The COVID-19 pandemic should be driving people to church, but our churches have been shutting their doors to “live stream” services. The unsaved will likely not respond to this tactic as much as they would to meeting face-to-face with Christians.
Fear typically drives unbelievers to God. After 9/11, churches were filled. After the Las Vegas mass shooting a couple years ago, churches were filled.
Suffering leads to revival. It has been like that throughout history. However, no revival seems to be happening right now. Something is different. This feels supernatural.
I believe we are moving closer to the End Times.
WHAT COMES NEXT
In Part 1 of “The End Times,” I focused mainly on why I believe that we are currently in the final period of life on Earth. For this part, I want to focus on my thoughts about what is to come and how we can see more prophecy playing out in the near future.
THE RAPTURE (AND THOSE LEFT BEHIND)
According to 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first. 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
This is the Rapture. There will be a trumpet call and Christians will meet in the air with Jesus and the “dead in Christ” – I believe this describes those who believed in Christ but died prior to the Gospel of salvation presented by Paul. I could be wrong, but we Christians will be with our Savior from that moment for all eternity.
Matthew 24:40-41 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
This is how the Rapture will occur. It will be instantaneous and shocking to those left behind. People will vanish while handing money to a cashier, while driving cars and ambulances, flying planes, hugging their friends and families, eating a meal, or working.
Others will be caught up in a sinful position like robbing a store or having extra-marital sex. Remember: not all sinners are Christians, but all Christians are sinners.
This may provide additional motivation for believers. Do you want to be raptured while watching porn or getting drunk at the bar? Perhaps we should all behave more accordingly.
Those left behind will be searching for answers, and some will be more convincing than others.
I have a few theories as to how these false explanations will occur.
One theory that has emerged comes to us by way of the COVID-19 pandemic. With our churches, sporting events, festivals, and streets empty, how long would it take to notice potentially millions of people vanishing?
I believe the number of true Christians is relatively small – much smaller than polls suggest. Many people identify as Christians, but are not actually saved. Charismatics and Jehovah’s Witnesses, for example, teach false gospels. The largest “Christian” denomination, Roman Catholicism, was born of pagan Roman mystery religions.
Out of the approximately 2 billion “Christians” around the world, I would not be surprised to find out that less than 10% have actually accepted Christ as Lord and savior.
Another explanation might be a super-weapon. This, of course, coincides with the increase in technology and wars raging across the planet.
Military super-powers, specifically China, Israel, Germany, and the United States have always been on the forefront of weapon technology. We already know of a neutron bomb that is capable of killing people without the typical explosion and structural damage that accompanies other bombs. With further development, it may be possible to destroy people while leaving no physical trace of them behind.
One of the stated goals of radical Islamicists is to rid the world of Christians—the “followers of the cross.” They might secure a weapon that could be used to target Christians, and Muslims would make for a convenient scapegoat.
When the Rapture occurs, our already corrupt media may come out and blame ISIS or a similar group of using such a weapon for a global targeting of some Christians. Those “Christians” left behind who were deceived by false doctrine but never fully accepted Christ as their savior will also serve to aid the confusion surrounding the event.
The Leftovers on HBO did a fantastic job of presenting a scientific case for the Rapture. They explained the phenomenon as a dimentional disturbance that affected people based on their DNA. Some were taken to another dimension. Some were not.
Another sci-fi explanation is an alien or extra-terrestrial invasion or mass-scale abduction.
First of all, I believe we are being set up for this possibility. There are hundreds of films about aliens living among or attacking humans. There are an increasing number of television shows that do the same.
I detailed in my previous post about the paranormal. I truly believe that what we currently believe to be “aliens” are actually fallen angels. They can appear in humanoid forms (Genesis 18, Hebrews 13:2), and UFO sightings are increasing around the globe.
The U.S. military finally declassified the existence of the infamous Area 51. Other increasing global supernatural activity includes New Age healings, demonic possessions, and sightings of the Virgin Mary. As the supernatural becomes more mundane, the international community may be more open and susceptible to the possibility of extra-terrestrial life.
THE “ONE WORLDS”
The passages in the Bible of the “one worlds” are difficult to grasp if you are not a Bible believer who understands dispensationalism and typology. The one-world government is represented as a beast with seven heads and ten horns in Revelation 13. The one-world currency is the “mark of the beast” found in the same chapter. The one-world religion is “MYSTERY, BABYLON” described in Revelation 17.
These are difficult passages to exegete, but I thought it important to at least provide proof-texts.
Of the three “one-world” occurrences, I believe we are closest to government and currency.
The apparatus for a global government has been in place since the advent of the League of Nations and exists in its current form of the United Nations. As the last empire of the United States loses its footing on the world stage, other nations will rise. Russia and China are currently vying to be the replacement for the U.S., but wars or economic collapse can easily turn power over to a global political force like the U.N. or possibly even a new global government run by a conglomerate of the most powerful nations that are seeking to maintain power by selling out sovereignty.
We have already seen this happen over the past twenty years as Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama cede United States strength to the United Nations as enforcers of economic and military justice. We are one major crisis away from this happening – and that crisis might very well be COVID-19.
Global economies are coming to a halt. Almost every nation has been touched by this pandemic, and the opportunity for a strong leader who can unite the world to combat pestilence and economic catastrophe would be very attractive right now.
That leader could be Antichrist.
We are watching the entire globe plunge into chaos as economy after economy crumbles. Several countries in Europe are on the verge of economic collapse, and the U.S. is on the same trajectory, but a few years behind.
Austerity proposals are met with violent riots and several currencies, including the dollar, are being devalued. Only artificially low interest rates are keeping the world economy from disaster. China, Russia, and countries in the Middle-East have already begun discussing abandoning the dollar as the world currency for something else. On the brink of economic collapse, is a singular currency really an unreal possibility?
What might this currency look like? Well, my personal theory is that it will be digitized. Bitcoin is currently the strongest of such currencies. It already exists, it is very successful, and there are built in hedges against inflation. There will be a point in which there will be no more available bitcoins, which is how they promise its strength will not be compromised.
If something like Bitcoin is the one-world currency. It is easier to use a mobile device to trade coins than to carry physical tender. We already do this with the dollar via Apple Pay, Venmo, et al.
With further advances in technology, it would be easier still to simply have a sort of barcode tattooed or a tiny chip implanted just under the skin of your hand. This “mark” could also hold your identification and medical files that are also digitized.
Imagine the convenience of having one tiny device that is always connected to your person that allows access to every good and service that you will ever need. Of course, Christians reading this might recognize this scenario as the “Mark of the Beast.”
Revelation 13 states: 16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
This, my friends, could be the one-world currency, and like the upcoming governmental shift, we are in the midst of a global crisis that could change the world forever.
This is the most difficult to pinpoint, especially with the divisive world we find ourselves in. On one side, we have Christianity – on the other, Islam. However, there are dozens if not hundreds of various factions, denomination, and alternative religions from atheism to Hinduism.
Right now Sunni and Shiite Muslims are killing one another. Episcopalians disagree with Baptists, Protestants fled from the Catholic Church, and most non-Catholic believers believe the “Holy Roman” church to be anything but Christian.
Atheists are doing everything they can in the American court system to blacklist Christian businesses, and Christians are retaliating by inserting their beliefs in as many public places as possible. In short, it is a mess. How, then, can we possibly have one global religion?
I believe there are two solid contenders.
Many political figures around the globe constantly call for “social justice.” This concept is the driving force behind the modern American political system, but is ingrained within religion as well.
It basically aligns liberal political ideology with Martin Luther King Jr. style religious language. Social Justice is what was preached by President Obama’s pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, through Liberation Theology. Pope Francis has also expressed his desire for global social justice, and this thread can be found throughout the Muslim community. It seems to be the uniting force behind so many major religious groups and cannot be ignored. After a major war and a Rapture of true Christians, those left behind may gladly latch on to social justice or Liberation Theology.
Another contender, and this is my pick for the global religion, is the new breed of New Age, postmodern, Charismatic Christianity.
Pentecostal/Charismatic Christianity is one of the fastest growing religious sects in the world right now. Bethel Church in California and Hillsong Church in Australia are the posterchildren for how popular it is becoming. Many praise and worship songs performed in Baptist, Methodist, Non-Denominational, and Protestant churches alike were written by Charismatics.
The teachings of these churches resemble New Age pagan religions, and Charismatic beliefs have even infiltrated Catholicism (you can read more about this in my book).
Consider that pagan Babylonian mystery religions which later became pagan Roman mystery religions that were eventually melded in with the early Roman Catholic festivals, and it does not take a major leap to believe that MYSTERY, BABYLON is actually the Roman Catholic church.
What is particularly of note is how many of the religious and non-religious alike seem to be coalescing around a set of supernatural beliefs that are external to any one, single religious tradition to create a more abstract, hyper-personalized, postmodern, spiritual belief system that borrows from many others.
By increasing the size of the umbrella, more varied forms of religion become welcome.
At the helm of this unified religion, economy, and government is the man who will become Antichrist.
NEXT UP: THE ANTICHRIST
I will help you to identify Antichrist, where he comes from, and how he will usurp global power.