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From troublesome times to better times

The Development of the Kingdom of Christ

Everyone says to me that the world goes to hell and that antichrist soon will appear on the world stage. Everything goes the way the hen kicks (backwards) and it just gets worse and worse.

Europe is in debt and are on the edge of the cliff, if not already begun its fall.

Morallity: Families fall apart, abortion, suicide and substance abuse. What was previously unthinkable to do, is now accepted and is even celebrated and exalted.

Wars is a part of the plan of the antichrist and the “New World Order” to create a world government which antichrist will use.

Spiritually: We were once proud to pray, while today it is not allowed to pray “Heavenly Father”, either in the kindergartens or schools (Some countries in Europe and US). Teachers are afraid to mention God in a context, in danger of being fired from his job. In the U.S., they actually risk being arrested and imprisoned.

No, the world becomes worse and worse. The communist rule in China continues to brutally suppress the freedom of speech. Saddam Hussein is taken, Osama Bin Lande taken but Iran has risen as a mighty destructive shadow in the east and will soon go to war against Israel.

But do not be afraid, just jump out of this sinking boat that goes to hell …, it’s part of the plan. The worse it gets, the better it is, because it means the end is near and that Jesus is coming back … they say to me.

So who is the culprit? Left blames the Right and Right blames the Labour Party. Conspiracy theorists blame the government, big business and the church, and the church is blaming the media for all this mess.

Is it really so? If we let go everything we hold in our hands, don’t we create a self-fulfilled prophecy? The world has experienced such things before, how can you say that these are the signs of doom? (read”Eschatology in the Bible 4“, and the rest of the series in the previous posts). Is not the Lord stronger than he that is in this world? Will the Christians (the church) which is His body, fail for the evil forces that plague the earth, and will the Christians fail so terribly in the mission it is given? (Matthew 28:18-20). Is not His word true? (Matthew 28:18) Is not this the same as saying that Christ do not have power?

Some go as far to say that the Muslims will take over the world and persecute the Christians, just because they think Muslims are the enemy and will grow in number more than Christian. Was not this Anders Breivik was also afraid of? Is this how we should be? But all who’s not are for God is against God, then we also must consider Judaism into account, among others, as a thorn in our flesh (2 Cor. 12:7).

In fact, Christians increases in number in the world. In 1910 we were about 600 million Christians, or 35% of the population, while today we are more than 2 billion (32% of the population), which says that we hold stand. In 1910 we were 66.3% Christians in Europe, while in 2010 we were only 25.9%. But we tend to be too narrow-minded and only see what is happening in our own “home”. In Africa, there were only 1.4% Christians in 1910, while today it is 23.6%. By in the middle of this century, there will be three billion Christians in the world – one and a half times more than the Muslims. In fact, in 2050 there will be almost as many Pentecostal Christians in the world that there are Muslims today. Will it go the way the hen kicks? No matter how bad it looks at home, God is at work all over the world. Everywhere it is proclaimed, the gospel change life and society.

We can learn something from the history. Yes, historically we can see that the Lord’s kingdom grows in stages, or we can say it grows in layers. God might have let it grow straight to heaven, but then he would had to eliminated us. We are sinners by His grace He uses us in our times of upward and downward. There are times when the church is weak and there are times when it is strong.

In the last 5000 years, the world lived under a series of atrocities. The majority of the people had no education, they could neither read nor write, they were told what to think, what kind of job they should have and which god to worship. Were they disagree with the king, queen or other authorities, they expected to be beheading or to be tied to a stake and burned. The culture was cruel and King put himself up as a god on earth.They had simply antichrist in the middle of the church.

They had no security and traveled rarely longer than 35 kilometers from home. The upper class in all countries at all levels, keep people from climbing higher. Life was cheap, women and children were treated as property. They died early by hard work. Men were slaughtered in a cruel game of wars. Health Care was a non-existent words and half of the children died before they reach adult age. The average life age did not change much from ancient Egypt until the mid 1600’s. Did anyone knew how to live in difficult times, it was them. These were people who lived with darkness in every corner.

But then something happened in the 16th century, the word of God was unleashed and when that happened everything started to change. Not only was the Bible translated into different languages, but it was understood by the reformers and carried out to the people. They spoke to the people that God was not only the highest in the heaven as you reached through an organized church and they again should tell you how you should live or what you should do. The fight against purgatory doctrine started and the speech of “When the coin box clusters, a soul from purgatory springs”, was contradicted. God was the highest of you as an individual and of your nation. And because he cares about you, your nation and the world you live in…  the world to come (Luke 11:2, Mark.10:30, Eph. 1:21), He has given us his strategy and provided his Holy Spirit to move forward to bring us a better day.

Even in smaller time frame we can see God at work. We can say it in the way Charles Dickens begins his book, ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ – “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” We can now go into the many contexts and say “it’s the best of times, “while in other contexts it is “the worst of times.”

The Chinese Communists continue to brutally suppress the freedom of speech. In 1990 we had the Gulf War, in 2001 Al-Qaeda hijacked and crashed 4 flights in the United States and the United States responded by going to war against Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. In 2003, the United States also marched into Iraq and killed Saddam Hussein. In the past 10years, bombs exploded in different embassies around the world. Egypt and Libya went through great turmoil in 2011. The ongoing unrest in Syria.

Fall of Berlin Wall

But it is also “the best of times.” In 1989, Berlin Wall that separated Germany into two, fell and liberated Eastern Europe from the Soviet communist party dominance (1990) and East and West Germany reunited (1991). The hostage crisis in Beirut is over, after many years of frustration (1991). Soviet Union officially disappeared, having broken into twelve independent democratic republics (1992). Most recently in 2011, Sudan divided into two after many years of civil war, and the new nation of South Sudan saw its light. In addition, the remarkable revival of Christians in the various third-world countries, and in the former Soviet Union. The unrest in Egypt and Libya could also be an event that leads to a positive future.

Who would of 25-30 years ago have thought that these shocking world events would occur? Although there are bright historical and social rays of hope, they are unfortunately all too often over shadowed by clouds of political gloom and the smoke of cultural upheaval. One day, these world events mentioned above will be understood as an all-controlling God’s plan. “But our God is in heaven. He is doing all that pleases Him.” (Psa.115: 3). Today we can only guess what God will do and what the end result will be.

I want to emphasize that this is not some kind of prophetic comment at season and out of season, and I’m not interested in newspaper interpretations. I think Christianity has been and still are embarrassed by too many failed prophets in this century.

The last failed “prophet” was Harold Camping who predicted the end of the world and thus also the coming of Jesus, on 21. May, 2011. This turned out to be wrong, we saw no end of the world. But the guy was not afraid, a few months later he predicted the end of the world, after admitting that he had calculated wrong the first time, now on 21. October, 2011. Again he had to take the shame, as this didn’t happen.

That people have been wrong over the years is probably due to eagerness, but the worst of this statement is those who support the millennial theology uses the “eagerness” as a defense against failure they or others in the same group does. As an excuse they say that the time is not ripe yet to see all things in the prophecies. In this way they use the same excuse themselves as they spend on those who “predicted” wrong and was eager. Imagine if they could be just as eager to preach Christ’s Kingdom as they proclaim end of time.

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Are those who believe that the Millennium will be established in the near future any better than Harold Camping? I can not see that. There are many, even in Norway who preach that the end is near, and although they may not have announced a date for the end of this age, or encouraged people to sell everything they own and return to the Lord, the similarity is frightening. At least, Harold Camping repented and went public to said that his prediction was “wrong and sinful”, unlike many others.

I do not believe that the millennial believers want cruel times, not for you or themselves, but they “prophesy” from any world-events, similar to events described in the Bible. They do not read what’s in the Bible first, but first see if they can find something in the Bible that fits with today’s events.

If one walk like a duck, talk like a duck and look like a duck, then it must be a duck, right? Wrong, that’s just an assumptions that lead you to say it. Have not most of us, once mistaken a person for a person we know? We may have been in a shopping center and went to a person we thought we knew and said, – “Hey!” – Just because the person looked like, walked like and talked like someone we know. So is it with those who looking for signs that may be similar to biblical prophecy.

The pessimistic / optimistic question has lot to do with the practical efforts of Christians in the world today. All evangelical Christians are optimistic in the sense that God miraculous win the war against sin and Satan at the end of the age, by direct supernatural intervention. Whether in an earthly millennial kingdom introduced by Jesus at His second coming, or by the final judgment which introduces the new heavens and new earth.

To say that the millennial believers are pessimistic, I talk about the following issues:

  1. As a system for the preaching of the gospel teaches that the gospel of Christ will not exercise any great influence in the world before Christ’s return;
  2. As a system of historical understanding, they believe that the Bible teaches that there is a certain prophetic irresistible downward direction toward a chaos in the elaborative and developmental history, and therefore …
  3. As a system for promoting Christian discipleship, discourage the Church to anticipate and be working for a broad-scaled success in influencing the world for Christ during this era.

Out of this we come to that they teach their followers that Christians do not have an immediate solution to the problems of our time. To try to change institutions before Christ returns will only lead to a humanistic leaven and that our most important work should be to rescue people out of the mess and not try to improve or maintain their good qualities.

Have God told us his cosmic plan for the ages? Yes! Scriptures reveal His will. Deity, before the beginning of time, planned the redemption of His people and His world (Revelation 13:8, Tit. 1:2). Jesus Christ – through His death, resurrection, ascension, and eventually second coming – providing a core focus and meaning to the history. As 1Corinthians. 3:24 says about the end of time as we know it, “Then comes the end, when He (Christ) hands over the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all authority, all authority and all power.” All God’s created order is destined to bow for Jesus Christ: “For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet” (1Corinthians 3:25). The Lord Himself tells us what will happen at the end of the story, “For it is written: «As I live, saith the Lord unto me every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess to God” (Romans 14:11).

Brothers and sisters in Lord Jesus Christ, put down the pessimistic tone in the preaching of the gospel. The gospel (good news) is that the kingdom of God has come and live in us. We are the body of the Lord (Eph. 1:23) who go out and spread this good news and have something much better to offer the world as it is today. We not only can, but we actually do improve the world, because the Lord is the head. We build His kingdom. (Matthew 24:14, Mat. 28:18-20) -Be blessed in your work!

Pew Research Center
History books
…and the Bible of course.

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