Skip to comments.The End Is Not Near, But It Can Get A Whole Lot Worse
Posted on 01/10/2010 12:50:40 AM PST by Wanpeirui
Back when I had easy access to bookstores that sold books in a language I could actually understand (English), I would often buy books on Medieval history. One of my favorites was Barbara Tuchman's history of 14th century Europe, A Distant Mirror.
Times were dark back then. This was the start of the Hundred Years War, a bloody conflict that actually lasted 116 years. The war was ruinous to the economy of Europe, as people were taxed to the point of death to pay for it. Meanwhile, every able-bodied man was marched off to fight, usually never to return.
Without workers, many fields lay untended. Then the weather changed, ushering in the Little Ice Age. While before, it was warm enough in much of Europe to actually have a winter crop, now even in autumn the fields were barren. It was almost like a cruel joke--those old people, children, and cripples who miraculously plowed and sowed the fields despite their poor physical condition received nothing in return for their efforts, and were relegated to eating the bark off of trees. Whole countries, which had never seen hunger for as long as anyone could remember, starved to death.
Since the feudal lords and their men were constantly at war, they were not present to protect their towns, villages, and homesteads. Renegade bands of mercenaries and bandits roamed the countryside in the absence of civil authority, ravaging, raping, and pillaging at will.
If this were not enough, there was the Black Death. Plague, probably brought to Europe from Asia, began its own rampage of death and destruction. In a few short years, between 30% to 60% of the population of Europe died. Like the war, the plague came in waves. There would be an epidemic in a village that killed without rhyme or reason--sometimes the elderly and the young would be spared, while the healthy would be slain. Other times, only the weak would be slain, like animals being culled from a herd. Then the plague would recede, and everyone would breathe a sigh of relief, only to see the plague come back ten or twenty years later and kill the survivors.
Death is inescapable for us all, but is dealt with only rarely by most people today. However, for people back then, it was a matter-of-fact part of daily life. Remember the old nursery rhyme?
Ring around the rosey,
A pocket full of posies,
We all fall down!
Indeed, people carried pockets full of posies as a good luck charm, to ward off the plague, but it did no better than any of the other cures they had then available. Inevitably, there would be the round sore on the skin, mottled like a rose, and surrounded by a ring. Then there would be the trip to church where a cross of ashes would be drawn on the forehead--a sign of repentance. However, no matter how much the people repented, no matter how much they prayed, in the end, they all fell down.
Witchcraft and heresy were rife, as people threw off Christianity in a feeble attempt to find something, anything, that would help. Yet, even among Christians, weird fanaticisms and strange beliefs became the norm. People began worshiping relics, as though these talismans would give them some sort of protection from the evil in the world. Those who had the time and money became Palmers--they took pilgrimages to the Holy Land, bringing back palm tree fronds as proof of their piety and devotion. Yet, none of this eased the pain or made anything better. Consequently, many people thought--hoped--that it was the end of the world, that all of the troubles they were suffering would soon come to an end.
I do not have an answer to all of the problems currently facing the world, and in my heart I feel--I know--that things are going to get a whole lot worse than they are now. Yet, nothing within me believes that the world will soon come to an end, not now, nor in 2012, nor even at some distant date in my own or my children's lifetime. Are we in the end times? In one sense, yes, but we have been in the end times for 2,000 years. The world is always coming to an end. In another sense, no, because things are not nearly bad enough to think that we could be anywhere near the end. The truth is, no one knows when the world will end. Not even Jesus claimed to know the times and dates of such things. So, we must act on the one hand as though the world could end any moment, and we will all be called to account for ourselves, even while realizing that the end may well still be far off. We have fields to plant, walls to build, and arms to make, as we can never be sure what will happen next. We and our children may need to eat and be protected--it is wisdom to hope for the best, but to plan for the worst.
Some people place their hope in a secret rapture to bring them through the fire. Others say that one must just "have faith" and utter positive confessions over things. However, none of this is the Gospel I know. In Revelation, in reference to the end times, it repeatedly talks of those who overcome--only those who overcome will inherit that which God has for them. Overcoming directly implies that we will have to go through trials and tribulations--we will not be saved from them, but will be saved through them. This is the fellowship of Christ's suffering that Paul talked about--a fellowship that is a privilege to enter into. This is the Cross that all true believers are commanded to bear.
The Gospel I know is a gospel of suffering and a gospel of martyrdom, but it is a hard word to utter to those who have only known plenty, and who have only known a gospel of victory and peace. Will they fall away into witchcraft and heresy? Will they once again worship relics or become modern-day Palmers flitting from one holy site to the next, bringing back palm tree fronds as proof of their piety? Or will they once again turn to God and repent of their sin of self-indulgence, not so that they can find a return to the health and prosperity that they once had, but expecting nothing except to know Him?
Ring around the rosey, ...
"Many have associated the poem with the Great Plague of London in 1665, or with earlier outbreaks of bubonic plague in England. ...
"Folklore scholars regard the theory as baseless for several reasons: ..."
Not a student of the Prophecy, I see.
Actually, I have an MDIV from a conservative seminary and was fairly steeped in just about everything that came out of Dispensationalist Theology. I just no longer accept a lot that is being preached in the American church as being true. I believe in the Bible, yes. False prophets, no.
Good for you, I gratefully accept that which He calls me to, whatever it may be. It’s a surrendering of our will, in order to even hear His calling us to Him.
>>Not even Jesus claimed to know the times and dates of such things.<<
Denying the the divinity of Jesus is one of the oldest heresies. Jesus, the Son of God, knows all.
STIMULUS PACKAGE: An incredible sum of money used not to create jobs and stimulate the economy but money used to bribe "progressives" and other fools to continue their support of the takeover of the US Government
GLOBAL WARMING: A scam thought up by leftists to tax Western Societies heavily for the published purpose of limiting their use of energy to suppress their green house gas production. The real purpose is to tax the capitalists so heavily that their way of life is changed forever and seemingly endless funds are generated to continue the takeover.
HEALTH CARE BILL: The population is taught that FREE HEALTH CARE for the poor and the reduction of spending by the Federal Government is the purpose for this takeover of our health care system. The real reason is another entitlement program to strangle the system.
ISLAM IN OUR SOCIETY: An Islamic Major shoots dozens of unarmed soldiers, a president convinces Congress no investigation is needed. An underwear bomber is given Constitutional rights and the interrogation stops that might reveal more plots and might save lives. If the bomb had gone off and destroyed the airplane in flight, do you think you'd have ever known the truth?
BARACK OBAMA: A radical leftist that the press debates may be taking us toward socialism when his real purpose is to destroy our system of government and remove our individual liberties. He was created in a fairytale with his real background records sealed. Criticisms are labeled racists and he is given a magical pass that excludes criticism as he is erasing all of our radical racists past history.
As the Earth progresses toward a colder period, GLOBAL WARMING is renamed CLIMATE CHANGE. As HEALTH CARE cost projections grow to show the scam, the government meets in secret sessions to ram through this radical legislation (you do know that MEDICARE is a broke, don't you?). As the first STIMULUS PACKAGE is shown to be a total failure the radical FEDERAL GOVERNMENT proposes another package with the thought that the 10% unemployment figure would be worse if we hadn't done so much earlier.
You get the point: The government controlled press controls what you think. Nuts like Glenn Beck only see some of the trees in the forest but they too are blinded by the enormity of the lie. They reason like you, this series of lies could never happen in America.
In the mean time, don't forget those meds!
Just asking :)
As opposed to which church other than American which holds the truth.
I am unaware that the "American church" is that much different than say the "African church" or "China hurch"
What did you mean by "American church" or is that an euphemism for "Protestant" or non-denomination church?
My statement was not in reference to the churches of other countries. It was in reference to the only thing left in America that resembles biblical Christianity—conservative, evangelical churches. Too many churches in America are preaching a feel good gospel, are enamored with different theological doctrines or controversies, or are just preaching to the choir with sermons about sin and hell. However, if the knowledge of God is missing, then none of this has any meaning at all, and none of this will help you in times of trouble. A Gospel without the knowledge of God and his ways at the very core is essentially a false Gospel, no matter how many Scriptures are quoted and how biblical it sounds.
So the "government controlled press" only is in control of our minds when dems/libs are in power?
I remember when the republicans were in control of the power in DC, there were daily multiple articles from "government controlled press" that exposed even the most mundane issues as well as national security secrets.
All in the name of a "free press"
We recently changed church membership because the church we were attending changed pastors and was simply preaching pablum every Sunday.
My wife and I have always attended "conservative, evangelical churches" (non-denominational) since my conversion in 1989.
We decided to visit mainline denominations (Presbyterian, Lutheran, Methodists and a few other) to see what was out there since we never have attended any before.
All I can say, it was quite depressing.
You really need to become better informed before you start accusing others of heresy. It was Jesus who said, referring to the end times, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Matthew 24: 36; Mark 13: 32). Since Jesus is the Son of God, then by your standards he is a heretic, because he said that he didn’t know.
Sorry, the Great Plague of London in 1665 was the same plague as the Black Death, and scholars have traditionally associated the rhyme with this event, no matter what the revisionists over at Wikipedia might say. Even if Wikipedia is correct, it does not at all affect the historical truth of the plague and peoples’ attitudes to and experience of it.
A Gospel without the knowledge of God and his ways at the very core is essentially a false Gospel.
Would you mind sharing a little bit of what you mean by knowledge of God?
I thought your post was great.
I am 52 and have never really suffered, especially not for my faith.
That isn't what I had stated... I observed that it seems that you are not a student of the Prophecy.
I am not a Dispensationalist, but I am far closer to them (very close) compared to Replacement theology, Preterism, or others. Nor am I endorsing a pre-tribulation Rapture (The Bible clearly states that it occurs at the sounding of the seventh trump). We are sure to have to live through a portion of the tribulation. And it will be a very dire time.
The general gist of your OP I would accept to some degree, and admire...
But I would strenuously object to the idea that His coming is afar off. All of the Prophecy points to His coming soon.
This fits with the last part of your post.
Knowing him. Having a personal, living relationship with him. Walking with him, being dealt with by him. When everything else has been stripped away and all you have left to rely on is God and his promise, when only he can help you and sustain you and you no longer have any resources of your own to rely on, then you quickly discover what it means to know God, rather than just some creed, doctrine, or words on a page. Most Christians in America would fail this test in a heartbeat, which is exactly the problem I am trying to speak to. There’s not enough space here to give a complete testimony, but trust me, I’ve been through everything I’ve just described, and seen too many other people—in some cases friends—fall by the wayside because of comparatively minor trials, so I know what I’m talking about. There has to be more to one’s relation with God than just church, Bible study, hymns, and early morning devotionals if you really want to get through times of trouble. You have to know him.