US Elections and End of the World?

This week’s US election results do not mean the end of the world. That’s faulty theology. 

End of the World

I had a friend tell me again this week that we are “in the Last Days” – meaning the soon coming end of the world. As a Christian, he means that “Armageddon” is just around the corner, “as it says in the Book of Revelation,” he stated.

My friend was upset about this past week’s US elections

As I have Christian friends that are Democrats and Republicans, I believe both parties have reasons to celebrate and bemoan the election results.

Not the End of the World
But no, this week’s US election results do not mean the end of the world. That’s faulty theology. At a minimum, the results are but another round of western civilized society trying to exercise a fair process of freedom and self-determination as dictated by its own laws and dictates.

In our case, the US Constitution and federal and state laws.

Laws that have their inspirational origin in Judeo/Christian Scriptures; that is, the Bible. In the second book of the Old Testament, Exodus, Moses’ father-in-law, a God-fearing man named Jethro, advises Moses on effective management of civil disputes:

Moreover, look for able men from all the people, men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe, and place such men over the people as chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. And let them judge the people at all times. Every great matter they shall bring to you, but any small matter they shall decide themselves. So it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you. If you do this, God will direct you, you will be able to endure, and all this people also will go to their place in peace.” (Exodus 18:21-23)

Later in the Bible’s fifth book, Deuteronomy, this concept is formalized with the appointment of judges and civic officials:

Appoint judges and officials for each of your tribes in every town the Lord your God is giving you, and they shall judge the people fairly. Do not pervert justice or show partiality. Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the innocent. (Deuteronomy 16:18)

Even deeper into the Old Testament, the prophet Isaiah calls out the kings and civic leaders who have become corrupted. The people too are indicted for their role in selecting leaders: 

See how the faithful city has become a prostitute! She once was full of justice; righteousness used to dwell in her – but now murderers! Your silver has become dross, your choice wine is diluted with water. Your rulers are rebels, partners with thieves; they all love bribes and chase after gifts. They do not defend the cause of the fatherless; the widow’s case does not come before them. (Isaiah 1:21-23)

While the US is not a theocracy, there are parallels. In our republic of united states governed as a representative democracy under the laws of our Constitution, the people bear responsibility for the good and wicked policies established by our leaders.

Yes, our leaders are a reflection of ourselves and our own desires. So, at least in a free nation, we are able through fair elections to remove leaders we wish to boot out.

Faulty Theology?
But on a separate and I believe related issue, why do so many Christians, in the context of political and social upheaval, lament the “sign of the times” and claim that these are the Last Days? I believe it stems from a particular false teaching initiated into the US by Englishman John Nelson Darby over 200 years ago in 1830.1  As the Father of Dispensationalism, Darby’s influence has been extended into our modern era through influential leaders, institutions, and authors – C.I. Scofield, Dwight L. Moody, Charles Ryrie, John Wolvoord, Dallas Theological Seminary, Moody Institute, Chuck Smith, Hal Lindsey (Late Great Planet Earth), Tim Lahaye and Jerry Jenkins (The Left Behind Series), to name only a few.

Why does it even matter? I believe it matters because false teaching here promotes false hopes and leads to misaligned objectives and engagement in the world as the Christian Church.

Here is a summary of Dispensationalist views: Past and fading elements of this false teaching purports various historical eras or dispensations. No big deal. However, more popular over the past 50 years is its Futurist view that fulfilled prophecy awaits fulfillment in our current day, specifically in a literal interpretation of the Book of Revelation, and belief that the 70th week (7-year period) mentioned in Daniel chapter 9 will occur in the future (someday soon!), along with the appearance of an Antichrist political figure who desecrates or conducts some type of abomination in the rebuilt Jewish temple. Also, either before, during, or after this period, Jesus will come again and take away, or Rapture, the Christian church, to heaven. They will thus miss the destruction of the world in a final battle of Armageddon. This teaching also holds that there is a distinction between the Church and Israel, and that two-thirds of the Jews in Jerusalem will be killed in a modern-day holocaust ushered in by the Antichrist and his armies. There also includes a 1000-year or millennium reign by Christ on earth.2

So What’s True?
Frankly, none of the above is true or supported by Scripture. You’ll find the teaching to be weak and convoluted. Try this test:  Ask any Christian what they believe about End Times or Last Days, as supposedly espoused by modern Christianity. Then ask them to cite the Bible chapter and verse that supports their premise. They will most likely not be able to clearly articulate any portion of these Dispensationalist beliefs they hold so dear. They will certainly not be able to show any Biblical substantiation of these views.

They simply recite what they have heard from a pastor or friend or read outside the Bible.

Now add in modern political power plays, global wars, economic and societal disarray or decline, and anti-Christian sentiments, and the recipe is ripe for many Christians to check out and long for some Biblical escape hatch from this late great planet earth.

Some might not even care to vote anymore. “Why bother,” some Christians may say, “when the world is going to hell in a handbasket? And we’re not going to be around anyway!”

But Jesus didn’t instruct us to be complacent, or ignorant.

Here’s my own point of view which I’ll break down in further detail in upcoming posts:

  • In His Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24, Jesus predicts His Coming in Judgment against the Great City (Harlot) Jerusalem who kill their Messiah. The language Jesus uses harkens back to the prophet Daniel. The religious leaders knew exactly what He was talking about.
  • The punishment for “this Jewish generation” (within 40 years, not 2000 years later) is to be burned and stoned to death, which it was by the Romans in AD 70. Josephus the Jewish historian, estimates that 1.1 million Jews died in the city and surrounding areas during that holocaust.
  • The Book of Revelation, written by John before AD 70, was the warning and prophetic word describing the indictment, sentencing, and horrific execution of punishment on guilty Israel.
  • This is the consummation of the Jewish Age of sacrifices; the end of their world.
  • The early Christians are the ones who heeded the warnings of Jesus and John and got out of the city when the Romans started to surround it and begin their siege and their final Armageddon attack.
  • The temple was forever destroyed. No need for further sacrifice (see Book of Hebrews in the New Testament), Christ put an end to that – He was the ultimate sacrifice which satisfied the wrath of God against all mankind. 
  • As for Daniel’s 70th week, the whole contiguous 70 weeks (7-year periods or 490 years) was from the time of King Artaxerxes’ (of Persia) decree to Ezra in 457 BC to AD 33 when after Christ’s death, resurrection, the Holy Spirit’s launch at Pentecost, and the teachings by Peter and Paul opened up of the Christian Gospel to the world of Gentiles, no longer to only one chosen people.
  • The Jewish era was finished (Daniel’s desolation decreed) and now Christianity and the Church was for everyone across all nations.
  • All are to be discipled. The kingdom of God is then, and now, and the future, announced by John the Baptist, ushered in by Jesus and the Holy Spirit, and through which Jesus rules the world (metaphorically for 1000 years – a long time) through His Church.
  • The real end comes only when God’s final judgment ushers in eternity. Could be tomorrow or could be hundreds or thousands of years from now.

All of the above aligns with Scripture. The implications are profound for living productive lives today engaged as active lights in a dark world that needs the light and love of God.

Do you value elections? Do you value your future and impact? 
_______________________________
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. – I Timothy 2:1-2

1. Who Was John Nelson Darby? by Got Answers, https://www.gotquestions.org/John-Nelson-Darby.html.

2. For more on Dispensationalism, read Dispensational Theology, by Michael J. Vlach, TGC, The Gospel Coalition, https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/essay/dispensational-theology/.



Categories: Abundant Living, Calling, Church, Covid, Creation, Devotion, Discipleship, End Times, Evidence, Evil, Faith, Family, Fathering, Israel, Jesus, Manhood, Marketplace, Marriage, Old Testament, Parenting, Prayer, Prophecy, Purpose, The Church

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