“So who is Armageddon, anyway?”

armagdedon picThis the fourth in what was originally intended to be a series on “Jesus coming back? No way!”

Some of you may laugh. “Ha, ha,” you say, “everyone knows that Armageddon is not a ‘who’”. But the joke may be on you.

If you look at the broad picture, how many people in the world know who, or what Armageddon is? Five percent? One percent? And how many have heard the word “Armageddon” somewhere, but have no idea what it is? (Just that we’re supposed to be afraid of it.) I dare say that the ones who don’t know anything about what “Armageddon” means is a far larger group than the ones who do understand that word.

If you’ve heard of Armageddon but don’t know what it’s about, what’s written here is for you.  In short, “Armageddon” means “hill of Megiddo”. So it’s not a “who”; it’s a “what”. It’s a rather small hill that’s in the plains of Megiddo in the north of modern Israel.

“Why is everyone talking about that and trying to get everyone afraid?” you ask.  Here’s why. In the book of Revelations in the Bible, it says the final cataclysmic event before the return of Jesus to the earth will take place at that location in Israel, the hill of Megiddo, “Armageddon”.

So that word has come to signify the final events before the return of Jesus to the earth. And sadly, it’s often referred to as “the end of the world”. Even in the dictionary I just looked in, when looking up Armageddon, it used the phrase “the end of the world”.

My friends, that phrase, “the end of the world”, is not really helpful or accurate. I grew up during the nuclear arms race in the 1960’s and we’d regularly have drills in school to prepare for a full nuclear attack on our country. “The end of the world” was very real then and that’s not the kind of thing the Bible predicts, the utter destruction and end of our planet and humanity.

A better way to describe what the Bible predicts would be to say, “the end of the age.” It will certainly be that. But this “end of the world” phrase is just another thing that scoffers and mockers use to exaggerate and ridicule Bible prophecy.

So then you could ask, “If Armageddon is the catchall term for the return of Jesus and the coming of God’s Kingdom on earth, if it’s not the end of the world, what is it?” Well, like I was saying, it will be the end of the age, and the biggest change humanity has seen in thousands of years. And it wasn’t just Jesus that told about this.

To me, one of the best and simplest explanations of all this is found in chapter 2 of the book of Daniel in the Old Testament. I’ve made a 27 minute video on this chapter and you can view it by clicking here. Daniel explains the dream-flattenedGod gave a dream to the leader of the emerging world power at that time, Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon.  But then God made it so that Nebuchadnezzar couldn’t remember it.

As it turned out, a young Hebrew captive of Babylon, Daniel, was able to tell Nebuchadnezzar both what he dreamed and what it meant. Nebuchadnezzar had seen a strange statue of different kinds of metal, gold, silver, brass and iron. Then in his dream he saw a stone which struck the statue and turned it to dust. And the stone itself turned into a great mountain that filled the whole earth.

Daniel_2-44-forblogYoung Daniel told Nebuchadnezzar that the statue and the various metals represented his kingdom of Babylon and the kingdoms that would come after his. But the stone that struck the statue, destroying it and then filling the whole earth represented the coming Kingdom of God on earth, a kingdom that God Himself would ultimately bring and cause to take root right here in our world. The climax of Daniel’s explanation to Nebuchadnezzar is found in Daniel 2:44. It says there, In the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed. And the kingdom shall not be left to other people. But it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms. And it shall stand forever.

This basically sums up in a beautiful, hopeful way what’s eventually going to happened in our world, and what God has been foretelling for many centuries. Armageddon is just going to be a major physical location in the very final physical events of the end of this age and the beginning of the next. The big picture is that the nations of earth will eventually be overcome and brought into subjection by the kingdom of God Himself in the person of His son, Jesus.

If you get a chance to watch the video on Daniel Chapter 2, you can see there how what took place is like God’s explanation Himself to Nebuchadnezzar, someone for whom this was all really new. Maybe like you. I hope this is some help. I look forward to sharing more with you about all this.

Your friend,  Mark

“Did he really say that?”

Jesus speaking-flattened

This is the third in what was originally intended to be a series on the subject of “Jesus coming back? No way!”

I hope you are still with me. Probably some aren’t. It’s just the sad truth that, when you start talking about the possibility of a spiritual world, life after death, and prophecies fulfilled, some people just have a sudden shut down of their mind or emotions. It’s a real wrench because it just goes counter to almost everything they’ve generally held to be true.

I know this because I went through that exact experience and it was not easy. It was really difficult. But also it was a real liberation. I wanted the truth, no matter what, even if it meant there actually was a real God, just like I’d always been told, ha!

And if you’re here, reading part 3 of this series, then maybe you’re willing to “give this an ear”, as they say in English. Maybe there have been a few true prophets, right? Maybe there is some kind of world other than the one we can see and feel and move around in daily. Maybe Jesus of Nazareth was more than just some carpenter from Israel that the Romans killed 2000 years ago.

So you might wonder, “Did he really say that? Did Jesus say he was going to come back to this world?”

Yes, he did. The night before he was arrested, he was in Jerusalem with his most trusted followers, privately celebrating with them the Jewish Passover.

Here’s one of the things Jesus is recorded as telling his closest friends that night.

I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, so that where I am you may be also. 1

Jesus was telling them that he was about to leave them and go “somewhere else.” But he told them he would come back again so that they could be where he was.

And it wasn’t like all of them totally understood what he was telling them. Far from it. In fact, he’d already told them repeatedly some months earlier that

The Son of Man [this is how Jesus referred to himself] will be delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him. And after He is killed, He shall rise the third day.2

Did his followers understand that when he told them? No. The next thing the Bible says is

But they did not understand that saying and were afraid to ask Him. 3

Even the closest followers of Jesus during his life on earth often just didn’t totally get what he was saying. It was not until after his death and resurrection, when he appeared to them again, repeatedly, that they began to get the full picture of what he truly was and what he taught.

But after he began to appear to them, after he rose from the dead… (Yes, I know, I’m asking you to believe another preposterous thing: Jesus rising from the dead!) Well, that’s what he told his followers would happen, that he’d be crucified and rise again, even though they didn’t understand it.

So after he rose from the dead, the followers were asking him if he was at that time going to establish his kingdom on earth4. It’s clear they were aware that something was still left to happen.

Jesus was with them for 40 days after his resurrection. Then the Bible says

He was taken up. And a cloud received Him out of their sight. 5

His followers were there and saw this happen. It goes on to say

And while they were looking intently into the heaven after Jesus had gone up, two men in white clothing [angels!] stood beside them, who said, “Why do you stand gazing up into the heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up into Heaven, will come in the way you have seen Him going into Heaven.” 6

So there it is again. He is going to come again. He was “taken up into Heaven”. But he is destined to return again to this world.

Maybe that’s a lot to swallow. Or at least a lot to think about. I know when I first read all this, or was taught it by someone who knew the Bible, it radically changed my whole outlook of life, reality and the world I lived in. Either this is all just completely crazy or it’s true. And I just didn’t feel inside of me that it was crazy. There was too much that I’d already experienced or seen that pointed towards these things being the actual experiences of people who saw all this and recorded it for everyone then and from then on.

And I guess it wasn’t just one time only when my viewpoints and earlier views of life were fundamentally challenged. There were a number of times when I was just left in shock and awe at what I read in the Bible. It took some time to digest it all, to ponder the significance of it for myself personally and for what it also meant to every person living in this world.

In the next post in this series, we’re going to look further at this whole concept of Jesus returning to this world. What would it mean to all of us? What will the conditions be like when it happens? How would it change things? When will it happen? Our next class is called “Who is Armageddon anyway?”

Talk to you soon, Mark

Gospel of John, chapter 14, verses 2 and 3

2 Gospel of Mark, chapter 9, verse 31

3 Gospel of Mark, chapter 9, verse 32

4  See Acts chapter 1, verse 6

5 Acts chapter 1, verse 9

6 Acts chapter 1, verses 10 and 11

“When you die, you die like a dog, right?”

Someone told me that when I was young and it really stuck with me. “When you die, you die like a dog.” It’s a real simple way of expressing one of the most prevalent ideologies on earth: atheism and unbelief. If you look at things that way (and I did for years), then you just have to laugh and smirk at anyone who says something about Jesus returning to this world. It’s just ludicrous.

Because, when you look at things that way, there’s just no life after you die. You usually think of yourself as not much more than a complex nexus of neurons, a composite of carbon, calcium and water, the highest form of life on this obscure little planet. And how many millions of people look at our existence that way? Many.

What can you say to them? They hold a fierce, entrenched view of the life we have. So what do I say when I meet someone who has those views and challenges my faith in God? I usually just say something simple like, “Well, there is a spiritual world.”

I’ve found that many, if not most people will sooner or later admit that “perhaps” there’s “something” more than what we can see or feel or measure with instruments. So many people have had personal experiences, or their relatives have, where someone from the past, a relative who’s passed on, has appeared to them in a dream or in their minds to speak to them, sometimes even to warn them of a danger or to speak words of comfort. This is such an often-experienced event that many people will candidly admit, if they are honest, that it’s happened to them or someone they know.

And of course, that’s the truth. There really is a spiritual world. And if there is, that means that we’re not just a collection of atoms. We’re more than that. As the famous atheist-turned-Christian apologist, C.S. Lewis said, “You don’t have a soul, you are a soul. You have a body.”

I can honestly say that the biggest turnaround in my life occurred when I very reluctantly had to admit that there is a world beyond my mind and politics and shopping and all the little things I was caught up in.

Naturally we find that this is what the famous characters from ancient times were saying all along. Ancient prophecy had some very major things to say about this, especially when it came to that unique king that would come one day to the world.

It’s like the verse from Micah which says,

“But you, Bethlehem, though you be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth He which is to rule my people Israel, whose going forth is from old, from everlasting.” 1

It not only predicted that the king to come would be from Bethlehem, but it also said this ruler to come was “…from old, from everlasting.”  In other words, he was pre-existent, even before he was born in this world.

But what about life after death? King David, the greatest of ancient Israel’s kings, prophesied of the unique king that was to come. In one of his writings, speaking to God, he said,

“…you will not leave my soul in hell, neither will you allow your Holy One to see corruption.” 2

David foresaw that the king (the Holy One) that God would send to the world would not “see corruption.” In other words, the king to come would not suffer the fate of every other human being, in finally being laid to rest in a grave and their flesh decaying.

This was one of the most unique things about the life of Jesus. After his crucifixion, he was laid in a grave outside Jerusalem. But according to the Bible, on the third day after his death, he rose from the dead, just as he’d told his disciples he would.

Now you may not believe that. I certainly didn’t when I first heard it. But I didn’t know it had been prophesied centuries before that there would be a king to come who would not “see corruption.” I didn’t know there were prophecies that he would be “born in Bethlehem”, that he would be “born of a virgin”, and so many more.

Usually, at some point, it comes down to a matter of the truth, and how much you want it. Many people like facts, I always have. But when you’re faced with truth that challenges much of what you’ve believed till then, there comes what is called “the moment of truth.” It’s sort of funny it’s called that.

But if there’s a phenomenon of prophecy which has been foretelling the future for thousands of years, if there’s a spiritual world greater and more real than the physical one we live in, if there’s a life of the soul that goes beyond the physical life of our bodies, then this could lead us to a very different view of our existence.

It would mean that we don’t just die like a dog. We go on. Our soul will go on, after our body ceases to work. And in this reality, realm and existence, that unique king came and died and rose from the dead. If there’s a spiritual world, if there’s prophecy that foretells the future, then this is all utterly possible.

And that king that was to come, Jesus of Nazareth, said that he would come to this world again. In another article we can focus in on that.

Talk to you soon,
Mark McMillion

1         (from the Old Testament)  Micah chapter 5, verse 2 

2         (from the Old Testament) Psalm 16, verse 10

Far Country Photos from Jakarta

While I lived in Indonesia from 2003 to 2008, I would, from time to time, send a newsletter to friends which was mostly photos. A picture is certainly worth 1000 words and this “Far Country Photos” shows a slum school project I was involved with in one of the very worst areas of Jakarta. This newsletter was sent to friends in August of 2003, after I’d lived in Indonesia for 5 months.

In my Fields newsletter from February I told you about the street kids’ school that I visited when I was in Jakarta in September of last year. Through the recent gift sent from some kind friends in Austin, I’ve been able to make a first monthly contribution towards sustaining the staff’s brave efforts to provide a local school in one of the worst slums in the city. Our hearts were thrilled to be able to help the founder of this project and his little band of dedicated teachers. I hope these pictures give you a glimpse of what the need is and how your gifts help and make a difference.

The gift that some of you sent means we’ll be able to help these ones through the end of 2003. Part of it will go for needed special supplies. But most will go towards providing some steady income for the 4 teachers who’ve been working as volunteers till now. Our gift to them is a drop in the bucket, if measured by Western cost-of-living standards. But in this 3rd World setting, it’s made a major difference in the teachers being able to devote more time to the kids. As the school becomes more grounded in the community, more parents will be willing to send their children to school rather than to work, beg or steal at an early age, as they do now.

I’m sitting outside the main school building, Sept., ‘02, when I first visited there.

 

The head teacher said, “This has been a dream for me.”

Continue reading

Hawks and doves (Part 2) Istanbul, Turkey

I’d been living in Indonesia for 4 wonderful years, but I was certain it was time for me to move on from there.

The Hagia Sophia mosque in Istanbul was formerly the holiest church of the Orthodox faith, built in 537. The Hagia Sophia went from being a church to a mosque in 1453 when Constantinople was conquered and became Istanbul.

The Hagia Sophia mosque in Istanbul was formerly the holiest church of the Orthodox faith, built in 537. The Hagia Sophia went from being a church to a mosque in 1453 when Constantinople was conquered and became Istanbul.

I wanted to continue a life of full time service for God and my fellow man and didn’t really want to move back to the West. After much desperate prayer, the Lord had led me to contact some friends who’d been living in Turkey for many years.

In July of 2007, I was able to visit them for 2 weeks, to gauge the situation and to see if the Lord would lead further to make a move to that part of the world. You come to where you know in your heart whether a thing is the Lord’s Will or not. But you test it and go slow as making a major move like that is very serious.

A man I met that day. He was from the Middle East and sold rugs in the large central market I visited with my friends.

A man I met that day. He was from the Middle East and sold rugs in the large central market I visited with my friends.

Of course the Turkish culture is not at all like Indonesia and it’s not like the places I’d lived in eastern and central Europe in the years before. But it is a very beautiful and very historic city. Napoleon was quoted as saying something like, “If all the world was one nation, Istanbul would be its capital.”

My friends took me around to parts of the city, to get a better feeling for the place and to get to know the people, the most important thing. We went to a very famous covered market, like almost everything there, many hundreds of years old. There were spices, carpets, electronics, all kinds of foodstuffs and the whole place was just very much the essence of Istanbul.

My friends were introducing me to folks they knew and we were going from one booth to another. In one place they introduced me to a man and I asked him where he was from. He said he was from Iraq.

Suddenly something pretty strange happened and in a sense it was embarrassing. I suddenly started crying, almost uncontrollable, in public in front of a bunch of Islamic Turkish men and my friends.

I took the man’s hand, tears in my eyes, and told him, “I’m so sorry for what my country has done to your country. And I know millions of Americans feel the same way I do.” When meeting this man, the first Iraqi I’d ever met, suddenly it was like I saw behind him the hundreds of thousands of  Iraqis who had died in the war America had brought to that land. I felt so stricken at that moment, it was so sudden and so spontaneous that I was almost surprised myself at what was happening. But I felt afterwards that perhaps it was just the Holy Spirit within me, helping me to do what just one person could do and say to another person to try to atone for the horror that had happened to his people. He humbly accepted my apology and said he held no grudge against Americans, thanking me for saying what I’d said.

We walked on and finished our afternoon. As it turned out, I didn’t end up moving to Turkey but instead, back to the Russian speaking part of the world I’d lived in before. But it was something I have never forgotten as it was so surprising and unplanned.

I certainly don’t mean to write this against the individuals of the armed forces who were part of the war in Iraq. But, whoever the individuals are who are responsible for that event, it shames and saddens me deeply that my country brought such suffering on a distant nation for what turned out to be false information and purely political/economic factors.

King David said, “I am for peace. But when I speak, they are for war.” (Psalm 120:7) Jesus is famously quoted as saying, “Blessed are the peacemakers” ( Matthew 5:9) and there are innumerable verses in the New Testament that point toward the people of God as being the meek, the healers, the peacemakers, the reconcilers, not the proud, the war-wagers  and haters of others. Only in the coming Kingdom of God on earth will the Prince of Peace rule and bring peace on earth. Meanwhile, for those of His people who are alive here and now, we are still called and commanded to love our neighbor, not kill, invade and dominate them. “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” (Romans 12:18)

7 Ways to Know the Will of God

surrender artLast Sunday I was speaking at an adult Sunday school class when someone asked me, “How do I find the will of God?” Interesting question and one almost all of us have. I was thinking about that again this morning when I read that the first thing, the prerequisite for finding the will of God, is to have no will of your own.

Sometimes that’s called “yieldedness” or “surrender”, not very popular terms or ideas in our modern world. That’s why, when Paul talked about this, he said “be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, in order to prove what is that good and pleasing and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2) Because God’s ways are so utterly opposite from the ways of the world.

In the world, we are to never surrender to anything or anyone. But in God’s sphere, we are to surrender to Him and to yield to Him. And that means to let go of our own will. Even Jesus Himself did that. Just before He was captured, tried and crucified, He cried out to His Father, saying “…not My will but Your will be done.”  (Matthew 26:41) So even before you begin to find God’s Will, the attitude of your heart needs to be one of yeildedness and surrender to Him.

But let’s say you’ve come to that place. You’re desperate, really seeking God’s Will for your life. Then what?

hand of God flatThe first way to know God’s Will is through His Word. The Bible is the first place to find the Will of God. When you read it in His Word, then you know it’s right. Psalm 119:105 says, “Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.

reveal from the Word-flattenedThe second way to know God’s Will is called “the voice of the Word”. This is when the Lord brings to mind a certain verse or passage from the Scriptures. Or you’re reading your Bible and all of a sudden a verse seems to jump right off the page at you. The Lord brings it alive and applies it to you personally, even if it was written for someone else 3000 years ago.

The third way to know God’s Will is by a direct revelation. Sometimes God uses a dream or vision, a voice or prophetic message to show you what to do. You know it’s from God if it agrees with and doesn’t contradict His written Word. The apostle Paul was on a missionary journey and at one point he seemed to somewhat not know where he should go next. Then in the night he saw a vision of a man, saying, “come over to Macedonia and help us”. (Acts 16:9) Paul took that as a message from God, went to Macedonia and things really took off again.

wisdom is art-flattenedThe fourth way to know God’s will is through Godly council. When finding God’s Will, it’s often wise to ask others for their opinion. However, it is important to weigh the counsel you receive and to prayerfully consider the source that it comes from. How reliable are their leadings from the Lord? Do they bear good fruit themselves and produce good results from their own actions and decisions? Solomon said, “He who listens to council is wise.” (Proverbs 12:15)

The fifth way to know God’s Will is through “open and closed doors.” If something is God’s Will, He’ll usually “open the door” and make it possible. Which direction is God providing or opening the way and the means to do it? Sometimes God has certain set-ups and situations which suddenly become golden opportunities. Circumstances and conditions are not always the final criteria for finding the Will of God, but they can sometimes be an indication.

Right now-flattenedThe sixth way to know God’s Will is what’s called “burdens”. Strong impressions or feel­ings can sometimes be an indication of God’s leading. It’s not always wise to go by feel­ings. But if something is really of God you’ll have an inner conviction, what many Christians call the “witness of the Spirit”. You just know that’s the Will of God and that’s what you’re supposed to do, or not do. Paul said, “It is God that works in you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13)

fleecesThe seventh way to find God’s will is called “a fleece”. This is taken from Judges 6 where Gideon laid a fleece (sheepskin) on the ground and said, “Lord, if the fleece is wet with dew in the morning, but the ground is dry, then I’ll know it is You talking to me!” Then he wanted to be doubly sure, so the next day he said, “If the fleece is dry and the ground is wet, I’ll believe it!”, and that’s just what the Lord did each time. So it’s a little like asking God for a specific physical sign from Him.

Although they seem like an easy and supernatural way, fleeces are the least reliable of the 7 ways to discover God’s Will, only to be used in conjunction with the other more dependable points shared above. In fact, the more ways you employ in making decisions, the greater the assurance will be that your decision is right.

Once you know God, it becomes clear that we really need to do all we can to stay close to Him and His Will. Otherwise we can make some foolish mistakes and sometimes really endanger ourselves and others when we are “leaning to our own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5), running around outside the protection of His Will. I hope, in these troubling times, that you’re seeking first His kingdom and following closely His personal will for your life.

“Jesus coming back? No way!”

No Way-2-flattenedWhen I was 20, I’d sometimes meet Christians who’d talk to me about Jesus of Nazareth. I usually really enjoyed it. I felt I could always argue with them and usually make them feel stupid or embarrassed about their faith. Back then, I liked to do that.

So I know how nutty it can seem to some people when they hear about the idea of a person who died 2000 years ago “coming back” to our modern world.

I won’t tell you how I came to believe in God, that’s another story. But, if you’re not too sure about this whole thing and wonder how anyone could have such an eccentric idea, let me give you some information which you may not know. Maybe you’re a very rational person and like facts. Let’s look at some.

First, let me introduce you to something which you are perhaps not familiar: prophecy. Now, don’t run off. I said I wanted to share some facts with you. But the word “prophecy” may conjure up for you some crazed fellow in robes, running around shouting about the end of the world. Or maybe some strange mumbo-jumbo of predictions someone said was going to happened, when there was nothing really prophetic about it.

But what if there was a phenomenon of prophecy that consistently came true? What if there were people who really had a proven track record of foretelling future events and those events happened? Well, there is. And this is going to bring us back to our original subject, Jesus of Nazareth.

[By the way, one of the videos that I have produced is explaining the whole phenomenon of prophecy, against the backdrop of the history of ancient Israel. It’s called “An Introduction to Prophecy in History.” You can view it here.]

Continue reading

“The sky is falling!”

Believe it or not, I heard once that the phrase, “May you live in interesting times”  is actually a Chinese curse! But it does seem we live in interesting times. Of course some people are like what Jesus said about folks in the time of Noah, “they knew not till the flood came and carried them all away.”  (Matthew 24:39) Some just never pay much attention to “the signs of the times” (Matthew 16:3).

On the other hand, there are a lot of people everywhere now who are really concerned that something serious is about to happen. Some thought that 2012 was extremely propitious and that omens abounded for sudden cataclysmic change. Others look at the economic situation in Europe and fear a further slide into times unseen since the 1930’s. And they know what those times brought on. Some closely watch events in the Middle East and see a potential horrific war resulting from a military attack by Israeli against Iran. And if you are an American, you may see dire consequences if the presidential candidate you opposed in the election won the presidency. All in all, there are quite a lot of folks who are seriously concerned about the current crises that are bubbling and boiling around the world.

But not everyone. Perhaps equally if not more are the people who don’t notice or just aren’t disturbed by the current crises. Many are completely preoccupied with their own personal difficulties of finding a job, paying their bills and taking care of their families. And the rest see “the distress of nations, men’s hearts failing them for fear” (Luke 21: 25 & 26) but don’t feel things will get out of hand. Like the saying goes in Australia, “It’ll come round, mate.” Which translates to, “Everything will be ok” or “Don’t worry, be happy.”

But if you’re a Christian and look for times that foreshadow the ones leading up to the Lord’s return, then all this does take on a larger dimension. Are we seeing events that will lead into the final days that Jesus and Jewish prophets foretold? And here is where things get even more divided.

Many are adamant that “this is it”. Conspiracy theories abound. On the other hand, those who don’t believe any of that are equally resolute. They assert that talk of the collapse of society and the economy, a looming one world government and such assorted fears are just coming from absolutely nuts, crazy kooks and often deluded religious extremists.

Who’s right? Is something about to happen? Should we be prepared? Is there even any way to prepare? Which side are you on? Which side am I on?

Here’s what I think: be prepared either way. Honestly, I’ve felt something dire was possibly very near. But I’ve felt that for over 40 years. You may not agree but I believe the world is pretty much held together by belief or confidence. And confidence is fragile, for individuals, societies or the world at large. In my life I came to where God in heaven just pulled the plug on it because I was so far out of His will. And also He had a better plan for me. So He in essence said, “Time’s up.”  In the Bible God is quoted as saying, “My Spirit will not always strive with man, for he that being often warned and hardens his heart shall suddenly be destroyed.”  (Genesis 6:3, Proverbs 29:1) And on the other hand, God is more patient and merciful than any of us can imagine. But it can come to a time, a tipping point when the goose is cooked, the genie is out of the bottle and you can’t go back to Kansas, to mix several metaphors there.

Will that happen? When? Will we just have another 50 years of muddling through? Or are we really nearing a precipice, descending into worldwide chaos, leading to the final events foretold in the Bible?

I’ve tried to be prepared either way. I want to live for the world to come. That means not placing my trust in “uncertain riches” (I Timothy 6:17) or “laying up treasures on earth” (Matthew 6:19). It means that I put my relationship with the Lord first and I’m prepared, as much as is possible, for any sudden events, local or national. My “weapons” and defense aren’t based on physical things, guns or militias. My preparedness is in and of the Spirit of God. My dependence is on His protection and provision. If I’m doing that, then come what breakdown or disruption may be, I’ve put my trust in the “System” that’s never going to break down, the “government” that’s never going to fail me, and the one that’s ultimately going to survive and run this world the way it should be run. Either way, approaching chaos or another 50 years of surviving the storms of this world, my choice is to settle my life on the Rock of God and His will and blessings. What do you think? I hope you’ll do the same.