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In Crisis

Have been trying to decide what to think about a recent news story that a well known and respected pastor is predicting that a catastrophic, imminent event will devastate American and global cities. Says he doesn’t know where or when. But feels compelled to warn.

Another article described the soon collapse of the evangelical movement in part because of over-entanglement with political efforts.

Part of me says these may be the  kind of alarmist warnings that ultimately lead to spiritual cooling and cynicism when they don’t  happen. On the other hand I don’t want to be among those who offer false hope.  The book of Revelation is not fiction even though for millenniums it has been misused by people who believed they were living in the days predicted by John on Patmos.

Then I found myself last night with another  set of thoughts at the screening of a short film telling the story of families who are raising children with profound autism. In a few minutes the film told the story of adolescent children who at a very young age had suddenly regressed into themselves, with inability to express their thoughts, resulting in a lifetime marked by unpredictable outbursts of rage, removal of clothing in public, and the overburden on loving parents whose own lives and marriages often collapse.

While some of us wonder about the scare-tactics, or real basis for apocalyptic warnings, others among and all around us live with crises that, for them, and for those who love them,  are as consuming as a nuclear scenario.

At this point my mind goes in a lot of different directions, some healthy, some that are not.  Then I remember Jesus who seemed to live with grace somewhere in the middle of alarm and confidence. No one was more aware of human need. No one was more ready to help. No one was more aware of where our lives are going. No one can better show us how to remain sane by trusting in his father while not being consumed by, or hiding from, the needs of those around us.

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22 Responses to “In Crisis”

  1. bretnb says:

    I read the link to article of the calamity the the writer has written about and it is scary. If his prediction becomes true, I wonder if it is God’s way to wake up a nation that has turned her back on him. Or a wake up call on a nation thats leaders are turning on Israel.

    No matter what we need to pray for our nation that it turns back to God. So many people are putting their faith and hope in government, and we all know that thats not are source of hope.

  2. carlj says:

    I have been going through some experiences that have basically turned my theology upside down. For years I have been living out my Christian life with an understanding of GOD, who HE is, and how HE acts. This understanding was based upon what I had been taught in Sunday School, through sermons, books, etc.

    Now, I am going through situations that don’t make sense. I came to think that GOD is not satisfied with us understanding who HE is through someone or something else. I also have thinking that HE wants us to know HIM through personal experiences with HIM. And, maybe he does this through turning our world upside down and shaking our logic. The passage in Isaiah 43 comes to mind – “In order that you may know and believe ME and understand that I am HE.

  3. BruceC says:

    You really do know how to bring up the tough questions; and that is a good thing. I read this article by Wilkerson several days ago when my wife brought my attention to it. The other article is new to me. In these times; and in these topics of thought we need to be very careful and seek the Lord for His wisdom. The main themes that I see in the NT are God’s love and salvation through Christ alone, the preaching of this Gospel to the ends of the earth and all people, and the “living out” of this life changing born-again salvation that God freely offers. What Pastor Wilkinson describes sounds like an end-time scenario and the Word says “things shall wax worse and worse”. I do know however that there is a major fault line that runs through the NYC area and a large shift there could be devastating. Will it happen? Only God knows for sure. We have had well known pastors make statements about 9/11 being God’s judgement upon the US for all its sins and there was some criticism and backlash from that. And we have had called out pastors running for high office(which I pesronally do not think is part of that calling) and try to change things politically. And we have a church protesting at servicemen’s funerals saying it’s God’s punishment for fighting for a land that suppots homosexuals. I have often thought that the over-involvement of the evangelical community in politics would have a backlash. In the second article the author is stating his opinion based upon what he sees and history; the first is a pastor claiming what God has told him. I think the first article could be more damaging should it not come to pass. The second sounds more plausible and the church in our land needs a wake-up call for sure. I see in my area many if not most churches less than 1/3 full and the idea of home churches has some merit. Just look at the early church and see what it was compared to todays. I go to a Pentecostal church and in no way do I go along with “name it, and claim it”, the prosperity meassage, and the mis-understanding of the gift of prophecy as it is misused to almost be like fortune telling. I have a friend who was deeply hurt by that when someone “prophesied” that he would have a happy marriage; only to see it fall apart in a few short months. He is almost devastated.
    We don’t need, nor is it good to turn church into a political movement. Let’s just vote according to our God-given conscience without making it a movement and believe what God says in his Word about what will happen. Let’s live our lives for Christ in view of others and reach the lost and forget about trying to make a “Godly nation”. The Word says that in the last days the WHOLE world will follow the anti-Christ and that includes the US. I pray that the Lord will guide the Body back on the right track; His track.

  4. Cindy Stroop says:

    Mart, Excellent ideas to mull over. I read the two linked articles and must admit they send me to Jesus’ feet for peace in a tumultuous time that promises to progressively escalate. Cindy

  5. SFDBWV says:

    Pastor Wilkerson is a few decades late on his revelation knowledge.

    Hal Lindsey wrote the “Late Great Planet Earth” 30 years ago and outlined the end time political scenario perfectly.

    The unspoken understanding that “something” is about to happen has been like a raging fire throughout Christians every where. It is that knowledge that has been the cause of small groups of survivolists armming themselves and storhousing food and water in fortified communities.

    People who don’t believe in a rapture think they have to survive out the 7 years of the anit-christ. So they attempt to prepare. Our own government sees that as a threat to their authority and so we have had Ruby Ridge and Waco as our government protects us from ourselves.

    The scripture is filled with evey piece of knowledge about the end of the age. Events played out politicaly are explained in clear detail. Only the date is witheld. But Jesus himself said look at the events anround you and know that the time is near. By the events foretold in the scripture.

    His return is explained in timelines easily understood from Daniel through Revelation. The destruction of 1/3 of all life on the planet is also clearly explained.

    We must live with the understanding that the rapture will begin the 7 year time line described as the end of the age. Jesus then speaking to thoes left behaind say’s but when you see the beast in the Holy of Holies know that time is short…We the body of Christ are not here during the 7 years of tribulation.

    If we live as if the rapture will occur at any time, we will find that we are behaving the way we think we should. Another testimony that we don’t clearly understand grace.

    Again live as if today is the only day.

  6. mtman says:

    SFDBWV has an excellent point. “live as if today is the only day”. As it says in Acts 1:7, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority”. I personally do not believe anyone who thinks they have the answers about what will happen tomorrow or in the near future. The verse above tells me that God is in charge and it will happen in his time table and his time. Anything by anyone else is a lucky guess or if they are wrong it will quickly be forgotten. I remember the old joke where someone ask God is it true that 1000 years to us is equal to one minute to you? God said yes it was. The person asked if one million dollars to us is equal to one penney to you? God said yes. The person asked then for one million dollars. God responded in a minute. The end times will come when they come. God knows and that is all I need to know. Until then I will do as SFDBWV suggests and that is live each day as the only day. Disasters happen on a regular basis. One could happen here and has been predicted for years. For a well known religous leader to hint one is forthcoming does nothing in my mind but diminish his over all message. He should be preaching what SFDBWV says, live today as the only day. Let tomorrow take care of itself.
    I remember years ago I had a fellow who had a PhD in futuristics tell me that by 2020 evanglists from third world countries would be coming to the USA to minister to us. With all his training seems to me that he was about 10+ years off because they are here already. We make guesses but most of the time they are wrong or only partially correct.
    I just don’t think we will have any terrible event but if we do then God will not wake up tomorrow and say “Wow, didn’t see that one coming” He is in charge and that is good enough for me. Just my comment on the subject.
    Off the subject: Dennis Fisher in todays reading in ODB made a good point that sums up several of the past topics me thinks.

  7. sjd says:

    I am not sure that what was forseen by the pastor will come true as he says. But we do know that future judgment is coming. The Day of the Lord is a reality. Reading in 2 Peter 3 we read some words that tell us how we as Christians should be in light of the coming judgment. In the knowledge of that coming Day of the Lord, and the promised destruction, in which 2 Peter 3:10-18 gives some details, we read this statement, “What sort of people ought you to be…” It is not likely a question, but rather a “look at the opportunity that you have to shine!” Make the most of the opportunity in the face of coming judgment to have Christ seen in us. “Holy conduct and godliness” can be a reality as we are available to God to shine through us. The Hope that is ours, Jesus, can be shared with others. Hope that can be a reality no matter what the circumstance. Hope that no one can take away.

    Peter encourages us to look forward to the “day of God”, for in that day when the new heavens and the new earth are presented, we will see the end of the effects of sin. We will be forever with our Lord.

    What sort of people ought we to be! Shining lights in this dark world! We shine best when we are focused on Jesus. Continue to consider Him. If the events happen as were foretold by the pastor, we will be ready. If they happen in another way we will be ready, as we are fixed on Him. He is able.

  8. gphood says:

    I’m not going to pretend I know what God is or isn’t saying to Mr. Wilkerson, but when God spoke to the prophets in the OT and when Jesus spoke in the NT there was never any ambiguity. God always spoke with purpose and made clear what he was about to do. Saying “something bad is going to happen sometime” is akin to a horoscope saying “Take care of your finances or you’ll be sorry.” Both are true, neither are specific.
    On the other hand, we are already seeing some of the things mentioned in the CSM article come to pass.

  9. Laurielee says:

    If I am striving to live as Jesus would have me do, with His indwelt Spirit, should I even pay attention to these “prophecies”? I was told for a long time in the penecostal church, that if I didn’t speak in tongues, it meant that I had not had the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and it did not dwell in me. They were wrong. There is no way I’d have made it this far without Him, and the Spirit bears witness of Himself. That church no longer exists as an institution, but Christ is strong in me. Yes, obviously, as time goes on, the time gets shorter. It could be this afternoon. If I’m living as Jesus would have me, what should I be afraid of? My only thought is for those who are not ready, but there are certain things that I must wait for God to do in His time, not mine. According to what Jesus said, it is God’s to know, and not ours. That takes the anxiety of it out of my hands, and I can rest in Him.

  10. Laurielee says:

    I just finished reading the two articles. I’ve always respected David Wilkerson, and read a couple of his books, including “The Cross and The Switchblade”. What he says could be true. What the other article says could also very well be true…actually, if we are paying attention, haven’t we already seen the start of this in our newspapers, schools, and communities? Maybe one thing we should be prepared for is if those whose lives we have touched or witnessed to in the past see what is going on and turn to us for an answer, we need to have it. There will be those from out of the tragedies whose hearts are now open to God. They will need teachers.

  11. sitsathisfeet says:

    There is the praise song Might Be Today, that I like. It seems to me whenever the end times and prophecy are talked about in scriptire they go hand in hand with being prepared in the “spiritual sense”. Not that we need to be prepared in a physical sense storing up provisions for an apocolyptic event, but that we have shared the good news, we have lived the good news, with the only Hope that is everlasting. This world and it’s desires will all pass away, but the Word of Life will not pass away.

  12. mtman says:

    I have read the two articles. Personally I think David Wilkinson has gone past the tipping edge with his warning. He can articulate scripture very well but he has been saying this for 10 years. He may have a good ministry but when you profess prophecy I think you are treading in dangerous water.
    As to Michael Spencer he calls himself a “postevangelical reformation Christian”. What the heck is that? I have seen many movements including the evangelical movement come along. All believe they have a better way to worship and get lost in the quest for a newer and better way. All such movements eventually fail but the Bible remains. Nothing new about that, it goes way back in recorded history. Just because you embrace a little scripture, can articulate it well doesn’t make anyone a prophet. Are we in troubled times? No doubt about it. Some I’m sure will take exception to my opinion of evangelicals. We have been a divided people for years by denomination.
    I have used the example in the past regarding our dogs. They don’t care if we are evangelicals, Catholic, Baptist etc. They look at us as pack leaders and how kind we are to them and whether we feed and care for them. That is how we should be as Christians. We need to focus on Jesus and him alone. We need to go back to the basics on our faith. Just look at new Christians for a good example. Then as they get emeshed into different opinions, denominations they end up differently. I know what Laurielee means about having to have a certain gift. Or act a certain way. We can get lost if we don’t focus on Jesus and stay in the Bible. Not to just use part of it but to embrace all of it. I don’t know what voice Mr. Davidison was listening to nor do I judge anyone. I’m not biting though until his voice has been tested and proven.
    I think we need to quit complicating ourselves and fix our eyes on our Lord and Him alone. Factions regardless of what their initial ministry all seem to go astray as they gain power. We need to listen to that still small voice in our hearts and that alone. God put it there. If Mr. Davidson heard what he thought was the Holy Spirit he should be able to test it and I don’t think God would only speak to him on something like that. I just think these two articles are hogwash but then that is just my opinion. I am sure not all would agree but then again what is this blog here for???

  13. kaliko88 says:

    I have read both articles and honestly I’m left with both seriously considering the claims and questioning them with doubt. There’s not a single thing in them though that I can absolutely deny as untrue or impossible. I have to admit, some of it resonates with my own thoughts and feelings what with all the news this past year. I do try to just live each day and not spend so much time thinking of the future, but I am watchful. I don’t think we’re supposed to ignore possible future events, we’re just not supposed to worry obsessively about it. Watch and trust, and act when we know it is right to do so.

    I can say I have seen glimpses of the anti-Christian attitudes. I think of them as practice bouts for my own responses, which have to be done carefully lest I make things worse. That one part of the article I agree with – there is a anti-Christian movement coming, and it’s going to be nasty. Unfortunately, a lot of it is being fostered by what I consider to be wrong Christians. I live where that pastor is, the one who bases most of his beliefs on the issue of homosexuality and acts on those beliefs by picketing everywhere. His signs are an affront and ridiculous at the same time. That is one of the more extreme examples, but I run into lesser ones constantly. There’s one at my night job, an employee who has managed to turn almost everyone against him with his attitude. I find myself having to be a quiet, gentle, and friendly example. It’s less noisy and attention getting, but it is also a noticeable contrast sometimes.

    I’m left with this thought after all these ideas, a memory of a scene and quote from The Lord of the Rings. When Gandalf told Frodo that all men wish that evil times would not come to them, but it is not for us to decide. All we have to decide is what we will do with the time that is given to us. I will continue to try to be quiet, gentle, friendly, and yet strong, strong and steady. I hope it is the right way.

  14. Mart De Haan says:

    I love that quote but had forgotten it. Thanks for the reminder!!

  15. Laurielee says:

    I like mtman’s illustration of the dogs. I do have to agree with rdrcomp, that “Christian movements” have come and gone, but Christ remains. I also wanted to add that many movements start with an emphasis on a particular rendering on only a piece of the Scriptures. Many also try to “shoot the messenger” or smear the legitimacy of the Bible by saying that the same Bible that decries homosexuality allowed slavery and polygamy. A question…if the Bible, being the Word of God, has stood for these thousands of years, why do we think we have such superior intelligences that we can fault it? If, in fact, it were faulty, don’t we think it would have been figured out by now? These people of diverse takes on the Bible and parsing of words have and will pass away, but the Word of God will stand! It will not return to Him void. A further thought on Rev. Wilkerson’s prophesy and the other article…God already told us these things…maybe not the particular place and time, but we’ve already been warned.

  16. daisymarygoldr says:

    I really don’t pay any attention to human predictions of end time events. The Bible is very clear about the signs of the times. Even Jesus Himself does not know about the time of His return…and God’s time line is certainly not relative to our time line. However, every breathing moment of my life, I live in conscious awareness of His promise to return. The hope motivates me to purity because the God I serve is pure and Holy!

    Personally, we socialize with a family whose 11 year-old son suffers from autism. Very young Godly parents… who were completely devastated when they first learned of their child’s condition. In the beginning, they isolated themselves and turned down our invitations. It took a lot of prayers and persuasion by other Christians to help them come out of their shell of guilt, fear and shame. Sorrow turned into joy, once they were convinced, that their crisis is not due to personal sins…and that they are loved and accepted as normal as others. We love spending time with them …That child is so special and a delight to all of us….he loves to eat good food and always wants me to tickle him:)

    Amidst all the troubles and trials of life on this earth, Christ’s promise to return fills us with hope… all the more if we are in crisis or suffer due to the “thorn in our flesh” or in those who live around us. It is in crisis… that we cling to the hope that when we shall see Him our sick bodies will be flawless and perfect like His. All sickness and suffering of living in this fallen world will vanish and He will personally wipe every tear from our eyes, and there will be no more crisis or sorrow or crying or pain!

  17. mtman says:

    Seperated by denominations, seperated by political ideologies, seperated by race, sperated by just about anything that is different. If you disagree with what is true and right it is easy to start up your own sect, party, or religion, etc.
    Voltair said it best when some of his students came to him and said they were going to start another religion. Voltairs response to them was that shouldn’t be hard, all they need to do is find someone who is willing to die and then come back to life. Modern day prophets have come and gone but only one person has ever died for me, and then prove it by rising on the third day. To him alone I owe my eternal life. I don’t know when the rapture is coming but I hope I’m still here to see it. Man that will be something to witness if you ask me. I just love all the perspectives posted here, and thanks for this blog.

  18. cherielyn says:

    Philippians 4:6-9 (KJV)
    6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
    7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
    8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
    9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

    Be careful for nothing means: Be anxious for nothing. We are not to worry about what tomorrow may bring. Sadly, too many people, Christians included, wring their hands every time they hear things like this.

    As for me, I’m not going to allow myself to worry, needlessly, about man’s predictions or prophecy. God is and always has been in control. I trust Him to get me through whatever lies ahead.

    mtman, got my letter today. The hospital is giving a 35% reduction in my bill. It’s not as much as my hubby was hoping for, but I’m happy with what we did receive. At least we didn’t have to pay 100%! God knows our situation and somehow we will get the bills paid.

  19. mtman says:

    HOORAY to you Cheryl: I prayed for you again this morning. I’m very happy for your and your husband..

  20. Robert Slone says:

    I agree with Cheryl, too. We being Christians should not be walking around with fear. We are told not to walk in fear, but in faith, trust, and love. This is also why we have prophecies given to us, so that we will not fear. God is taking care of his own and has promised to do just that.

  21. gr8grannyjacobs says:

    My sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow me.

    I listen to many different preachers and have read many different books but I always go to God in prayer about differences I may have with other opinions of what God’s word says.My prayer to Him is that I will always know His voice.

    I have learned many things through listening to others and God gives me discernment to know when I am hearing truth all I need do is ask.

    I admit I don’t know when He is coming back but it is enough for me to know He is. Until then I will try to do His will and help those I can along the way.

    Carlj I have enjoyed your posts on Purim and Crisis. I also believe it is all about knowing Him personally.

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