Mar 16, 2009

Violence Trumpets Christ’s Return

By Terry James

The prophet of all prophets, who just happens to be the very Word of God (John 1:1), foretold the human condition at the time of the first phase of His second coming. Jesus said,
“And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man” (Lk. 17:26).
Those are strong words by Jesus, and they open for the student of Bible prophecy an avenue that runs directly to a signal around which can be built a case for how near this generation must be to the rapture. I write of the rapture, and not Christ’s second advent, because in this prophecy Jesus is talking about the first, not the second, phase of His second coming.

The first phase is the rapture; the second phase is the moment described in Revelation 19:11, when the King of kings, Jesus Christ, returns dramatically to earth to end man’s humanity-destroying war called Armageddon. Jesus prophesied that at the time of this first phase, the rapture, earth dwellers will be going about life pretty much as usual. It will be like in the days before the great flood. About those days, Jesus said:
“They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all” (Lk. 17:27).
There were, like in our time, also some strange and sinful things going on in those days - things that finally brought God’s wrath and judgment and the destruction of all but the eight people inside the ark. The particular sinful matter that was going on in Noah’s day that I want to explore a bit is put forth in the following:
“The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth” (Gen. 6:11-13).
The operative sinful characteristic is:
“violence filled the whole earth.”
Violence has always been part of the human condition. Cain killed his brother Abel in the first murder. More than 15,000 wars have been the scourge of every generation since Noah and his family left the ark. Cain’s pre-flood slaying of his brother set in motion a visceral propensity within mankind to do violence to fellow humans.

Wars waged by the likes of the ancient Assyrians, Egyptians, Babylonians, Medes, Persians, Alexander’s Greek Empire, and the Roman Empire brought tremendous bloodshed down through the millennia. But it was the 20th century, with World Wars 1 and 2, the Korean War, the Vietnamese War, and others that continue into the 21st century that spawned the level of violence that equates to the worldwide violence of Noah’s day just before the great flood.

Murderous rage has exploded upon this late hour of human history in most every aspect. Killing rampages that used to be the aberrant acts of the rarely seen serial or spree killers now seem almost a part of homicide considered to be the norm. One specific form of violence that I sense strongly indicates a recently elevated rage that is like the satanic hatred of times just before Noah and the seven others went into the ark is that aimed directly at true believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.
“An Illinois pastor was shot and killed, and two parishioners injured after an unknown gunman opened fire during Sunday services at the First Baptist Church in Maryville, IL. The gunman walked down the church aisle and briefly spoke to the pastor before shooting during the 8:15 a.m. service. Rev. Fred Winters used the Bible he was reading from to shield himself from the first round of bullets being pumped at him, a parishioner told FOX News. The gunman's .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol jammed after the fourth shot was fired. The suspect then started stabbing himself with a four-inch knife, Ralph Timmins of the Illinois State Police told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch… ‘We have no idea what this guy's motives were,’ [Rev. Mark] Jones said outside the church, ‘We don't know if we'll ever know that.’…” (,2933,506820,00.html)
The murderous violence followed a church shooting July 28, 2008, in Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville, TN. Two were killed in that rampage and seven were wounded. The motive was determined to be political. School shootings have also continued to escalate. From the Columbine, Colorado school shootings and the Jonesboro, Arkansas school shootings to the mass murders at every level - lower grades to college/university levels - the lists of dead and wounded continues to rise, their perpetration mostly inexplicable in each case.

The latest such mass murder demonstrates that the seemingly demoniacal rampages infects the world, not just America.
“WINNENDEN, Germany — A teenage gunman killed 15 people, most of them female, on Wednesday in a rampage that began at a school near Stuttgart in southern Germany and ended in a nearby town, where he then killed himself after the police wounded him…” (Carter Dougherty, Victor Homola, and Stefan Pauly, “Teenage Gunman Kills 15 at School in Germany,” New York Times, 2009).
So many such instances of violent insanity are piling up that it is difficult to pick and choose which to use as examples of end-times violence Jesus described. That fact alone is enough to validate just how much alike are our days and Noah’s.

Violence that is such a characteristic of this generation of earth’s inhabitants must certainly be a major indicator sounding from the end-of-days trumpet of warning. It is heralding the glorious prophetic truth that Jesus can at any moment step out upon the clouds of glory and shout, “Come up here!” (Rev. 4:1).

Related Links

Napolitano: Plan Near for Dealing With Mexico Border Violence - FOX News
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Officials warn budget cuts could unleash a litany of social ills - Star Bulletin