The fact that there is evil, that evil exists, proves to me that good must also exist. The fact that there seems no limit to the unholy evidence of how that evil can manifest in humans (via serial killers, Hitlers, and rampaging mobs) only raises my hope that genuine, selfless goodness also may be manifest in people who choose that option.
Options are an evidence of freedom. In most places around this globe, if you want to buy a loaf of bread, you get a loaf of bread. Few places offer the vast array of bread choices available not only in grocery stores, but places like Bruegger’s Bagels or Panera Bread. Think of the shampoo aisle at the grocery store or Walmart. Talk about choices! Of course, many of those products are manufactured by one or two corporations, so the choices diminish if you prefer one Corp name to another.
I don’t know what other religions teach about the end of the world. I grew up hearing about “End Times,” and the hoped for “rapture” that would excuse Believers from the “hell on earth” described at the back of the Book. As I matured, I learned about three distinctions of the End Time theology. There is unanimity in the belief that Jesus Christ will return to earth one day and reign as King for a period of time beyond time. The discrepancy lies in the timing. Some Biblical scholars define two separate events, the rapture and the Second Coming of Christ. Others say there is but one major event remaining for those who follow Christ, all-inclusive. The primary scripture concerning “End Times” is this:
 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.  For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.  For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.  Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.  Therefore comfort one another with these words. [1 Thess. 4:14-18] (underline mine)
The three options for the timing of the “rapture” are:
- Pre-trib: This theory allows that Believers-in-Christ will be “called away” (and disappear) prior to a time of great tribulation on earth, and then when the dust settles, Christ returns to earth with those whom He called away prior, and together they rule.
- Mid-trib: In this case, Believers must endure half of the prescribed Tribulation, and then be “raptured.” Again, after the Tribulation, Christ returns to establish His Kingdom on earth with those who belong to Him.
- Post-trib: In this theory, the Believers and non-Believers alike must endure the unimaginable hardships prescribed in the Book of Revelation. At the end of which, the trumpet shall sound, and the Lord shall descend to earth to rule and reign.
The Great Tribulation encompasses a future seven (literal or figurative) year period when God will complete his discipline of Israel and final judgment upon the unbelieving citizens of the world. This great testing is meant to draw many back to the God of their youth, the God they once knew but grew apart from under life’s cares.
Many people through the centuries have attempted to figure the day and time of Christ’s return. It cannot be done, at least, that is what the Bible says. “And He [Jesus] said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in His own power.” (Acts 1:7) Yet, it is the nature of man, I suppose, to try to determine and apprehend the mind of God. If that could be accomplished, I would want no part of it. I have no need for a God that fits in my mind.
Some believe a horrible testing is coming to America. The deep, deep turmoil not only in the United States, but globally, is somewhat unnerving, for sure. The breadth and depth of the dramatic, yet gradual rise in sinister malevolence in America extends far beyond mere human capability. The growth of brutal Islam, the decline of morality, and respondent rise in amorality and anarchy mixed with the current political and economic imbalances make the world ripe for global One-World salvation lead by the Anti-Christ (whomever that might be). Many other signs are in agreement with “End Times” indicators. (Check links below for more information.)
I never really dug deeply into the course “End Times” might take, and how it might present itself to those living at the time. I figured, if my life was lined up, as best I can manage, with my comprehension of the Bible and who I know Jesus to be, somehow He would get me through any “tribulation” that happened my way. Do with this information whatever you choose. Think what you will.
The evil that is spreading across the globe is NOT politically motivated. It is too enormous for any one or any group to organize. It is too well planned and well implemented to be government run. Like it or not, it is EVIL … unleashed from the bowels of the earth … for such a time as this. I do not have all the answers, but I am in touch with the only ONE who IS the Answer! Are you?
God is Love, and everything He does is motivated by the strongest, most enduring, most pure love you and I can possible imagine, and if He wants to test me further … He holds my hand wherever we go! No Matter What! And I’m no better than you! Not talking about the local church or synagogue. I’m talking about Jesus, the Christ.