are scoffers now! Those that take a chance of listening to what God is saying in our day and age, and then take a chance of speaking it out, are marginalized at best, but worse yet, not only marginalized, but ridiculed. All the time, God looks down on the Church which to one degree or another is taking on more and more of the unbelief and rejection which God said would be typical of the Church of Laodicea well described in the last of chapter three of the Book of Revelation. Do we really want to be part of a “church” with their damnable description? We have a choice to make—one that will determine our own eternity.
We live in a generation when mankind has become increasingly arrogant; thinking themselves smarter than God—for those that even have a shred of belief left in His existence, much less His absolute sovereignty over this universe He created. We have an “intelligencia” that are full of themselves and have no idea how ignorant they make themselves look. The problem is; they have an audience in our colleges and universities that still have “heads full of mush” as Rush Limbaugh likes to say, and so suck up the garbage put out as intelligent instruction, like it was the perfect latte’. God help us! It seems no one thinks for themselves anymore. It’s too easy to spend the time needed for one’s own research to try and beat the newest video game.
How many of us are so wrapped up in the things this world has to offer that we miss the most important things—especially the warnings God provided so that we don’t get caught off guard at the end of this age? This is not just a problem with the secular world; it is also a problem with the church world. We have gotten trapped by using pre-written sermons, great sounding platitudes, feel-good teaching material, self-help seminars, and how to go about using our faith to collect on the latest model Mercedes SUV.
Here is the New Testament’s preparedness of Noah’s family reads: “But of the times and seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape” (I Thessalonians 5: 1-3).
Verses 4-6 go on to describe the timing: But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober” (1 Thessalonians 5: 4-6).
None of us know the exact hour, but Scripture is clear that we should know the season, and multitudes of the followers of Jesus are well aware that the time of His return is imminent—not imminent like the early church felt because there was much of prophecy they did not understand, but imminent because we have had the privilege to see hundreds of detailed Scripture fulfilled in our lifetime; in fact, the speed at which things are being fulfilled today causes one to become dizzy… The days of Noah have returned!!
To Be Continued…