Pastor Wade's Blog

Christians Living in the INTENSIVE SCARE UNIT!

Your eschatology matters. What you believe about the future will determine much of how you live your life, how you view relationships, and even to a degree, how your character is shaped. Multitudes of Christians live full of fear due to what they have been told the Bible teaches about the shortness of the world’s time, and the nearness of Jesus’ any moment return with all the horrible, massive death-dealing judgment events that will then be precipitated upon the world.

The late Tim LaHaye and Ed Hindson, wrote on the front part of the dust jacket of their book, Global Warning (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2007): “It is only a matter of time before our planet will experience the most devastating catastrophes imaginable. Global conflagration in clearly predicted in biblical prophecy, and the outcome is certain. How much time is left?

The book’s first paragraph begins: “The world is in serious trouble, and everyone knows it. Something ominous is about to happen.” (These kind of statements can lead to the Intensive Scare Unit! P.S. I got this phrase from Thomas Williamson).

One young mother anxiously writes a thread in a forum: “I’ve always wanted a second child, so my baby has a sibling, another shoulder and he wouldn’t be alone. But after learning of the Tribulation, I simply feel guilty for wanting to give a life to an innocent soul who basically would be destined for such miserable times. I know, God says don’t fear, but my human mind is scared and I don’t know what to think. Help me please.”

Christians everywhere are paralyzed by fear regarding a soon-coming Rapture and the horrendous Great Tribulation of seven years. A great example appears in the documentary, Waiting for Armageddon. One of the people interviewed was a mother, Devonna Edwards. She adamantly states that the rapture would be coming so soon her teenage daughter will never be married. She says, “Do I believe that I will hold a grandchild? No. No. I just don’t think we have that much time left.”

Devonna is shown trying to convince her children that the Rapture will indeed happen any day now, one daughter responds awkwardly, “Well, it could happen.” She is reprimanded immediately: “It will happen. There’s no ‘could’ to it.”

In another scene in the documentary in which the daughter, Kristin, is alone, she affirms her belief that the Rapture will happen and then states that she hopes it happens later: “I always wanted to be a part of it, but I wanted to be like 85 (She wants to live a normal, long life!).”

Her sister, Ashley, confesses: “It scares me. Like Kristie feels, I kind of wish that I knew that I had time. I really want to get married and I want to have kids, and raise a family, and work, and do all that.”

Kristin adds, “It doesn’t seem fair. Your grandparents have lived these long lives and have all these stories to tell you, and they’ve kind of adjusted to the fact that, you know, they’re not going to live terribly much longer. And so you’ve grown up hearing all these stories … and you want to live these experiences yourself; and if you’re done at 24, there’s only so many experiences you get to have.”

In commenting on the fear-filled confession of these girls, Dr. Joel McDurmon, president of American Vision, writes: “Both of these young ladies have a more biblical view of Christianity than their parents. They want to live in the kingdom of God (as He instituted it), get married (as He instituted it), have children (as He instituted it), work (as He instituted it), and experience all He has for them to experience. In short, they want to glorify God and enjoy him forever.

“But they are thrust beneath the dictatorial fear-mongering of their parents who can say nothing but “you’re not going to graduate,” “you’re not going to get married,” “you’re not going to have children.” The only thing that matters is Rapture, Rapture, Rapture. The children’s response to their parents’ view is, “It scares me.”

I am taking the liberty of including the testimony of my dear friend, John Moody, (with his permission) who for many years lived in a “Christian Intensive Scare Unit”, that was crippling his life and severely limiting his usefulness in the kingdom of God:

My name is John Moody and I would like to give a brief personal testimony concerning how Biblical Prophecy has impacted my life. I was raised in a Baptist Church in Panama City Florida and have sat under sound biblical preaching and teaching since I was old enough to remember. My mother was the spiritual leader in my home and as such I was always easily impacted by what teachings she was following. I remember during my high school years getting exposed to Jack Van Impe, Hal Lindsey, Tim LaHaye and their teachings. I was captivated by them.

I remember the excitement in seeing what I thought was real Bible Prophecy being played out in the morning paper that was being delivered to my parent’s driveway. As the years rolled on I developed a listening ear any time the television was on and heard Israel or the Middle East mentioned.

I remember the surge of excitement in thinking the rapture could be just around the corner and we were going to be escorted out of here with front row seats to watch Jesus kick Satan’s tail as we cheered him on. As high school years rolled into adult years, I had a natural desire to have a spouse and a family. It was if I developed a split personality. One part of my personality was consumed with the imminent rapture of the church and the chaos that was soon to follow yet the other part of my personality desired to settle down, have a wife and family and grandchildren one day. I knew that if I were to get married and have children it would take time. Time I thought I did not have.

I remember the anxiety and despair. I remember thinking that God was cheating me out of life. Asking myself “Why couldn’t I have lived during a different time?” I also had aspirations of giving my life wholly for Christ, living for His glory and Gospel. Those aspirations were always cloudy and murky. I was burdened with how many years I had wasted and “knowing” that we only have “months” to go before the rapture.

I read the entire “Left Behind” series and knew for a fact that this would be how things were going to play out. I was convinced that it was only a short matter of time that the church would disappear, planes would crash from the sky, cars would crash into each other and “all hell” was soon to break loose on the earth. I became glued to my computer screen reading prophecy news reports, even getting up to minute emails on the latest developments.

It was around the year 2012 when God gave me the opportunity to go on my first mission trip. It was during that trip that I met a man (Wade Trimmer) who, for the first time in my life, challenged my views on eschatology. I had never heard such things. However, I didn’t immediately give up my current view, but during the course of three years this man gently and biblically challenged the doctrine of dispensational premillennialism that I held so dear. He sent me books and directed me to teachers of the Word who held to a Postmillennial belief in eschatology. It taught me to read my bible differently. It encouraged me to engage in the fight, contend for and share the gospel, and make disciples of all people groups.

I remember his words to me on more than one occasion, as he asked, “What’s the point of going in business if we’re going out of business tomorrow?” Unfortunately that is what most Christians alive today believe. We are going out of business any minute now. The Church will have to be rescued because it couldn’t make it in this world. The devil is stronger than Christ’s Church and only an emergency rescue by Jesus himself will save the day. It causes Christians to live in fear and defeat instead of going on from victory to victory.

I started studying the eschatology of the Puritans and the Reformers. Then I studied the eschatology of the settlers of our great nation, and discovered that none of them believed the way I had been taught. Instead they believed in a Spirit-empowered gospel that would enable the people of God to be a victorious and conquering church. Our nation would have never been founded had the founders believed in an imminent, chaotic rapture. The greats throughout Christian history believed their work would live on for generations to come. It drove their life. Living and working for future generations rather than scurrying about trying to figure out when they were going to get out of here.

Eventually, with conviction, I repented of my obsession with escapism and neglect of my Christian mandate to make disciples who make disciples.

It encourages me to think that when Christ returns, and I DO believe he is returning, he will return to an All-conquering, All-Prevailing, All-Beautiful Bride!

I will conclude my brief testimony with a scripture that has helped me profoundly in my transition of belief from dispensational Premillennialism:

“Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened”( Matt 13:33 KJV). This verse, as I understand it, has encouraged me to think that my small efforts are being used by God to “make disciples of ALL nations.” Yes it seems at times we are outnumbered. Yes it seems at times the church is failing, but according to the words of Jesus he is able to use sinful, selfish, simple people to accomplish His purposes and His plan. Jesus left a rag tag group of early disciples in a small corner of the world and charged them to proclaim His victory to the whole of the earth. May we be about our masters business and rest in the words of our savior, “…and the Gates of Hell, SHALL NOT prevail!”

 

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