Onpoint Ministries International
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Onpoint Ministries International
In case I disappoint anyone who thinks I am going to write about Joey Tempest’s band Europe and their iconic mid-eighties hit, I apologize now. Although, with the way things are in Europe these days, Tempest could be considered somewhat of a modern-day prophet, especially with Putin deploying on the Finnish and Ukrainian borders and flying his state-of-the-art Su-35s into their respective airspace. It is perhaps not so much the fear that the great bear is stirring from her twenty-seven year glasnost-induced hibernation, and is now off in search of her cubs (who have long since blown the den) that is cause for concern, but her foothold in Syria and more importantly her disturbing and ominous alliance with Iran.
Those who know their Old Testament will surely be acquainted with Ezekiel 38-39 where the great prophet reveals God’s plan for the end of days. In these remarkable chapters, Ezekiel acquaints us with all the players who will be on stage when the final curtain falls. He introduces us to Gog and Magog, the ruler and nation that will play its principle part along with its plethora of evil allies as they cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war on Israel. Yes, Israel is the epicenter of this one act tragedy. Magog is, of course, determined by most biblical scholars to be Russia and Gog their leader who strikes up an alliance with many nations one of which is Persia, or modern day Iran. The purpose of this unholy alliance is to destroy Israel, the already stated aim of Iran and many other Middle Eastern countries. The reasons for this are fourfold; to annihilate the Jews from the face of the earth, appropriate the mineral wealth of Israel, control the balance of power in the middle east and eventually to challenge the authority of the Antichrist who will have already begun to amalgamate his ten-toed confederacy within the borders of the old Roman Empire, which today covers most of what constitutes modern Europe.
The Russian-Iranian pipeline was only the beginning of what we are witnessing in these days. Russian nuclear scientists working in Iran helping their ally become the first nuclear nation in the Middle East (other than Israel) with the capacity to reach Israel. This was why the recent Iran deal by the current administration was disastrous, essentially not only giving Iran the green light to develop a nuclear capability but funding it in the bargain. The Russian-Iranian alliance can be actively witnessed in Syria, on Israel’s northern border. Of course the Iranians have been funding, supporting and supplying terror organizations aimed at destroying Israel for years, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Palestine, so this is nothing new.
Does any of this sound familiar? It should! As Christians, we need to be aware of what is happening in the world around us. All too often in the US, we become insular in our thinking and myopic in our world view. The reestablishment of ethnic Israel in 1948 was the singular greatest event in God’s timetable of redemptive history since the coming of Christ two thousand years before. We need to wake up to the events that are unfolding in our world, a world that is drawing to its close. America is strangely absent in the Ezekiel prophecy, she seems to have departed the scene and is either impotent or non-existent when the prophesied invasion occurs. What will happen to the USA? Given the current state of affairs in our country, it is not unlikely that the social chaos and disorder we are witnessing will grow even worse, a cultural implosion will result in a societal vacuum that will rip this nation apart, as the old songwriter used to say, the writing is on the wall. There is an alarming and striking parallel between what we are witnessing here in our country and St Augustine’s brilliant book ‘City of God’ which records the decline of ancient Rome. The utopian dream that was once America is gone, no matter how badly we resist the truth of it.
Denial is neither practical nor spiritual. We Christians need to prepare ourselves for what is to come, the decline of the US as a world power. Its subsequent internal domestic collapse will affect and impact the church, for all constitutional and legal protection will slowly be removed (as we are witnessing in the cases of those refusing to acknowledge gay marriage for instance), it will become open season on the church. Many Christians believe the church will escape persecution because they rightly believe she will not endure the tribulation. But what of the years preceding it when the growing oppression and hostility will increase? Then she will be tested on a scale never-before witnessed or even imagined in this country’s history. These times will try men’s souls, it will winnow and refine the church, purging the merely religious until what remains are the faithful remnant of the true church those who will hold fast to the truths of the inspired and sacred scriptures without compromise or shadow of turning, these faithful few will shine and blaze far more brightly and reflect the true nature and glory of God to an increasingly darkening world. It will be the churches finest hour, as it endures, suffers and overcomes for the cause of Christ and the sake of the Gospel. We need to remember that we, His church, His people, are right where He wants us, ready to answer the call for such a time as this, rejoicing that everything is working perfectly toward the completion of God’s timetable. We must neither be overcome or overwhelmed by world events, for this is what God has laid out in his blueprint of history.
Everything now in the world, in the church and the lives of Christians moves inexorably and gloriously toward the return of Christ and the ushering in of His Kingdom, and it is that kingdom mentality that we must now adopt. Our allegiance as Christians is no longer to America or England or any country or cause other than His. We are citizens of a heavenly kingdom united in Christ no matter what our nationality background, heritage, race, color, creed or status in life. We are one people prepared by God and ready for whatever these turbulent times may throw at us, for our struggle is not against flesh and blood as the Apostle Paul so eloquently states in the 6th chapter of the book of Ephesians but against principalities and powers that are arrayed against us. Our struggle as the universal church of Christ is not simply national or even global, but cosmic, our faith, our churches and our lives stand for and impact far more than we imagine or think and have far reaching effects in the fulfilling of God's redemptive plan of history. No true believer can ever say my life is insignificant in the scope of history for as we pray and share and exalt and glorify God in worship we shape the course of eternity, such is the collective power of the church as it comes together not only to acclaim our God but to release His power in the world for this is the way he chooses to move. We stand and face these days along with all the days to come confident that the one who has overcome all things and will win through to victory, resides in our future forever and will accomplish His will for us, the world and its history.
We must now begin to see the spiritual conflict in which we are engaged, the victory is assured but the war still must be fought by all those who name the name of Christ both here and around the world. We are a global family, a global brotherhood and it is well to remember that the sun never sets on the church of God. We are and have always been called to a kingdom mentality that transcends national allegiance. It is to His standard we rally now, they are His colors we nail to the mast, it is His flag we raise in the midst of a hostile and cynical world. Our job in these times in which we live to be about His work, partnering with our sovereign God in the work of evangelism to which He has called us. It is time to abandon all else and braced with a solid biblical understanding of the days which are to come, go boldly into a world without truth, to a people without hope and preach a gospel without limits, for then and only then can men and women become reconciled with and to their God and Creator. The question is, are we ready to answer the call?