Lately I’ve had a lot of it. For me, the source is the news, current events, and the fear of what may happen in the near future.
The internet is amazing. Every little thing happening around the world is reported and we all hear about it within seconds. It can be utterly overwhelming. Years ago when there was no internet, news spread through word-of mouth. Gossip was a big issue because of this and is the reason why the Bible addresses it so often. Nowadays, we don’t have “the town gossip,” we have Entertainment Tonight, YouTube, and Facebook. News goes viral within one day. What would have taken years to hear about, now takes one click of a mouse. It’s the reason why things seem so bad today. With the accumulation of all the things we hear about, how could it get any worse? What’s happening is we are hearing about it all, all over the world, and all at once. Things appear hopeless. But most things going on today have been going on since the beginning of time. There are no new ways to sin, just new applications of sin (new technologies that give us the ability to commit an old sin).
So what’s going on in the news? What is producing all this adrenaline?
When I was growing up, I was taught that most Bible prophecy had yet to be fulfilled and that things had to get much worse in order for Jesus to come back. In theological terms, this is called “pre-millennial-ism.” It is the belief that Jesus will return before the millennium and in order for that to happen, Satan gets control of the world for a while and all kinds of terrible things happen. Well, over the last few years I’ve been doing quite a bit of studying and have come to some pretty exciting and different conclusions. I am now what you call a “post-millennial-ist”. I believe Christ will return to a spotless Bride, a fully developed kingdom and to a world in which the Great Commission has been successful.
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Nevertheless, I still have some “triggers” that arise when I hear about certain things in the world. A few things which trigger fear in me right now is this “Occupy Wall Street” movement, the economic collapse happening around the world and various conspiracies floating around about these specific events as a strategic set-up for a one-world government. I recognize these are real things happening in the world and that these conspiracies are also real. Of course, conspiracy is no new thing. In fact, the conspiracy to take over the world is a very old one, starting with the Tower of Babel. There are attempts made every century.
Now when I think of those things, as a mother, I feel FEAR. I fear my children will have to endure a third world war. I fear that because feminism fought so long for women to be “equal,” our daughters will be drafted to fight along with our sons. I fear there will be a food shortage (or the government will claim control of all food reserves) and we will starve. I fear the government is trying to sterilize us through our water, food, vaccines and birth control.
I fear persecution. I fear war. I fear pain. I fear loss.
I feel FEAR.
Now, isn’t that powerful? If Satan already knows he has failed, is failing and will fail, what could he possibly do to stop God’s plan of filling the earth with the knowledge of the Lord, as the water covers the sea (Hab. 2:14)?
Ultimately, Satan can’t do anything. But here is his temporary plan. He can immobilize the Church. He can paralyze it with fear. He can distract the people of God from what they ought to be doing by rendering them impotent and useless.
What is fear? It is doubt. It is disbelief. Satan wants us to doubt God and His sovereignty and His ultimate purposes in history by doing things that appear to be “out of God’s control.”
Lord help my unbelief!
Sometimes I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders. I’m sitting here in comfortable clothes, on a nice couch and have plenty of food in the fridge, and I often feel overcome and even defeated by all the turmoil in the world. So many children starving, babies aborted every day, children taken from their parents, evil men plotting to take over the world, and the persecution of Christians.
Where is God? What is He doing in history? What is my place today in history? How can we defeat the evil of our times and ensure a hopeful future for our children, grandchildren and beyond? First, I have to look at what God has already accomplished.
1. Jesus defeated Satan on the cross.
He established His kingdom on earth during His ministry, death, burial, resurrection and ascension.
But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. (Matt 12:28)
We are not waiting for the Kingdom to arrive. It was here two thousand years ago. It is here today. It started with twelve and has grown to millions and millions. It will not stop. Satan cannot stop it with any conspiracy or evil plot. The Kingdom is in the process of covering the earth.
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2. The end is a long way away.
God promises the end will come only after the Great Commission has been a success and Christ has put ALL His enemies under his feet:
Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death (1 Cor 15:24–26).
If God is continually putting His enemies under His feet, that means He is working through today’s events to do just that. What may seem horrible today is really God’s judgment and His sovereign way of working these promises out.
3. The only “new world order” is the new world order of Jesus Christ.
If YouTube videos and articles on a coming one-world government greatly disturb you, I encourage you to read Daniel chapter two where the prophet interprets King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. This chapter changed my life and my entire outlook of the future. In that dream, God predicted all the world empires with the Roman empire being the last one, represented by the toes of the statue. After the Roman Empire fell, the only empire to encompass the whole world is Christ’s world empire.
But the rock that knocked the statue down became a great mountain that covered the whole earth (Dan 2:35).
Jesus is represented as the rock and the Church is the “great mountain”. When Daniel interprets the dream, God reveals exactly what the new world order of Jesus Christ will look like:
During the reigns of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed or conquered. It will crush all these kingdoms into nothingness, and it will stand forever. That is the meaning of the rock cut from the mountain, though not by human hands, that crushed to pieces the statue of iron, bronze, clay, silver, and gold. The great God was showing the king what will happen in the future (Dan 2:44–45).
God already accomplished this definitively in the death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus. But the Kingdom will continue to grow slowly and progressively (perhaps in waves), just like Jesus’ parable of the leaven in the dough. The leaven (which is the gospel that changes hearts, cultures, and history) will slowly get mixed into the lump (the unbelieving world) until it affects the whole lump of dough. But the leaven cannot spread throughout the dough if it is not kneaded. The kneading is the painful process. It’s the refinement process of sacrifice, trial, and tribulation.
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4. God has promised to keep His people for 1,000 generations.
We serve a God who works over many multiple generations. He has promised to preserve a remnant of people upon whom He will lavish His love. He has also promised generational cursing upon a disobedient and rebellious people. These verses are very sobering. Either way, we will receive a promise.
I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations. I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin. But I do not excuse the guilty. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children and grandchildren; the entire family is affected— even children in the third and fourth generations (Ex. 34:7).
Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations . . . (Duet. 7:9).
We aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. We have God’s promise on that. This is highly annoying to Satan. So he tries to make us stupid, distracted, and paralyzed, pushing humanism to dumb us down, global quarrels to make us fret, and fear of death to make us doubt.
God’s people, however, overcome this “world” by the faith He gives them, throughout those generations (1 John 5:4–5).
5. Be prepared, not worried.
I keep hearing about a coming food crisis. “Hyper-inflation” and federal government control of agriculture could result in a shortage of food. Grocery stores only have about two weeks worth of food. It certainly wouldn’t take long for people to go hungry in a crisis. Does that trigger fear in you?
So, should we all move to the country? Should we all start canning and saving wood, raise chickens and “get off the grid”? Perhaps, not a bad idea. But this is simply not practical for all people, and most won’t do it. We need other routes for those who are stuck in the middle of the city. Yes, we want to be less dependent on the government for anything and we also want to be wise in planning for whatever judgment God calls upon our nation. So what about the rest of us who don’t own rural property? What if our current job and situation tie us to the city? What if we don’t have all the means to do a bunch of canning, or have cows in our apartment? Then what? It feels like a helpless position.
I think a whole book could be devoted to this point alone. What can we do to prepare? A number of things. For one, my husband and I are working as we speak to find a way the average city person can provide their own means of food through a portable “kitchen garden” that is small enough to fit on an apartment balcony. I’ll publish more about it when we’ve got it going. Isaiah 65 says that future generations will live longer; we believe one aspect of this is returning to organic and nutritionally superior foods.
What else? Also, I think Christians need to unite in private systems of business and trade, should we ever want or need to abandon the corrupt world economic system. We need to support the faithful instead of buying from pagans, buy from Christian brothers and sisters. We need to understand God’s currency system. God hates theft. Paper money backed by nothing is theft. We need innovative thinkers who understand how we can get back to a gold and precious metal standard. I am not that person. But that is why we are raising children and homeschooling them. They will become the thinkers that will go far beyond where we could ever go. We need our children going into law, banking, music, business, politics and all kinds of influential platforms.
Perhaps the most significant preparation in which we can engage right now is homeschooling our kids. For those unable to homeschool, there are good private Christian schools and co-ops that your local Church should be willing to help you with (and many already do). A Christian education is an absolute must. It’s a non-negotiable according to the Bible (Deut. 6:6–9). The purpose is not just to shelter them from evil influences, but to train their minds how to think about the world and culture from a biblical perspective. They need a worldview that reflects God’s Word. You can’t change the culture if Christian kids graduate and still think like pagans. They need to know not just what to think, but how to think. They need to be able to recognize a lie from a mile away. They need to recognize lies even Christians tell sometimes. They need a level of discernment that can only come from day-in and day-out biblical training.
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Raising kids is not a hobby. We don’t do it because they are cute and we just love being with them so much. God tells us to raise them because He wants godly seed (Mal. 2:15). God’s plan is to disciple the nations. One means through which He accomplishes this is through godly offspring within the Church.
6. Remember the Ark.
Whenever I feel fearful about the future, the wrath of God on our nation, and what evil may come upon us, I remember the Ark. There were times when this world was much, much worse. A time when God felt nothing but sorrow for even making man (Gen. 6:6). Things were so bad, God wiped mankind off the face of the earth. But He saved a remnant. He saved one faithful family, in order to keep His promises.
When God judges the world, or a nation, He provides a way out for His remnant. He gives specific instruction, often years beforehand. He warns His people because He will save His people. He has much to accomplish through the Church before the end. Noah and his family did have to endure the flood. You can bet they felt fear. But they floated on top of the water; they did not sink. God preserved His remnant. He built the rest of history through this one family. He reconstructed society through them. He did this again with the few disciples in Jerusalem (Acts 2). He will do the same today. If the world system collapses all around us, what do you think we are here for? We are the remnant sent to flood society, and then rebuild and reconstruct it. We are here to preach the gospel, discipling and baptizing the nations. We will not sink, we will swim as we listen to God’s instruction and get on the ark.
God has and will put His enemies under His feet. Make no mistake. Will we have to go through some fire too? Perhaps. But through such fire we are refined and beautified. We will persevere.
Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love (Micah 7:18).