Faith United Methodist Church
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Keith's Korner September, 2011
IS THIS THE BEGINNING OF THE END?
Drug resistant strains of bacteria, wars everywhere, economic collapse…
is Obama the next in a long line of antichrists…
and what should we do about it?
I’m glad you asked that.
First of all, if this really is the beginning stages of the End Times as viewed by many of us, I seriously doubt that even we American voters can vote it out in the next election.
Furthermore, for decades I have heard and read articles and books about 666 being inserted in bar codes, etc. and that in using them we are sinning and following the devil. Not so. Whatever the Mark of the Beast is it will involve more than the innocent use of bar codes or debit cards, etc. I believe it will have to be tied to some sort of renunciation of Jesus Christ in order to represent being lost – otherwise it could just be stamped on everyone against their will and be done with.
Yes, we are living in a time of uncertainty that is troubling and even terrifying to some of us, because it’s real and we aren’t used to it. But on the other hand many parts of the world would still gladly swap places with us in a heartbeat. Maybe some of this is a matter of perspective. And yet world developments are moving in a direction, that if they continue, could fit nicely with the Book of Revelation. For instance, I remember reading about the Tribulation Period in the 70’s wondering how there could be all those plagues when we had pretty well conquered most diseases with vaccinations and antibiotics – now we have an alarming number of antibiotic resistant strains on the scene and increasing every day and we are moving closer and closer to a one world economy.
The point is, if the world is moving toward the End Times then the world IS moving toward the End Times and we can’t and shouldn’t even want to stop it, should we?
So, is Obama The Antichrist because of his leadership and charisma or is it that some of his views and stands trouble many Christians, so we play the Antichrist or closet Muslim trump card? I voted for Reagan and appreciated his ability to get things done with his leadership and charisma, but I don’t recall him ever being considered for enrollment in the Antichrist Hall of Fame – why is that?
Anyway, so we are in a time of world turmoil and crisis where a powerful leader could arise and pull us through to either a new age of prosperity and growth or lead us into the Tribulation according to God’s timetable – a timetable that is not up for vote.
How about what we should already be doing? Maybe this is not the end of the world or even the end of the world as we know or want it to be. Maybe it’s an opportunity to evaluate, reflect and refine what it is that we truly do trust, rely on and believe. Maybe it’s a time to re-center the core of who we are as what the Bible calls “resident aliens” in this passing world.
Here’s what we should do and be doing:
“Trust in the Lord (not your situation) with all your heart and lean not unto your own under-standing, but in all ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.” - Proverbs 3:5-6
That is such a wonderful verse and so easy to learn and recite, but not always applied in times of blessing and affluence and often hard to apply when the things we really trust along with or even in place of God seem at risk.
So, even if we are on the verge of the Tribulation Period or just a temporary world or national collapse or something less drastic, we have a God Who saw it coming and is bigger than anything that comes our way and He has said that we are to “seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness” and the rest will be taken care of.
And here’s how to do it:
Bishop Reuben Job has put out a little book titled Three Simple Rules. They are:
Do no harm
Stay in love with God
Just imagine the difference that could be made if we chose to focus on doing no harm, doing good and staying in love with God rather than trying to determine if those we may disagree with are The
All my life, from “Duck and cover”, to the Domino Effect of Communism, to ecological disaster, to 1988 being the 40th anniversary of the founding of Israel and therefore the year for the Return of Christ, to terrorism and the rise of fundamentalist Muslims and who knows what next there has always been something for us to fear and distract us from God’s call to life through trusting in Him with ALL our hearts and leaning not unto our own understanding, but in all our ways acknowledging Him - and to what effect? Which has or would have had a more lasting, life-giving, eternity-building heritage? God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and love and self-discipline (II Timothy 1:7). Let’s receive, accept and live as who we are in Christ! Let’s…
Do no harm
Stay in love with God
Please join me in this expanded version of a prayer first written by Reinhold Niebuhr: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time; accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will; so that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him forever and ever in the next. Amen.