Nov 17, 2008

Addressing Fears About Coming Years

By Terry James

While much of the rest of the world heaps praise on the American electorate for putting Barak Obama into the most powerful political position on the planet, the United States seems politically split nearly right down the middle. This, though the media almost totally ignores the fact of the split, choosing to try to make us believe it is an almost total majority that is ebullient over the prospects for a new, exciting reincarnation of the Camelot-like years of the John F. Kennedy administration.

Gun sales are up 70 percent from before it became almost certain the way the presidential election would go November 4. Anxiety at every level is as thick as Smoky Mountain fog in these post-election days. My email verifies that there is visceral fear among many Christians, as well as the American public at large.

There is good reason for the angst. However, the emails I’m receiving are increasingly trending toward the “Christians are going to be a part of the very wrath of God because of the election result” model. It is a model to which Rapture Ready does not hold, not because America’s Christians are somehow automatically exempt from bad times, but because God’s prophetic Word plainly teaches that no child of God living during the Age of Grace (Church Age) will ever taste the wrath of their Heavenly Father: “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess. 5:9). Jesus himself instructed that Church Age believers won’t taste God’s judgment and wrath. The Lord said, however, something quite interesting: “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh” (Lk. 21:28).

Jesus had just given the Olivet Discourse, during which He described at considerable length the things that would be taking place during the tribulation–the last seven years of history immediately preceding His Second Advent (Rev. 19:11). He said believers would see those horrendous things “begin” to take place.

That’s what Rapture Ready and other prophecy ministries of the Pre-Trib view have been pointing out for some time. We try to alert believers to the coming apocalyptic storm. We aren’t in that storm, but, we can certainly see it approaching. Jesus said that at such time we are to “look up, and lift up our heads, because our redemption draweth nigh.” The rapture will break in on an unsuspecting world of rebellious earth-dwellers like a “thief in the night.”

Certainly we are seeing in this present hour many indicators that we are in that time when we should be “looking up.” But, it seems, so many of our emails are saying we should be “looking out” for the development of global depression and dictatorships. The fearful emails instruct that Christians are expected–the notes imply—to endure, to prove our super-duper saintliness. I’ve excerpted part of a dark, ominous email that constitutes a warning that is in tone as if the writer is rendering prophecy straight from a vision given by the Lord.

The emailer disagreed with a previous Nearing Midnight commentary of mine, in which I said I believed there might yet return a degree of peace and prosperity as part of a move by Satan to delude many. The writer is sincere, and my intention is not to make light of his prophecy-like predictions. I simply want to use his words to frame the kind of fears that are bubbling to the surface of discourse while people look at the change of presidential administration.

The writer first expresses, as if it is as good as a done deal, that the Obama administration plans a national security force made up of draftees who will begin making slaves of U.S. citizens. This plan, according to some who have studied the idea of a "civilian national security force" mentioned by Barak Obama in July 2008, is the brainchild of Obama and his soon-to-be chief of staff Rahm Emmanuel.

Such a force, completely separate from the military, which is substantially limited in interacting with American civilian populations in matters of law enforcement by The Posse Comitatus Act and the Insurrection Act, would indeed be troubling. Adolf Hitler used a national police force to subdue and rule over Germany’s civilian population.

I in no way say we should let down our guard. Any moves in that direction certainly warrant watchfulness. It is, however, the conspiracy tone of the email--the tone that reflects so much of the sort I’ve received lately--that I sense needs addressing. The fears go beyond the bounds of Bible prophecy, especially for God’s people, who should be looking up for the blessed hope, Jesus Christ--not looking out for Antichrist to enslave them in this pre-wrath era of the Age of Grace.

The emailer then says, "You're going to see a depression here, while China and many other countries prosper after the brief slowdown resulting from our collapse. With the collapse of the dollar, these evil people (like Rockefeller and Rothschild) will buy many companies and assets on the cheap but will then concoct a war that they can finance through that corrupt instrument we call the federal reserve and other central banks. Their companies will provide oil and supplies for the war that we fight and we pay for as slaves, as we've done for years… These people are worshipers of Lucifer and have been behind food shortages and genetically modified vegetables among other things…”.

Many facts in the email writer’s words are fuel for the fear we see developing. But, while it is prudent to be aware of the gathering prophetic storm, it is wise to look to Bible prophecy--not to the soul-depressing news that surrounds us--as the final Word in considering things to come.

Again, we look to what God has given us, I believe, for this very generation: “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do” (1 Thess. 5: 9-11)