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It's The End Times - So Let's All Give Up! Right?

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       I was talking to a friend down at the warehouse office recently about the current general moral and political environment of American society. As each outrageous situation makes its appearance whether it's political corruption, random violence, or maybe some bizarre cult gaining the nation's attention in the national press and broadcast media, we laugh and joke about at it in a nonsensical attempt to deal with the continuing array of bizarre events. It is an annoying habit we seem to have fallen into. Yeah, things are pretty bad; it seems there is always something else, some extreme incident to top the last one.

       But as a Christian who understands our position in the Lord and one who is thought of “as strong," it has never really affected my world outlook in a profoundly negative way, believe it or not. I have always viewed current events in light of Bible prophecy and understood the American nation as finally reaping the rewards of her rebellious and hedonistic, self-centered bent of these last few decades. That’s the way it works in this world and life. We rebel against and abandon the things of God – and He drops the hammer on us to regain our attention. That is where we are at right now. And we understand that. Yet God is most certainly still on the Throne!

       But maybe the few are alone in what should be the proper response to this current state in the nation and world. As we sat there in the office, this gentleman off-handedly made a comment that seems to have become the catch phrase for the Christians of my generation. He said,

       “Yeah, it’s too far gone.”

       Too far gone? For what? That it’s too far gone out of the reach of God’s Hand? That He can't intervene on our behalf in our nation at this time in history? Now any other time I would let this statement slide, as it came from a backslidden Christian and such statements of lack of faith are to be expected from one who is constantly being called back into a real and dynamic relationship with the Lord through a persistent conviction of the Holy Spirit. But today, this gentleman’s twelve year old daughter was present. And once again I saw that look of momentary despair in her young eyes that can only be perceived by one who has studied it extensively for so many years. And I realized a lot of things in that twinkling of an eye. Things that concern the way we perceive and respond to the world around us, and that response's impact on the younger generation.

       I’m sure the Lord is very irritated by such denunciations of His abilities to work in the world regardless of the circumstances—or our prophetic time frame. This was a main contention with Him and the children of Israel as He led them through the wilderness (Book of Numbers). And it angered Him more as the spies that were sent in to survey the land that He had promised them, as their faithlessness and fear began to infect the others in the community upon their debriefing on their return. And I guarantee you, an attitude of defeatism/fatalism on behalf of the Church in America today is not going to work! Not without some serious repercussions!

       “And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it. But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we. And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.” Numbers 13:30-33

       “And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness!” Numbers 14:2

       And what was the Lords response, once again, to this faithlessness, fear, and cynicism?

       “And the LORD said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have shewed among them? I will smite them with the pestilence, and disinherit them, and will make of thee a greater nation and mightier than they.” Numbers 14:11-12

       Moses once again interceded on the nation’s behalf that He would not slay them all and the Lord listened to his plea. Joshua and Caleb were the only hard-chargers, the only warriors in the bunch, and were hot to move forward and take everything by faith that the Lord had given them. They were the only ones to believe God. Yet how did the Lord respond to the weakness and faithlessness of the others?

       “And the LORD said, I have pardoned according to thy word: But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD. Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice; Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it: But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it. (Now the Amalekites and the Canaanites dwelt in the valley.) Tomorrow turn you, and get you into the wilderness by the way of the Red sea.

       And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me. Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the LORD, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you: Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward which have murmured against me. Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun. But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised. But as for you, your carcases, they shall fall in this wilderness. And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms, until your carcases be wasted in the wilderness. After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise. I the LORD have said, I will surely do it unto all this evil congregation, that are gathered together against me: in this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die.

       And the men, which Moses sent to search the land, who returned, and made all the congregation to murmur against him, by bringing up a slander upon the land, Even those men that did bring up the evil report upon the land, died by the plague before the LORD. But Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of the men that went to search the land, lived still.” Numbers 14:20-38

       The spies who had polluted the children of Israel with their unbelief paid a dear price for their fear. The rest of the congregation who had bought into the lie, bowing to the pressure of “the mainstream” ended up dying in the wilderness, refused entrance to the promises of God because of their unbelief. And the very children that the people had said would die if they attempted to take the land were the ones who possessed it. What a paradox. What a tragedy of unbelief. True, these people were living under a different Testament without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, but the underlying principle still remains.

       “It’s too far gone, it is completely hopeless.”

The End O' The World Box
The End O' The World Box, care of Stephan Pastis and "Pearls Before Swine." [Click to enlarge and set as desktop.]

       How many of us, in seeing the things that are going on around us, have made that same statement? Or how many of us have made the assertion that “we don't have enough time” as if we are on some type of evident schedule? How many of us have made it in the presence of the much younger generation? And how many of us have even taken a moment to think what type of impact it makes on the young hearers as they are forming their perceptions of the world around them and even the future?!

       What in Heaven’s name are they supposed to think?!

       Their parents and elders, first teaching then the principles of faith and Godly living, then are constantly crying about the condition of the nation, saying there is no hope; any attempts at changing it are useless. Their parents and elders have all but abandoned the unique American political process that was so hard won by another generation as they wallow in their bitter cynicism, unbelief, and despair. They observe as their parents fall back and retreat from the realities of the world around them, then expect them to grow up, survive, and make an impact on a world they don’t have the skills to deal with on a practical level, spiritually, in the first place! Whatever happened to “discernment” and “faith” and “odediance to God” and “discipline” and “being in the world but not of it?”

       Whatever happened to, "Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?" (Jeremiah 32:27)

       Have we and our children become so spiritually weak that we can’t expect them to survive on the streets and in the public arena? Aren’t we teaching them retreat in the long run, that the nation’s governmental and public institutions are all but overwhelmed by the enemy and to be abandoned, as we pull back within the walls of our own little spiritual “Christian camps” in an apocalyptic, fatalistic, attitude of surrender as we just “hang on” because it is “the end times?” And yet we furtively hope that maybe the Lord will make an impact on the situation as his future soldiers are being infected by the same fatalistic, “there is no way” attitude that we have. What if the Lord tarries for another twenty years? Yes, that is a very possible reality. Fifteen years ago people were saying it “can’t go on much longer.” But it does. How is the next generation supposed to cope, if the Lord does tarry for a short season more?

       Let’s look at the “different spirit” that Caleb and Joshua had. This spirit is something I have studied to a great extent, from a Biblical perspective. The cover of a book I have knowledge of about soldiering says this:

       “Through their teachings about the nature of aggression, competition, and physical and mental struggle, the warrior traditions provide a practical guide to living in a difficult and challenging world. Each embraces a spiritual code to serve as a path of personal development, combining bravery and gentleness, exhibiting a fierce compassion for others, and emphasizing self-mastery, will, and patience as well as courage and integrity.” (From the cover of The Code of the Warrior, by Rick Fields.)

       In trying to understand the mindset of both Caleb and Joshua, we understand that they realized “the Lord was with them,” as Caleb stated. Their confidence was not in themselves or the army of the children of Israel, but in the Lord. As the Bible says, in quoting another great fighter, King David:

       “And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD's, and he will give you into our hands." I Samuel 17:47

       This mindset is not a “manly, macho” thing nor carnal, especially on the part of the Christian warrior, nor is it limited to men only. Concerning all things spiritual the Lord does not see male or female (Galatians 3:28). But in looking a little narrower into this mindset, the way of the warrior tradition and the mindset of a fighter, whether temporal or spiritual, read this Congressional account in the awarding of the Medal of Honor to M. Sgt. Roy P. Benevidez (Deceased), United States Army Special Forces (5th Special Forces Group), a Vietnam veteran:

       The awarding of the Medal of Honor to M. Sgt. Roy P. Benevidez.

       This is a pristine example of an American soldier, a “fighter,” who refused to surrender, even though seriously wounded, outnumbered and outgunned. He simply refused to quit! How much more us, pertaining to spiritual things, the people who “have all things that pertain to life and Godliness?” How much more the Christian church in America today as the global Christian community under persecution has their eyes on us; indeed as we stand before so great a cloud of witnesses as those who have gone before us under extreme hardship like the early Church?

       This is “that spirit” that was in Caleb and Joshua. This is the same “spirit” or attitude or mindset that should be in the people of the Church today! No where in the canon of scripture does it teach or even imply that we are to stand down from our responsibilities and civic duties, an aggressive, professional representation, as Ambassadors of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of Heaven as we seek to reach the world and impact it in a powerful way with the revealed Word of God! No where! No where does it state that we are not to stand in faith on a daily basis in the eternal hope that the Lord will work through us in a formidable and visible way to impress the nation around us—regardless of the circumstances, regardless that from all outward appearances, we are in “the end times.” and “Jesus is coming back.”

       This isn’t some feel good, inspirational, philosophy that seeks to take the world before the Lord can return. This is that old-fashioned, suck-it-up, never surrender, make it through, faith in God and His Word alone, philosophy of law and government that this United States of America nation was founded on in the first place and made it the most formidable national presence in the recorded history of man today! Yet we still insist on walking around saying it’s too far gone under a dark cloud of unbelief and faithlessness, and that in the face of the undeniable truths of the Word of God. The true sons and daughters of the Lord do not run! Not in faith, not in spirit, not in the heat of the battle! Never!

       “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident. One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple. For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock. And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD.” (Psalm 27:1-6)

       “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” (Psalm 91:1)

       “Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)

       You know I could go on with the unqualified promises of God still valid for the Church today! Do I need to remind anybody who has the edge here? We do! Either the promises of God are true, or they are not! Either we have access to the Throne of the Creator of the Universe and His limitless Power, the Secret Place of the Most High, or we do not! Yet these things are true! If we refuse to believe them all, we will find ourselves “in the rear with the gear,” leading miserable lives and very rarely employed in the spiritual battle in any grand way, let alone the damage it causes to the younger generation struggling to face an uncertain future around us. So many of the problems that young people have today are rooted in this apocalyptic, doom and gloom attitude, which pervades the Church.

        it! Let’s stand on the foundation of our faith and everything we have ever believed in, being strong in the LORD, and in the power of His might. Everything it means to be a Christian, a soldier of the Light possessing the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, demands that we stand in continual defiance against the darkness and evil that would seem to overwhelm the national arena and the world and resist it. Until we are dead, or evacuated out of here alive. We may not know what the future holds, but we know Who holds the future. As long as the sun comes up on another day, faith still lives! As long as we wake to another day, hope still exists! A Christian can never surrender to despair and hopelessness, in heart, mind or speech. A Christian can never give in to defeatism and faithlessness. We can never surrender to the circumstances of our times and still say we believe in God, for we are then implying that He has somehow lost control. That is absurd.

       “But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.” (II Thessalonians 2:13-17)

       Behold, another day. The time is close, but still not yet. Life still goes on around us, our children still have a future—no matter how short—to contend with. Remember the impact your attitude and demeanor has on them. Everything you do, do as unto the Lord, and "Thus saith the LORD the maker thereof, the LORD that formed it, to establish it; the LORD is his name; Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not."(Jeremiah 33:2-4)

       So never surrender!


"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." [II Chronicles 7:14]

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