I have spent the last six decades telling anyone who will listen that we are living in the final stretch to the end of this Age of Grace. The countdown began in earnest with the birth of the modern nation of Israel. That’s why I call Israel “God’s timeclock.” Many of the prophecies about the end-times are predicated on the return of God’s people to the land He promised them. That was an event that many Bible scholars thought could never happen.
At various places, the Bible tells us what will be happening in the world around us. These signs will include physical events like earthquakes and wars. They will also include characteristics, attitudes, and behaviors that manifest themselves in our cultures, our societies, and in our individual selves. On top of this, the Bible warns that as we move closer to the end of the Age, these signs will increase in intensity and frequency.
But to be candid, even I am surprised at some of the things I see playing out across our TV screens today. They are like bizarre scenes from a B-movie. Rational — or formerly rational — people engaged in behaviors and shenanigans that most hack screenwriters would be embarrassed to include in their trashy screenplays.
One of the hallmarks of the last days will be the rise of irrationality. Romans 1:28 says, “And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind to do those things which are not proper.” The Greek context here means God gave them over to a mind that cannot even think in its own best interest.
Satan must be pleased. Hatred is on the rise in America. Everywhere we look, from politics to family life to racial groups to religious traditions to economic classes to sports, our impatience, disgust, and sheer hatred of one another is exploding. Everything we once held to be true and normal now seems to be turned on its head. No one trusts anyone anymore. But it’s no wonder. Truth has become a rare commodity in America today. Conscience even rarer.
I’m reminded of a remark found in Isaiah 5 that could perfectly describe the world today. Isaiah wrote, “They say that what is right is wrong and what is wrong is right; that black is white and white is black; bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter.” (Isaiah 5:20 TLB)
What we see happening in America today would not have happened here even 30 years ago. But in those years, we have been rearing generations of people who have no moral compass. The forces of entertainment and education have successfully weakened our sense of heritage, responsibility, even right and wrong to the point that we can’t even think in our own best interest. That’s one reason why when people come along and challenge the prevailing “wisdom” of the last few decades, they are treated with such disdain and disregard.
We are in the time that Jesus Himself warned us about. The time when the world — meaning the establishment — will hate us simply because we believe in and follow Him. And what the world hates, it punishes and destroys. That’s us, folks.
What else can explain the utter contempt being heaped on Vice President Mike Pence? Here is a man who embodies all of the ideals that we once looked for in a man: faith, fidelity to his wife and family, loyalty, honesty, hard work, and sterling morals.
Yet Frank Bruni, writing in The New York Times, called Vice President Pence, “a holy terror… self-infatuated… a bigot… a liar… cruel.” He went on to accuse Mr. Pence of having “the conviction that he’s on a mission from God and a determination to mold the entire nation in the shape of his own faith, a regressive, repressive version of Christianity.” And they’re not really talking only about Vice President Pence, that’s what the establishment thinks about you and me.
The Atlantic is one of the most prestigious magazines in the United States. It recently ran an article headlined, “God’s Plan for Mike Pence.” It featured an illustration of Vice President Pence as a holy man, draped in the garb of an Apostle, his hands raised skyward and a look of holier-than-thou piety on his face. A halo framed his head. That graphic mocked not only the Vice President, but all people of faith, especially Christians. The article described him as a “Bible thumper” who “often cited scripture to explain his votes.” The author, McKay Coppins called Mr. Pence, “dangerous.”
Folks, this is nothing less than absolute spiritual warfare. What we are seeing is the rise of a new anti-Christian caste system in America. Followers of Jesus are being systematically disqualified from positions of influence. Just last year, Senator Bernie Sanders told a Senate hearing that Christians should not be allowed to serve in high positions in the government.
In the first 180 years of the Supreme Court, its justices were almost all Protestant. Today, there is one Protestant. Justice Neil Gorsuch was raised Catholic, but now attends an Episcopal church. I truly believe that one of the strongest underlying fears of the Left — as embodied by the Democrat Senators — is that a future Justice Kavanaugh’s religious faith will compel him to undermine the sacred cows of the Left, like abortion and gay marriage. That is the reason that the judicial committee’s hearing became such a travesty and Democrats attacked Kavanaugh’s character and called him things such as “evil” and “your worst nightmare.” That means that his confirmation had taken on the earmarks of spiritual warfare, not simply a review of his judicial qualifications to sit on the highest court.
More than half the nation identifies as Protestant. More than a quarter identifies as Evangelical. Where are they? They have been systematically filtered out of the process. They are largely excluded from the judiciary; from tenured posts at universities; from leadership in the nation’s think tanks; from entertainment; and from thousands of other highly influential positions.
The nation that was founded by Christians on Christian principles became the envy of the world. It provided its citizens with more freedom and more prosperity than any other nation in history. Now those Christians are becoming outcasts in the nation they built. And it’s not just the Christian faith that’s under attack, but Christian values, too. Just as the Bible warned.
But I have some good news. Jesus said, “In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NASB) In II Corinthians 5:20, the Apostle Paul calls us “ambassadors for Christ.”
Consider this. Before hostilities break out between nations, they withdraw their respective ambassadors. At some point in the near future, God will unleash His wrath against Satan and sin. But before He declares war on this sin-infested planet, God will remove His ambassadors. He will evacuate us from this hostile situation. He will get us out before the real shooting-war begins. We call this evacuation operation “The Rapture.”
The Bible calls it our “blessed hope.” (Titus 2:13 NASB)