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Imagine being a Christian and watching as the world entered a conflict even bigger than World War 1. Surely it must have seemed like the End of the world for many Christians of the day.


Previous End Times Post

Part 50 Recap Post


Hello Readers, hope all’s well. Time for another End Times post.

Myself and so many others are convinced that the return of Jesus is close at hand. As for the reasons why, well, that’s much of what my blog is about. You can browse this Do Not Fear the End Times series to see some of my reasoning and Scripture studies. But here on my blog, my opinion is that yes, we’re in the End of the End Times and Jesus is soon to return.

But today I’m going to consider an alternative view, one I don’t agree with myself. I won’t tell you what to believe or agree with though. You can decide that for yourself, through prayer and your own reflection.

Today I’m going to consider the question: What if the chaotic events in the world today are not signs of the End, but only human history repeating itself?

‘Tis the Season … ??

We know that no one knows the day nor the hour of the Second Coming of Christ (Matthew 24:36). I’ve mentioned that many times on my blog. That day will come like a thief in the night, and we will never know when it’s coming until the day arrives by surprise.

But at the same time, Jesus does tell us in Matthew 24 that we will know the season of His return. Matthew 24 is where Jesus tells us various signs of the End Times. When we see the things He says starting to happen, we know Jesus is near.

(32) “Learn this parable from the fig tree. After its branch becomes tender and it sprouts new leaves, you know that summer is near. (33) In the same way, when you see all these things, you know that the Human One is near, at the door.

Matthew 24:32-33 (CEB)

And this is why myself, and many other Christians truly feel that the Day of the LORD is close at hand. The End isn’t near—The End Is Now. I know it in my heart. Do you, Reader?

Are you prepared for the LORD’s return? We’ve got to try our human best to stay ready for it, all the time. It can be a real struggle though, I understand. I’ve been struggling to follow the LORD myself lately, and failing a lot. We’ve got to turn to the LORD, ask His forgiveness for our sins, and keep trying our best every day.

Anyway, back to the topic. We don’t know the day or the hour, but we do know the season. So surely that season must be now, right? Although millions of people thinking the same thing does not make it correct, it does look to be the season. There are many signs pointing to this, which is something I often talk about.

Since no one knows the day or the hour, the question comes down to: Is it the season of the End or not?

Let’s imagine for today that it’s not. What then?

Past Terrors Were not the End

There’s a book on my wish list that I haven’t read yet. It’s called The Rapture and the Second Coming of Christ by Finis Dake. He wrote the notes in the Dake Annotated Reference Bible. The book contains thousands of Scripture references laying out the truths of the End, and I look forward to reading it one day.

But a part of the book’s forward is available as a preview, and what Dake says really got me thinking, because it’s true. Listen to this:

Having been born in 1902 I have by now, had time to witness the coming and going of quite a few prophetical students who, one by one, have made boisterous claims regarding the exact time of the Rapture, exactly who the Antichrist was, and exactly what the mark of the beast would be. Some terrified us with booklets saying keep this until 1927 and watch… I have lived through strong announcements of various dictators being the Antichrist – Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin and others…

Finis J. Dake, The Rapture and the Second Coming of Christ, accessed at: https://www.dakebible.com/catalog/rapture-and-the-second-coming-of-christ-finis-dake-9781558290280

He’s right about that, you know. There have been many, many prophets who predicted the End, or called out the antiChrist or mark of the beast. Events like the Y2K scare at the turn of the century really got people agitated making predictions. But Y2K came and went, with nothing happening. Not one of the wildest predictions have come true, yet.

So far, all predictions about the Second Coming of Christ, the rise of the antiChrist, and the rollout of the mark of the beast have been proven false when they didn’t happen. A prophecy that doesn’t come to pass was not a prophecy from the LORD (Deuteronomy 18:22). Which means the one who prophesied is a false prophet, deceived by Ba’al or other spirits of deception.

But also think about what Dake says about people labeling Hitler, Mussolini, etc., as the antiChrist. That’s a really good point, and that’s the part that got me thinking.

Imagine what it must have been like to be a Christian living during the time of Hitler, Stalin, and others. Wouldn’t tyrants like that appear as the antiChrist to the Christians of the day?

Of the many differences between then and now, one is that we have social media. We know what more about what people are thinking, saying, feeling. We can browse millions of posts, updates, and news articles about what’s going on in the world and how people are reacting to it. It’s a completely different media situation today than it was back then.

If social media existed back in the time of Hitler, what do you think people would have said on there? Christians would have been on social media posting about Hitler being the antiChrist, and the 1940s being the final years before the Second Coming. But things didn’t turn out that way, we all know that.

Even World War 2 itself, the very idea of it must have terrified some Christians into thinking it was the End. Imagine being a Christian as the conflicts begin, then started to rapidly escalate. World War 2 was even bigger in scale and scope than World War 1.

Imagine being a Christian and watching as the world entered a conflict even bigger than World War 1. Surely it must have seemed like the End of the world for many Christians of the day.

And any Christian who thought that did so with good reason. World War 2 was a conflict like the world had never seen. It was unprecedented. The world ending during this unprecedented conflict would not have been a far-fetched hypothetical scenario to Christians back then.

And yet, the world didn’t end. Humanity suffered World War 2, and then began the recovery from it. Life went on for those who remained. And some countries even began a new era of prosperity. The world continued, and the cycle began again. Scripture tells us this is the way things have always been.

Nothing New under the Sun

Human history has been full of war, war, war. All human civilizations have warred. And in today’s world, there is at least one war or conflict going on at all times. We have never had even one year of complete global peace in thousands of years, it seems.

This is the way things are, here in this sinful, fallen world. The evil of war has been a part of the tragic human condition since the fall of humanity and separation from God. War is as old as the Bible. History is full of war, and the future is too until Jesus returns. Because Scripture tells us the same things keep happening, over and over. That’s what Ecclesiastes 3:15 says.

(15) What is happening now has happened before, and what will happen in the future has happened before, because God makes the same things happen over and over again.

Ecclesiastes 3:15 (NLT)

Is anything truly unprecedented? Any crisis that threatens a country? Any tyrant that threatens the people? Any war that threatens the world? Any upheaval in the world order? No, none of these things are unprecedented. All these things have happened before, and will happen again until this sinful, fallen world is destroyed and God creates His new world.

Every great human empire in history has fallen (what goes up must come down). Not a single great empire or civilization has survived indefinitely.

The Persians, Babylonians, Athenians, Romans … and so on and so forth. There have been many great empires in history. And they all believed they were the greatest, the pinnacle of human achievement. They believed their empire would last till the end of time. But not a single one of these empires remain.

Their cities and fortresses became ruins, and they faded into history as other empires rose up to take their place. These new empires would later fall themselves, in turn. “What’s happening now has happened before […].”

What goes up must come down, over and over again. The U.S. theologian Reinhold Niebuhr wrote a famous quote about this inevitable fact of life.

One of the most pathetic aspects of human history is that every civilization expresses itself most pretentiously, compounds its particular and universal values most convincingly, and claims immortality for its finite existence, at the very moment when the decay which leads to death has already begun.

Reinhold Niebuhr

In other words, “pride goes before the fall,” right?

Pride comes before disaster,
and arrogance before a fall.

Proverbs 16:18, (CEB)

So we know that history repeats. And empires rise and fall. OK. But not all empires are equal, and some empires have a bigger impact when they go down.

When a critical empire falls, the event has global consequences and changes the entire world’s situation. These events alter the course of human history itself! And these events are so traumatic and catastrophic, it seems like the world is ending. But so far, the world has not ended in one of these great events. Not yet.

When the Roman Empire collapsed, that was basically the collapse of Western civilization as it existed at the time. It began the era of history called the Dark Ages. It must have felt like the end of the world when Rome fell. But life went on, and humanity one day emerged from the Dark Ages.

There are countless examples of this kind of “empire collapse trauma” in history. When the temple was destroyed in 70 AD, for example, the Jews thought the world must surely be ending. But it didn’t. People think the world is ending because the trauma of these powerful empires, civilizations, or cultures collapsing is so intense, and has such a drastic effect on the world. People are creatures of habit, and when they wake up to a world that’s so drastically different from yesterday, it messes with our heads.

So far, though, life has continued on after each one of these empire collapses.

But let’s connect this to the question of today’s post: What if the world isn’t ending right now, but it’s only human history repeating itself?

There are some things we could point to that seem to show that. The great U.S. empire looks to be in dire trouble as of late. The U.S. president Abraham Lincoln said “a house divided against itself cannot stand,” which is a phrase he adapted from Matthew 12:25. The extreme division in the U.S. right now—and more importantly, the intense emotions on each side of the divide—make the country unstable. Could there be another civil war in their country? Ecclesiastes 3:15 gives a clear answer: Yes.

But Jesus said “Every kingdom involved in civil war becomes a wasteland” (Matthew 12:25, CEB), which has proven true time and time again. If the U.S. has another civil war, that will be the end of its global power and influence. That will be the end of its prosperity and might.

Now, imagine a world without the U.S. at the top of the global power structure. That would be a drastically different world, wouldn’t it? I can’t easily imagine what kind of world that would be, but I don’t need to, because if it happens while I’m alive then I’ll see it.

But I can predict this though: If it happens, it will seem like the End of the world. It will be a traumatic event … for the whole world. There will be scenes of widespread chaos and violence and panic. The U.S. has been an image of prosperity, stability, and power for so long, that if it falls the people of the world will be scared. A great power falling like that is something people don’t want to watch, because it disturbs the deep-rooted human desire for stability and certainty.

But as long as the fall of the U.S. does not end with the Second Coming of Christ, the world isn’t over. The End comes when Jesus returns, and not a day sooner. It’s possible the U.S. will fall. And if it does, history shows that life will continue on (unless it’s the day that Jesus returns).

And so we continue waiting, living our lives how we can in the aftermath of the fall of a great power, I guess. To be honest, as Christians our goals remain unchanged whether the U.S. (or any great power) exists or not.

Our Mission Stays the Same

No one knows the day nor the hour of Christ’s return (Matthew 24:36). But we will know the season (Matthew 24:32-33).

So … which is it? What’s going on in the world today? Is it only history repeating itself, or is it the season of the End now?

Short answer: Yes, it’s The End. This is a matter of Faith, not history. My God, my Faith, my Bible, my heart, my dreams say “yes.”

And the long answer is … even if the answer is “yes” or “no,” what changes for you and me? What difference does it make to us, as Christians? No matter what’s going on in the world, all we need to do is keep the Faith and carry on following the Gospels. We have the Gospels to guide us … nothing changes that!!

No matter what happens in the world, our instructions are clear. Love God, and obey God. Keep His Commandments. Read God’s Word, and follow Jesus’ teachings. Love our neighbors and enemies as we love ourselves. Turn the other cheek and bless those who persecute us. Give freely to the poor and needy. Live a Spiritual life instead of a materialistic and carnal one.

This is how we stay ready for the Second Coming of Christ and the End of the world. We do our absolute human best to follow Christ’s example, every day. We do our honest best to keep God’s Commandments, all the time. And we keep trying our imperfect best to do better and better every day. It’s a struggle, it’s not easy. But by living a life of obeying God and following His Word, we stay ready for Christ’s return.

Our ability to love, worship, and follow Jesus is not changed by world events. Nothing can stop us from following God. Practicing our Faith is always within our control. We can do it in secret too, like the earliest Christians, if the world situation makes that necessary.

Even if anti-Christian persecution arises, we can still praise Jesus. They can throw us in jail and break our bones there, but they can never break our Faith if we don’t allow them. Which is why their violence is futile. All they can do is destroy our bodies, but once they’ve done that, they can’t do anything more (Matthew 10:28).

Maybe the upheaval in our world is nothing more than human history repeating itself; the sad nature of life in this fallen world. But as long as we’re following Jesus and obeying God’s Will, we’re doing the right thing. We’re doing what we can. Actually, we’re doing all we can. So we keep following the Gospels every day, waiting Faithfully for our Savior’s return. And if we live to see a great empire fall … it’s traumatic, but does not change our goals.

The words of the Savior seem like the best possible way to end today’s post. Think of the Parable of the Faithful Servant. Jesus tells us what to do at all times, whether it’s a time of great crisis or a time of great peace. I leave you with the version from Luke 12, below.

(35) “Be dressed for service and keep your lamps lit. (36) Be like people waiting for their master to come home from a wedding celebration, who can immediately open the door for him when he arrives and knocks on the door. (37) Happy are those servants whom the master finds waiting up when he arrives. I assure you that, when he arrives, he will dress himself to serve, seat them at the table as honored guests, and wait on them. (38) Happy are those whom he finds alert, even if he comes at midnight or just before dawn. (39) But know this, if the homeowner had known what time the thief was coming, he wouldn’t have allowed his home to be broken into. (40) You also must be ready, because the Human One is coming at a time when you don’t expect him.”
(41) Peter said, “Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for everyone?”
(42) The Lord replied, “Who are the faithful and wise managers whom the master will put in charge of his household servants, to give them their food at the proper time? (43) Happy are the servants whom the master finds fulfilling their responsibilities when he comes. (44) I assure you that the master will put them in charge of all his possessions.
(45) “But suppose that these servants should say to themselves, My master is taking his time about coming. And suppose they began to beat the servants, both men and women, and to eat, drink, and get drunk. (46) The master of those servants would come on a day when they weren’t expecting him, at a time they couldn’t predict. The master will cut them into pieces and assign them a place with the unfaithful. (47) That servant who knew his master’s will but didn’t prepare for it or act on it will be beaten severely. (48) The one who didn’t know the master’s will but who did things deserving punishment will be beaten only a little.

Luke 12:35-48 (CEB)

Well that’s all for today. If you enjoyed today’s post, be sure to Subscribe using the link below. And please consider Supporting My Blog using the Tip Jar. Any amount is much appreciated!

Until next time, be strong and do good!

Your new best friend in Christ,

99:9

<<<EXALT THE LORD OUR GOD AND WORSHIP AT HIS HOLY HILL; FOR THE LORD OUR GOD IS HOLY>>>


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5 comments on “Do Not Fear the End Times Part 75: Is this the End, or a Repeat?

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