SHOCK AND AWE

 

America is beset with widespread and growing unrest in our schools, college campuses and cities at large. Almost daily, our news depicts protests against racial inequity, police brutality and just about anything else that can be complained about. Mass murders by shooters and terrorist suicide bombers are becoming so frequent as to be commonplace. Elsewhere throughout the world, Christians are being persecuted and slaughtered as a worldwide rejection of the Judeo-Christian God gains momentum. Economic slowdowns threaten worldwide financial chaos.

Violence everywhere evokes a remembrance of Noah’s Great Flood and the situation that initiated it as told in Genesis 6:5-13:

“And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart. And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.

“But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God. And Noah begot three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

“The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence.

There was rampant violence on the Earth in the days of Noah, and because of that violent behavior God decided to destroy the earth with the Great Flood (and yes, it was of planetary scale). But in the Flood’s aftermath, God gave us the promise that He would never again repeat that worldwide catastrophe. The primary account of that promise is given in Genesis 9:11-15:

“And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth. And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I do set my [rainbow] in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud; and I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.”

Well, that’s certainly a relief! It appears from this promise that either mankind will never again indulge in that amount of violence, or else God will overlook it. Seems like, despite the mess the world appears to be in, that we’ve dodged a big bullet.

No. Wait. God only promised us we wouldn’t suffer through another Great Flood. But there are other things of potential worldwide scope that also can be catastrophic to the Earth. And, in His Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24), Jesus did say this:

“But as the days of Noah were, so shall the coming of the Son of man be.”

As a matter of fact, we still have the passage in 2 Peter 3:1-12 to contend with at some time in the future:

“This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you, in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance, that ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior; knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water, by which the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished.

“But the heavens and the earth which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness, but is long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat; the earth also, and the works that are in it, shall be burned up.

“Seeing, then, that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy living and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, in which the heavens, being on fire, shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?”

Oh oh. If, as Peter claims, a thousand years can be likened to a day, and the Genesis creation epic covered a six-day period before God’s rest, then perhaps what might happen as we approach the end of six thousand years of Biblically-relevant human existence with the thousand-year millennial reign of Christ promising to appear very shortly, the earth might again experience a destructive force of planetary scale. Certain Biblical passages such as Jeremiah 49:34-39 hint at the involvement of nuclear destruction.

This scenario fits right in with the devastation forecast in Revelation. Is the worldwide violence rampant now on Earth an immediate precursor to a buildup to the events so graphically depicted in that end-of-the-age scenario?

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