Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Jack Kinsella - Omega Letter Editor
If you are a Christian, and you believe that Bible prophecy is being fulfilled in this generation, then you are probably the oddball in your church.
TEOTWAWKI is an acronym coined by some skeptic as the short-form description for those poor misguided individuals that believe we are facing "The End Of The World As We Know It" - TEOTWAWKI.
But the acronym doesn't just apply to a small segment of Christianity -- it is shared by some humanists, secular futurists, scientists, fiction-writers, Muslims, Jews, Rastafarians, Zoroastrians, Buddhits, Hindus, the Baha'i and several Native American tribal religions, including those of the Hopi, Lakota, and Mayans.
Hollywood now has a film genre that revolves around the concept of TEOTWAWKI, in some cases, religious, in most, man-made, but all dealing with the same subject.
From the "Omen" trilogy to the "Seventh Sign", "Rosemary's Baby" Arnold Swartzeneggar's "End of Days" and 1991's Christ-bashing "The Rapture" to the apocalyptic series, "Mad Maxx" TEOTWAWKI has been a consistent box office winner.
The one thing that all the views share is the belief that this event will take place sometime during this generation.
Among religious Jews in Israel, the Messianic expectation is expressed by banners and signs festooning Israel welcoming the Messiah. In keeping with Messianic expectations in this generation, the Jewish Sanhedrin was reconstituted after sixteen hundred years of dormancy.
The reconstitution of the Sanhedrin was considered a religious necessity because only the Sanhedrin can certify the Messiah and anoint Him with oil as provided for by Daniel 9:24 -- ("anoint the most Holy").
Islam believes that TEOTWAWKI will begin with a massive all-out Muslim assault on the non-Muslim world. That war will spark the return of the 12 Imam (the Mahdi) who will lead the Muslim forces to victory, institute Islamic rule on the whole world, and usher in a period of Islamic peace and harmony.
Humanists, environmentalists and secular scientists have also developed an apocalyptic worldview as scientific knowledge continues to increase at exponential levels.
The humanists envision a nuclear apocalypse as a consequence of war between nations. They preach globalism and the elimination of the nation-state as the only prescription for humanity's survival and preach the UN as savior of the world.
Environmentalists forecast impending doom as a consequence of human damage done to the planet by its mere existence. They preach that man is a cancer on the earth and that cancer must be slowed or stopped by limiting human activity and production. Only global intervention can save mankind and they preach the UN as savior of the world.
Secular astrological scientists are combing the known universe for an impending asteroid strike that will destroy all life on earth. Scientists estimate that there is between one chance in 1,000 and one chance in 10,000 that a "doomsday" asteroid collision will head towards earth during the 21st century.
A web site maintained by the University of Pisa in Italy collates the latest information. H. Ja Melosh and Gareth Collins have placed a computer program online that estimates:
"... the regional environmental consequences of an impact on Earth. This program will estimate the ejecta distribution, ground shaking, atmospheric blast wave, and thermal effects of an impact as well as the size of the crater produced."
Those are some pretty serious calculations, given that there is no more reason to believe a Doomsday Strike in this generation than there was in 622 or 1492 or 1611 or 1945.
But they've calculated odds of a Doomsday Strike in the immediate future as more likely than the odds you will become the victim of a traffic fatality, or dying of lung cancer in any given year.
They preach global cooperation in searching out the threat and an international effort to devise ways to deflect or destroy it in time to save the planet. They see science as the savior of mankind.
Then there is the Gamma Ray Burst Theory. A gamma ray 'burst' occurs, according to the theory, when a massive star collapses and forms a black hole.
It produces a burst of radiation equal to five times the width of the Milky Way that would fry all known forms of life within its path.
In that scenario, it is simply Doomsday without reprieve.
Before moving on, take note of something. There are several common threads interwoven through these various scenarios that need tying together.
Note that all these doomsday predictions are faith-based. Faith in globalism, faith in man's own ability, faith in internationalism, faith in science. Note that all require a savior.
Which is why, of all the various cosmic doomsday theories, the 'Burst' theory is the least often discussed.
Everybody shares the same instinctive sense of the times, whether secular, humanist, religious or scientific. You never have to crack a Bible to know in your heart that humanity's clock is winding down. It's hard NOT to notice.
This instinctive understanding that this is the generation of TEOTWAWKI is like an elephant in the living room that nobody wants to talk about, but can't quite ignore. No matter how hard you try to look around it, it's still there.
All of these various perspectives see almost the same outcome; an existential threat to humanity that, barring the intervention of a savior, will bring about Doomsday at some time in the not too distant future.
Does this sound familiar? Not one of these theories discussed above has its roots in the New Testament. These are secular assessments derived from collating all the known variables as they become known and calculating the probabilities. But they all point to the end result, and all follow the same formula: Judgment is coming, mankind needs a savior, or all is lost.
That is EXACTLY what Jesus preached 2,000 years ago. The exact same formula with the exact same conclusion being reached by the secular world today. But He uniquely named Himself as the Savior to those who put their faith in Him, so nothing is lost.
Time for a "chicken or the egg?" examination here. The Bible predicted the exact same signs that would come into focus during one generation, somewhere in time, thousands of years in advance.
The exact same signs, the exact same universal sense of impending doom, the same universal need for a savior, the same faith in a 'strong delusion' -- all to come upon a single generation. But the Bible said it long before science started to 'discover' it.
"And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;" Jesus predicted, covering everything from asteroids to gamma rays to global warming, including the sudden sense of urgency causing both the distress and perplexity in a single sentence.
Then He gets into some of the specifics of both the cause and effect, saying, "Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken." (Luke 21:25,26)
The Bible foresaw the same formula, the same sense of doomsday, the same global outcry for a savior, coupled with a global rejection of God, the same source of destruction (the powers of heaven) -- and pinpointed it to a single generation in history.
"For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. . . We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts." (2nd Peter 1:16,19)
The conclusion is inescapable.
"Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled." (Luke 21:26)
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