Apr 6, 2009

Violent Crime Joins the "Here We Go Again" Club

By Todd Strandberg

Three weeks ago, my partner Terry wrote the article, "Violence Trumpets Christ’s Return." He focused on two key events: the teenage gunman who killed 15 people in Germany and the murder of Rev. Fred Winters during a church service. These were unusual events, and it was noteworthy that they occurred within days of each other.

Recent events have compelled me to address this issue again. In the past few days, there has been an explosion of violence across the land. I've never seen so many horrendous crime stories within such a short period of time.

March 21 - Four Oakland, CA, police officers and one suspect were shot and killed in two shooting incidents near a police substation. It was the deadliest day for U.S. law enforcement since September 11, 2001.

March 28 - Kirby Revelus, 23, stabbed his 17-year-old sister to death with a kitchen knife, and he also attacked his 9-year-old sister (she was taken to the hospital and survived). He finally decapitated their 5-year-old sister in front of a police officer when he broke down the door to their Milton, MA home.

March 29 - A gunman opened fire inside a nursing home in a small North Carolina town, killing eight people, including elderly patients in wheelchairs. A 45-year-old local man was arrested and faced eight counts of first-degree murder after the shooting at the retirement care home in Carthage, about 60 miles southwest of Raleigh.

March 29 - An engineer at Yahoo gunned down his family in an apparent murder-suicide that left six people dead. Devan Kalathat killed his two children and three other relatives at a family housewarming party Sunday before shooting himself.

April 1 - A Massachusetts woman who believes she was being stalked by a cult has been charged with using a pair of scissors to inflict 100 wounds on her 2-year-old daughter. Susan Johnson can be heard saying "Die! Die!" on a 911 call made by a security guard who helped to subdue the woman in a laundry room at a Gardner apartment building Wednesday night.

April 3 - Vietnamese immigrant Jiverly Wong barricaded the back door of an immigration services center in New York State with a car and burst through the front door on a shooting rampage, killing 13 people and then himself.

April 4 - Three police officers in Oakland, CA, were shot and killed after a man pulled over for a routine traffic stop opened fire and then battled SWAT officers at a nearby building, police said.

April 4 - Five children were found dead inside their Washington state home Saturday afternoon. The children, who range in age from 6-17, were apparently killed by their father in a murder-suicide, according to police.

In Matthew 24:8, we are told that the tribulation hour will be preceded by an exponential surge of activity. Jesus mentioned a great variety of signs — spiritual, natural, societal, and world political — then said these warning signs will be like "birth pangs."

Several times in the past few years, I've compiled lists of birth pangs to show how they are increasing in frequency. When I was writing in the ‘80s and ‘90s, the spacing for major birth pangs could be several years a part. Now, the contractions are weeks and even days apart. Go to our “Timeline” page on mass murder to see how this type of violence is increasing. Most years only have one or two events listed.

The birth pangs have become so active, they are starting to overlap. Here I am writing about violent crime, and at the same time, global leaders are in Europe working on the global financial crisis. North Korea’s launch of a long-range missile is another birth pang simmering on the back burner.

The danger of having to say “Here we go again” is the onset of apathy. Even the most shocking news story can only hold people’s attention for so long. One good example is homicide bombers. When they first started in Israel in the early part of this decade, these attacks would cause news organization to go into “breaking news” mode. Today, they occur all over the Middle East and are reported as if they were as commonplace as a weather report.

I think the disparity between the frequency of birth pangs and the general sense of apathy is the granddaddy of end-time indicators. Jesus gave us a long list of signs of His return, but warned us that the lack of awareness would be the cherry on top. Because they are both at levels never before seen in modern times, I can only conclude that we are near the tail end of the Church Age.

"Just so, when you see the events I've described beginning to happen, you can know his return is very near, right at the door" (NLT Mat. 24:33).

Related Links

Signs emerge of global crime wave- Asia Times Online
Mexican drug cartels making inroads here, authorities say - Tucson Citizen
Serial killers working as lorry drivers have murdered 500 women across US - Telegraph.co.uk