Earth’s Final Hours?

Is the world in its last days? Probably not, but the western world might very well be, and that’s okay. Before anything can be reborn into something better and more glorious, it has to die first.

I watched the following video and was inspired to write this article.

Many western Christians are convinced we are in the last days before Christ returns. They mostly believe this because of what they see going on in the world today. They believe that current events are fulfilling biblical prophecy before our very eyes. This is called newspaper eisegesis, and it works very well if you want it to, at any point in Christian history too. If you go outside on a cloudy day, and are predetermined to see the likeness of human faces in the clouds, it’s not if you’ll see those faces, rather how quickly you’ll see them (about 30 seconds). This is newspaper eisegesis: If I have a predetermined eschatological narrative, I can take the events of any point in Christian history and plug them into that narrative easily.

I couldn’t resist making my own Smith/Rock meme

Need an antichrist figure? Need a war? Need a pestilence? An economic crisis? Just read a history book. You’ll find an abundance of everything you need. Do you think those living in Constantinople thought they were in the last days as the Muslim armies grew closer? Or perhaps those living in Europe as Hitler expanded his power? Who is the expected antichrist now? Is it still the leader of the EU? No, that doesn’t work anymore. Bush or Obama? Nope. The leader of ISIS? Oh, they’re gone now. Carl Schwab? Almost ten years ago I wrote an article revealing who the antichrist was, and I still agree with what I wrote, and I’m still correct.

Western Christians are probably right to be worried about the end coming though. There are rough times ahead. But let’s not get all doom and gloom about it. Jesus intends on building His kingdom.

The best eschatological passage to be found in the bible is 1 Corinthians 15:20-28…

But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. Then comes the end, when He [Jesus] delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He [the Father] puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He [Jesus] must reign till He [the Father] has put all enemies under His [Jesus’] feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. For “He [the Father] has put all things under His [Jesus’] feet.” But when He [the Father] says “all things are put under Him [Jesus],” it is evident that He [the Father] who put all things under Him [Jesus] is excepted. Now when all things are made subject to Him [Jesus], then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him [the Father] who put all things under Him [Jesus], that God may be all in all.

NKJV

The “he’s” and “hims” can get confusing, so I put what I think are the correct names behind each one.

Notice, Jesus must reign until all His enemies are put under His feet, with the last enemy being death. The resurrection occurs just before the end, when Jesus hands the kingdom over to His Father. So, we know that Jesus will not reign after the resurrection (sorry premillennials), only before. This means Jesus is reigning now. He will continue to reign until all His enemies are put under His feet. Who are His enemies? All those who oppose Him.

The number one sign that we are near the end is when we see that Jesus’s enemies are nearly all put under His feet. Are we seeing this now? I don’t think so. As Christianity is stalling in the west, it is growing in the east and the south. There are far more people living in these areas than in the west. God desires to save all mankind. Why would He stop now?

Recommended books: Millennium: The End of the World and the Forging of Christendom by Tom Holland; Surprised by Hope by N.T. Wright

Related articles: The Pessimistic Paradigm; Take Over the World for the Glory of God; The Three Part Great Commission; Daniel, Olivet, Revelation Notes

No Evil Required

God created Adam and Eve initially to have a limited knowledge. They were like children. Over time humanity would have grown and matured to a state in which they had a full revelation of God, and of truth, of goodness, and beauty. Clearly this process is God’s good plan for humanity. God did not create us to be in this final state right from the beginning. Why is the process necessary? We don’t know yet.

God probably created the angels the same way. The angels probably have their own process which God is maturing them through to a final and perfect state. We don’t know that, but it makes sense.

This process, both for man and angels, does not require evil. Any theodicy which claims that evil is necessary for God to accomplish His goals is a lie. Evil did happen, and God allowed it, but it was never a necessary component to creation.

Another parable [Jesus] put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”‘” (Matthew 13: 24-20 NKJV)

The good seed does not require the tares. In the end, the good seed grows into what it was meant to be regardless of the tares. God is unwilling to destroy His creation even though evil has infected it. He is also unwilling to stop the maturation process for humanity because of evil. The process of growth continues despite evil, and all will be sorted out in time. Why did God allow evil in the first place? Probably because to prevent the evil in the first place would have meant aborting the process. So, while the process does not require evil, the process would have been aborted in order to prevent evil.

The goals which God had in mind for His creation at the beginning never change. If evil was not in God’s mind at the beginning, it certainly is not in His mind for the end. The perfect consummation for creation God planned for from the beginning will happen, without compromise, without loss.

Related reading: The Fallacy of Theodicy; The Alpha and the Omega and the Foundation of all Correct Theology; What God Wills and What God Permits

Are You Saved? Saved From What?

You have desires. Your desires determine your choices. If more than one desire is active in you at one time, the strongest desire will win. You have a desire to lose weight and therefore have decided to do daily morning exercise. You wake up at five o’clock in the morning and discover there are two desires working against each other in your mind: Stay in your comfy bed for another hour, or get up and exercise. If your desire to lose weight is stronger than your desire to stay in bed, you will get up. If the opposite is true, you will go back to sleep.

Your desires determine your choices, and you can’t choose your desires, at least not in the moment. You can shape your desires over time by your choices. You can create a lifestyle with systems and habits which develops certain desires in your life which then determine your choices. This is difficult and you’ll probably need outside help.

What about moral desires? If you are evil, and your desires are evil, your choices will be evil. How can you change this? How can you know what is good? How can you desire what is good?

You need to be transformed by the only one who can transform you: Your Creator.

The Christian gospel is not primarily about being saved from hell. It is about being saved from being evil. Being evil will send you to hell, but if you were somehow able to avoid hell, that wouldn’t mean that you were then good. The avoidance of hell doesn’t make you good. Christ’s salvation makes you good.

Free will is not the ability to choose A instead of B. Even a person whose will is enslaved to evil is able to choose A vs B. Free will is the ability to always choose the good. To choose the good is to know the good and to desire the good. Free will = good desires. Enslaved will = evil desires.

Christ offers to all salvation from enslavement to evil. You already know the good enough to know that Christ’s offer is true. You already have the desire within you to be saved, no matter how evil you might be. Therefore, Christ’s salvation is available to you right now. To choose that salvation is as simple as asking for it, which you can do right now.

But be warned, Christ’s salvation is no small thing. Your life as you’ve known it will be torn apart, you will die, and there’s no turning back.

The Sovereignty of God and Douglas Wilson – Expanded Thoughts

Two plus two equals four. Why does 2+2=4? Because God is God. God created the universe ex nihilo. God did not consult any preexisting laws or rules before creating. God did not consult any preexisting law of mathematics in order to discover what kind of universe He could create. The only thing God consulted and had to conform to when creating was Himself (see John 1:3 and Hebrews 1:2). Therefore, 2+2=4 because the very nature of God demands that it does. Two plus two equals four because “I AM WHO I AM” (Exodus 3:14).

Because God created ex nihilo, the universe is a reflection of His nature and character. There is nothing outside of God which influenced creation. Evil then, is either a reflection of God’s nature and character, or a deprivation of it. God’s word tells us that God is good (Psalm 25:8, 27:13, 31:19-20, 33:5, 34:8, 86:5, 100:5, 107:1, 8-9, 135:3, 145:5-9 — and that’s just some of the Psalms. There are many verses throughout the bible declaring God’s goodness.) Nowhere in the bible do we get a sense that God is evil or acts out in evil ways. Even a verse like Isaiah 45:7 is not saying God created evil as the devil would do evil, rather the evil (or calamity) there is a judgment from a good and just God against demonic and human evil.

In Doug Wilson’s video, he tries to reconcile God’s predestining of all humanity’s actions with human freedom. God has the sovereign power to predestine all a man’s choices while at the same time giving that man freedom to make uncoerced decisions. This is not a contradiction according to Wilson and the Westminster Confession because…. well just because. Wilson actually does not say anything to support this claim in the video. He simply declares it as truth. According to Wilson there is an infinite divide between Creator and creature, and as God is not a part of the universe, He is not displacing the freedom of man by imposing His will on man. Wilson does try to use Jeremiah 18:5-6 to support his idea, but as I show in my last article, that does not work.

It is true that the divide between Creator and creature is infinite, but it is not true that truth itself changes from one side of the divide to the other. Two plus two equals four, and that is true on the Creator side of the divide and the creature side. It is true on the creature side because it is first true on the Creator side. Evil is evil, good is good, on both sides of the divide. If a man freely chooses to rape a woman on the creature side of reality, it is evil. If God freely predestined the man to rape a woman from eternity past, it is still evil. To suggest that God is doing something good when He predestines the free and evil acts of men is to suggest that good is not the same thing on both sides of the Creator/creature divide.

Read the bible as a whole. What you see is God calling out to His people, to turn to Him, to repent of their evil, to trust in His salvation. Never do you get the sense that God has already predestined some to reprobation and others to salvation. Again, I am no Arminian. I agree with Wilson that we lost our moral freedom at the fall. No one is free-willing themselves into heaven. But the Calvinist understanding of God’s sovereignty is an equally false idea.

Read the first part of this subject here.

Related reading: Calvinism is Pantheism