The Rain Is Falling... As in the days of Noah.
But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. [Matthew 24:37-39]
By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. [Hebrews 11:7]
Watching the recent online release of the movie "IRANIUM," then hearing of the subsequent broadcast of "The Coming is Upon Us" put out by the Iranian government, elicited a personal response I am usually not inclined to. The documentary was secular, level-headed, well-researched, void of hysterical and alarmist rhetoric, and laid out long established facts known about the Iranian nuclear weapons program. My own post-9/11 ten year slog through ancient and modern Middle East and Islamic history, along with a daily review of carefully chosen open source information, found nothing exaggerated in the comments and observations of the experts consulted.
Like most secular documentaries, "expert's" position papers, and Western government's statements over the last decade, though, there were few credible suggestions offered in response to this tangible threat, at least little the West seems capable of at this point. Most solutions are little more than magical thinking; positions qualified with "perhaps" and "maybes" as the comprehension of the peril becomes more real. It was this timidity of moral certainty and vision that led to the undeterred and irreversible red line crossing of the Iranian Bushehr reactor being brought online in August of 2010.
Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton was one of the last calling for direct military action, only to be ignored. The utter confusion the "elite" of the Western world are in today contending with world events is incredible.
"And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. ... But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD." [Genesis 6:5 & 8]
Not for me. For people.
Then I thought, "the rain is falling," and thought of Noah.
A "preacher of righteousness" [II Peter 2:5] Noah spent almost one-hundred and twenty years warning people of the calamity to come, with no visible success in persuading people outside of his immediate familyeven with the urgency of a seven day warning before the impending flood. [Genesis 7:4]
What would he have been thinking through that period during the building of the ark, in the midst of a land that had never seen rain before? What might he have been thinking that final seven days, as the disaster was now imminent?
I wonder if he thought "perhaps" and "maybe" things could be turned around or improved in his daily outreach to people as they were "eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage," [Matthew 24:37-39] living their normal lives; the violence and putrid immorality of the times their conventional "normal." Just like the world today.
Yet, he was "moved by fear," being warned of God, and prepared the ark to the saving of his house. [Hebrews 11:7]
A Classic Biblical Standoff.
Today, there is voluminous commentary from all quarters on Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39. Turkey, Libya and Sudan, radical Islamist nations in a coalition with Iran (Persia) and a resurgent Russia led by Vladimir Putin (emboldened by a weakened U.S., bound by a mutual defense pacts with Iran, and moving in the Middle East even now to counter U.S. influence in the region) conspire to invade Israel.
Author David J. Jonsson, in his extensive work I reviewed, "Islamic Economics and the Final Jihad: The Muslim Brotherhood to the Leftist/Marxist - Islamist Alliance" chronicles in excruciating detail the economicsa main driver behind many wars through historycompelling the burgeoning global Islamic/Marxist alliance and, himself a Christian, succeeds in am objective declaration void of any "apocalyptic/prophetic" language that many secular thinkers seize on to discredit those warning about the Iranian nuclear threat. The bottom line: energy. As well as power and regional influence.
For those who dismiss predictive Bible prophecy as whimsical, irrational, and discredited, at least follow the global money. That doesn't lie.
The rebirth of Israel, a "super sign" of fulfilled Bible prophecy continues to be backed into a corner with the whole world growing ever more hostile to their very existenceincluding the United States!
It is interesting to note we are quickly closing in on the finish of the generation that saw the rebirth of the State of Israel that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 24, in the parable of the fig tree, a generation that "would not pass" till ALL the things He listed be fulfilled.
This Leftist/Marxist - Islamist inspired attack on Israel is going to happen. First, because God warned through His prophets it was going to happen [Amos 3:7]. Second, hard-core reality and contemporary geo-politics points to this as imminent. And third, this is the hardest for many, Jew or Christian, coming to grips with the sovereignty of God and His stated plans: fickle American political and military "support" of modern day Israel is nothing more than a big pacifier stuck in their mouths; undependable America a false god and modern day Egypt [Isaiah 30:1-7] usurping the rightful place of the dependable living God of reborn Israel, who will not long tolerate it.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has stated the "black and filthy microbe called the Zionist regime" must be "Wiped off the map." Shia "Twelvers" believe the Twelfth Imam, the Mahdi, will not return until the world is in the midst of great turmoil. Daily, with the current havoc in the Middle East, Iran foments terrorism throughout that region, and indeed, the world, under the tacit endorsement of Russia and China as they seek to protect their economic interests in that country and expand their wider influence.
In I Kings [I Kings 18: 17-39] Elijah, representing the Lord, stood off against 450 prophets of Baal. The Lord responded mightily in the face of these false "prophets."
The Iranian mullahs, Ahmadinejad, and a good portion of the Arab/Islamist world say they and the "Mahdi" will destroy Israel. The God of Israel says no they won't.
The parallels are striking.
If you are reading this and a citizen or military member of the armies of any of these listed in Ezekiel 38-39 and you see these events coming to passwhatever you do, don't go. Run the other way. Because it will end much the same way for you as the prophets of Baal.
Coming to grips with a Sovereign God.
"See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand." [Deuteronomy 32:39]
We, humanity, cannot prevent what is now coming down the road. We are in His hands. Jan Markall recently listed in "Why Won't They Listen?" numerous reasons why people might tend to be unwilling to evaluate the evidence and attempt to draw reasonable conclusions.
A reader at FreeRepublic.com wrote me privately about a year ago, something that resonated strongly with me:
Help me put into words what I am feeling. ... I believe we will see Ezek 38-39 happen in the next 5 yrs or so. I believe EVERY last syllable in the Bible, but it still feels like an out of body experience to see it start to come together. ... Seeing it come to fruition is hard to grasp. While I never took prophecy to be words on a page and I always thought I would see it, I can't believe I'm seeing it. Does that make sense?
It makes perfect sense to me. The cognitive dissonance of our stewing daily in a temporal advanced high-tech, Postmodernist, multicultural, morally relativistic, religiously plural, ecumenically inclusive (they call it "modernity" today) world where "god" is shaped by our own confused opinions, or all but become a mythological tale to be shelved on the dusty shelves of man's unenlightened history, Bible prophecyGod's warning of the futurebeing fulfilled in such a visible and unequivocal way has to have been much like that which Noah experienced as well. Yet he stayed faithful.
In spite of that, with many teachers and pastors nervous about taking a stand on the stark realities of our timesthe "latter days" we were warned about millennia agoI notice many providing themselves a safe "back door" by qualifying their statements with comments like "it may go on for another fifty years," or, "I'm not saying we are that final generation to see the return of Jesus Christ." With the myriad apocalyptic date setters over the years discrediting themselves and by default, predictive Bible prophecy in general, I can understand their apprehension. Yet this wobbly stance undermines the urgency of the message and the times.
Anybody with a rudimentary grasp of the human condition and current global economic, political, and military trends, especially burgeoning nuclear weapons proliferation, can logically deduct exactly where this is all heading.
Issuing umbrellas or boarding passes onto the Ark.
Pastor Greg Laurie at Harvest Christian Fellowship cuts through all the froth and posturing in the wake of decades of mishandling of Bible prophecy by hirelings, "date-setters," and frauds, by stating in a February 6, as well as a March 13, 2011 sermon, that there are things happening in our world that are indeed signs of the end times. Both were featured on the front page of the Christian Post.
Associate pastor at Harvest Christian Fellowship, Jeff Lasseigne underscored that urgency at a Wednesday night Bible study:
...As Christians we need to pray and share our faith. We need to be in prayer for those who don't know the Lord, and we need to be bold in our faith; not obnoxious but bold. The day has come; and I need to say this to you, the time has come for us not be frightened about sharing our faith. You know: 'Oh, I have a hard time talking to my dad, Oh, talking to my brother is a nightmare, Oh, this co-worker is whatever, this neighbor is impossible, I could never talk to them.'
Guess what? That time has come and gone. We need to get beyond that, we are living in the last days. We need to be bold, we need to be courageous in the Holy Spirit, we need to tell people about Jesus Christ and we need to quit beating around the bush. We need to pray for them, we need to share with them, we need to love them, we need to help them.
If they reject it, if they say they don't want to hear about it, that's their decision. But we're going to stand before God responsible for the fact that we've been entrusted with the great commission. And if we truly love and care about the lost and dying world around us we need to reach out to them in love. ... We need to make the most of the opportunity ... We need to be salt and light. Jeff Lasseigne, Harvest Christian Fellowship, 23 Feb, 2011, "Looking for a Leader."
I certainly understand how overwhelming the times are. Yet the response by some to the mounting empirical evidence of a portion of the Evangelical Christian community to this? An Emergent church movement re-packaging traditional orthodox Christianity in a bid to be "culturally relevant," a faux-christianity marketing P.E.A.C.E. plans and tolerance where SIN and repentance from sin, the sovereignty of Jesus Christ above all, our servant-hood, and traditional Bible believing born-again salvation is discarded. Now the reality of hell is being repackaged and marginalized. Too offensive.
Secular psychologists call it "adaptive preference formation," a response to cognitive dissonance. The Bible calls it compromise.
This, while the Evangelical Church in America has the global reach and influence it now possesses, mind you, a digital audience open to the Gospel unprecedented in recorded history. It is just criminal, these false shepherds issuing umbrellas to people, when they should be issuing boarding passes to the Ark. It makes me want to call a cop.
Hey, here's one!
Det. Sgt. and Chaplain Mike "MC" Williams, of The Centurion Law Enforcement Ministry, and many like him stands at the door, and unequivocally issues bordering passes to the ark of the new covenant of salvation is Jesus Christ alone. Cops and military personal don't have the luxury of the non-sworn community out here in comfortable, middle America suburbia to conveniently look away in recoil from the truth of our times, but face the ugliness and violence generated by sin every day, due to their callings. Leave it to a street cop, the "sheep-dogs" in the Spirit-filled Church, to face the reality of our times:
So is Christ the only way? Is His word literal and true? Does 2+2 still = 4? In the end, what you "believe" ONLY matters if what you believe is TRUE! Here in America, we can still "believe" that 2+2= "5" but that does not make it so. Our "opinion" only matters if it lines up with God's inerrant word and it should be our goal to have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16) in all we do! God's clear answeras laid out in His revealed (God-breathed) wordthe Bibleis an emphatic and commanding "YES!" If you've been living some other kind of false theologya bogus, compromised, watered-down, politically "correct" (oxymoron), FALSE kind of "Christianity" that is not really Christianity at all, then may I strongly suggest that you need to check your heart and ask yourself on what your faith is based. If it is in anything else than on God's word and Christ crucified, then you may very well be in real danger of hell! Hell? Yeait's really REAL (see http://www.gotquestions.org/hell-real-eternal.html).
Jesus says in John 14:6, "I am THE way, THE truth, and THE life. No one (NO ONE) comes to the Father except through me." and "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we MUST be saved." (Acts 4:12).
With our theology sorted out, and understanding that this life could end NOW, we need to have a real sense of urgency about sharing Christ's love and message of salvation with others. "The Great Commission" (Matthew 28:18-20) is not "The Great SUGGESTION." Rather, it is an urgent commanda "call for service" if you willto both live and share the Gospel message with others. Hebrews 9:27 says, And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment. Note that once this life ends, that "judgment" is PERMANENT. Jesus is comingand SOON.
Bottom line is this: we would never leave a wounded brother in the field. Why are we then doing so when it comes to sharing Christ? If a brother dies in his sin, then he is LOST forever. Let's start living and sharing our faith with others TODAY so that our fellow warriors will have every chance to say "yes" to our Lord NOWtomorrow may very likely be too late. ... Let's stay the course and finish strong in Christ!
The rain was falling, and then God shut them in [Genesis 7:16]. The door was closed. I wonder what Noah was thinking, as the carefully built Ark finally lurched free from the earth carried upward on the deluge; as history transitioned into a whole new time and era; as he cast his life and the lives of his family into the capable hands of Providence.
May we, like Noah, also weather the turbulence of these unique times. Living day by day in His strength and looking for all opportunities to invite people everywhere into the ark of the new covenant of salvation in Jesus Christthe daily assurance and safety of the promises and providence of a loving God, as well as an escape from these things that were forewarned to come to pass upon this world.
"Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man." [Luke 21:36]
"Behold, I have told you before." [Matthew 24:25]