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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The World is ending – Please do not be Alarmed!

The above video is a spoken version of the following article. 

On my last ‘End of the World’ series of programs broadcast on Last Days Talk Radio, the host asked me what would I say to ‘Christians’ that might question this series of programs as being Alarmist? The gist of the question was is it ‘Alarmist’ to discuss the topic of the ‘End of the World’? My response on the program was that the events prophesied in the Bible, particularly in the Book of Revelation are extremely catastrophic and the time of the ‘End of the World’ will be very ‘Distressing’ for the people that are alive at that time. As a matter of fact in Luke 21:25–26 the Lord Jesus taught that this time will be a time of ‘Distress of Nations’, a time when men’s hearts will fail them for fear as they experience the cataclysms overtaking the planet. So this is the topic of the day: Should ‘Christians’ who teach and discuss the subject of the ‘End of the World’ be considered to be Alarmists?
·         Luke 21:25–26 / 25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; 26 Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.

During the broadcast last week, I must admit that I was a little bit defensive in my response but it made me think more on this subject, and having examined more carefully what the Bible teaches on this topic, I would like to answer this question in some detail. Let’s look at the following scriptures from the Old Testament book of the prophet Joel:

·         Joel 2: 1–2 / 1. Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand; 2. A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations.

I discovered, rather I remembered that the Bible does not use man’s terminology or psychology about not being alarmed when dire circumstances are imminent. As a matter of fact it teaches quite the opposite; those who are aware of pending destruction, those who have been appointed as ‘Watchmen’, who can see what is coming, must not keep silent. Their job it is to blow the trumpet, to sound the alarm, to warn the people. If they do not fulfill this responsibility, the destruction will still come but they will be held accountable by God for not warning the people. Alarming circumstances call for a loud sounding of the alarm, this is not being ‘Alarmist’ but rather being responsible, first to God and then to man. If a person knows that a major earthquake or hurricane is going to strike a city, should they not warn the populace even though the people may not heed the warning? 

·         Ezekiel 33: 1–7 / 1. Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 2. Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman: 3. If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; 4. Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. 5. He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul. 6.But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand. 7. So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me.

So ‘Watchmen’ have been given a very solemn responsibility; I for one would not want anyone’s blood on my hands. The only way for a ‘Watchman’ to fulfill his responsibility is by staying alert and watching. The Lord Jesus commanded His disciples to ‘Watch and Pray’, more than ever when they began to witness the prophesied ‘End of the World’ events begin to unfold. The disciples that walked with Jesus are long gone, so this command applies to the disciples who will be living in the times of the ‘End of the World’. Being that we are His disciples today, it is our responsibility to watch, to pray, and to sound the Alarm when we see the signs that were given to us that warn us of world ending events. An alarm only needs to be sounded when there are alarming events upon the horizon! What type of events may we expect to see in the days of the ‘End of the World’, in the time of ‘The Day of the LORD’? I will answer this question using the information found in the following scriptures. The prophet Joel warned that ‘The Day of the LORD’ will be a time of ‘Darkness’ and ‘Gloominess’, but why? 

·         Joel 1:10–20 / 10. The field is wasted, the land mourneth; for the corn is wasted: the new wine is dried up, the oil languisheth. 11. Be ye ashamed, O ye husbandmen; howl, O ye vinedressers, for the wheat and for the barley; because the harvest of the field is perished. 12. The vine is dried up, and the fig tree languisheth; the pomegranate tree, the palm tree also, and the apple tree, even all the trees of the field, are withered: because joy is withered away from the sons of men. 13. Gird yourselves, and lament, ye priests: howl, ye ministers of the altar: come, lie all night in sackcloth, ye ministers of my God: for the meat offering and the drink offering is withholden from the house of your God. 14. Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the LORD your God, and cry unto the LORD, 15. Alas for the day! for the day of the LORD is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come. 16. Is not the meat cut off before our eyes, yea, joy and gladness from the house of our God? 17. The seed is rotten under their clods, the garners are laid desolate, the barns are broken down; for the corn is withered. 18. How do the beasts groan! the herds of cattle are perplexed, because they have no pasture; yea, the flocks of sheep are made desolate. 19. O LORD, to thee will I cry: for the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness, and the flame hath burned all the trees of the field. 20. The beasts of the field cry also unto thee: for the rivers of waters are dried up, and the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness.

Let’s review the word and terms used in the first chapter of the book of the prophet Joel before he penned the words that ‘The Day of the LORD’ will be a time of ‘Darkness’ and Gloominess’. The time that God warned would come would be a time of severe lack; a time of mourning, of languishing, of famine, of drought, of hunger, of thirst, of sorrow, and of destruction from The Almighty. Such distressing events as described by the prophet Joel, related mostly to lack of food and famine, are by no means all of the devastating catastrophes that will overtake the Earth in ‘The Day of The LORD’. There will be warfare, there will be pestilences, there will be horrible famines, millions, tens of millions, even billions of people will die in the course of a few years. Would such a time qualify as a time to raise the Alarm, to blow the trumpet, to shout from the rooftops that the end of the world as we know it is coming? The Lord Jesus told us in advance that such a time of ‘Great Tribulation’ has never been experienced by the world and never will be experienced again! Would days such as these qualify as being ‘Alarming’; justifying the sounding of the Alarm? I am now beginning to think that as ‘Christians’ we have not sounded the Alarm loud enough, we have not blown the trumpet loud enough!

·         Matthew 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
·         Revelation 6:8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.

What we have been foretold is that ‘Death’ is going to be riding in the world killing as many as a quarter of the earth’s population in a matter of a few years, maybe even a few months! We are told that ‘Hell’ will be riding together with ‘Death’ on the earth, Hell will no longer be restricted to the nether regions, ‘Hell’ is coming to the world – literally! Would things such as these cause the hearts of men to fail as Jesus taught in Luke 21:26? Knowing that these things are coming, should we as Christians keep silent or should we sound the Alarm as loud as we can? So now I would have to conclude that speaking about matters that concern the ‘End of the World’ is not being ‘Alarmist’, it is being watchful, it is being responsible, it is having an understanding that mankind’s face to face encounter with ‘Death’ and ‘Hell’, in numbers never seen before in history, is just around the corner. Starvation, infectious incurable diseases, earthquakes, storms, war, chaos, and anarchy are just a few of the things that are coming on the earth, sooner than most people realize. Therefore I will not keep silent, I will shout from the rooftops, and pray that our LORD God, our Heavenly Father, and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will have mercy upon those who heed these warnings, who do not dismiss them as being ‘Alarmist’. 

In the days of the prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel, God’s ‘sore’ judgments came upon Judah and Jerusalem; the world today is more sinful than Jerusalem of that time, more sinful than Sodom and Gomorrah, and therefore the world will not escape His righteous judgments, will not escape His sore judgments that we can read about in scripture, and in history, and can now see approaching rapidly by unmistakable signs that are clearly visible in current events.

·         Ezekiel 14:21  For thus saith the Lord GOD; How much more when I send my four sore judgments upon Jerusalem, the sword, and the famine, and the noisome beast, and the pestilence, to cut off from it man and beast?

In closing I want to differentiate between sounding the Alarm and being alarmed. God has not given us the Spirit of fear; therefore we do not fear though the mountains be removed and be carried into the midst of the sea. But having being forewarned, we in turn warn all who have ears to hear that ‘The Day of The LORD’ is at hand now; the ‘End of the World’ is closer than the majority of people on Earth realize. In this time of ‘Distress of nations’, in these times of ‘Perplexity’ and ‘Great Tribulation’, our hearts do not fail for fear but rather we look up, for our redemption draws near; our Lord Jesus, our Savior, our Friend returns to claim His own as He promised to do so long ago. We understand that though these alarming things must happen, though these perilous times must come, we will not be alarmed but we will trust in our God, we will give glory to Him, who alone has power over all these plagues. So as long as our LORD God wills, we will continue to sound the Alarm in the hope that the trump of God will soon sound and our Lord will descend with a shout, and the voice of the archangel to righteously rule and reign over His creation forever and ever. Amen.

·         2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
·         Psalm 46:1–3 / 1. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 2. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; 3. Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.
·         1 Thessalonians 4:16–17 / 16. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

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