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Saturday, July 30, 2011

War and Rumor of War

Matthew 24: 3-14

3And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
 4And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
 5For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
 6And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
 7For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
 8All these are the beginning of sorrows.
 9Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.
 10And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
 11And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
 12And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
 13But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
 14And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

In these verses Jesus is speaking about the nature of things in the run-up to 'the end of the age,' or, the end of the current era. To refer to this as 'the end of the world' is somewhat erroneous as things do not actually end but are transformed into something different--a 'new heaven and a new earth,' as the Bible calls it.

And this brings us to the proper interpretation of the term 'the last days.' Paul and the writers of the New Testament believed they were living in the last days. And they were. We are living in the last days today.

The Bible says that 'a day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as a day.' Thus, 'the last days' is a symbolic term referring to an era of history--the period of time between the death and resurrection of Christ and the return of Christ which represents the beginning of a new era, the new heaven and the new earth.

During this lengthy intervening period in which we now live, some things are to be expected. War and rumor of war. Nations rising against nations. People turning against people. False prophets will arise. Christians will be persecuted.

While these things have always taken place since the death and resurrection of Jesus, they will only intensify prior to the beginning of the new heaven and new earth that will be ushered in by Christ himself. And when that new era begins, all wrongs will be corrected.

Only then will there be peace. Only then will people 'beat their swords and weapons into plowshares.'

Contrary to the teachings of Christian pacifism, as taught by such far-Left purveyors of Marxism masquerading as Christianity as Jim Wallis and Sojourners, Jesus never taught his followers to become pacifists. Nor did He teach them to push for government social programs. Individual Christians and churches are to engage in helping the poor and needy by their own voluntary action. 

Thus, Christians must wake up and realize that until the new heaven and new earth where peace will reign, there are some things worth fighting for and necessary to protect--by force.

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