By Jan Markell
Scoffing has hit a whole new level but be of good cheer, it means the hour is very late.
If you have perused headlines recently, or watched a TV news hour, you are stunned at what's going on. I am every morning as I post headlines here. I let them sink in and I shake my head. When has the world been in this much chaos? When have people been this unhappy, confused, addicted, pagan, angry and tuned out?
So Hollywood is making the apocalypse a joke in two movies:This is the End and Rapture Palooza. The latter features a scene where Jesus is blown out of the sky as He returns in His Second Coming. It doesn't get any more outrageous. (What if a movie shot Mohammed or Allah out of the sky?!) And one movie critic states, "Satan, God, and Jesus are ultimately killed, leaving non-believers to live in peace."
Well, not quite because that's not the way it will happen. And if "the end" plays out sooner rather than later, the producers of such nonsense will not be laughing for long.
Sadly, it's not just the pagans doing the mocking and scoffing, however. Many Christians, churches, and even entire denominations have similar attitudes. And while they are hardly as offensive, the end result is similar.
When Rick Warren's Purpose Driven Life came in years ago, I was turned off by his scoffing at the Lord's return and the topic of prophecy. On pages 285-286, he suggested that Jesus said His return was none of our business.
Excuse me. It's almost one-third of the Bible! Warren suggests that considering it might get in the way of our purpose.
Two things define eschatology in the church today: Ignorance or apathy. People will tell you it will all play out as it is predicted but in the meantime, enjoy life. Or church leaders will tell you it is divisive and controversial. This is just another manner of scoffing. It's nowhere near as offensive as the above-referenced Hollywood movies, but the result is the same. There is a giant turn-off.
We scoff at eschatology (Bible prophecy) by ignoring the warnings that are a part of it. Haven't you heard: All of the previous warnings have been false alarms so why should we pay attention to any of them now? Jesus will get here when He gets here. Settle down. What's there to get so excited about? You end-time people are so negative! The sky is always falling for you people. Come on. Beasts coming out of the sea, plagues, famines, hail and an evil man called the Antichrist. Can we move on to good news? The stock market is doing super well! Don't talk to me about bad times and rough sailing ahead! My 401K has never done better.
We scoff with our apathy. Our unbelief. Our doubt. Our skepticism. Our boredom of the topic. Our disgust. Our prophecy fatigue. We've heard this story over and over since Hal Lindsey made the complicated plain over 40 years ago. No, we aren't radicals like the producers of the sickening films mentioned who literally glorify the Antichrist and assassinate Jesus Christ in their productions.
But we are still scoffers. And we are oh so busy. We are running to and fro and we are trying to keep our ducks in a row and some day when they are all lined up perfectly, we'll sit down and ponder His return. Maybe happy days will be here again this side of Heaven!
We go to marriage seminars, financial seminars, how to manage kids' seminars but please spare us from an end-time focus. Boring. Depressing. Scary. We want to go to Heaven some day but maybe not right now!
One reviewer says about the This is The End flick, "When the apocalypse literally sets the world on fire, and the good people ascend to heaven while the not-so-good people are destroyed in gruesome fashion, one young star is stunned to learn there really is an afterlife, and a God, and all that." The movie actually has an "aha moment." It resonates with some truth although it was likely unintended.
But that comment says it all. Some day wicked mankind will realize that what the Bible predicted actually will happen and there will be consequences. There is a surprise ending for the unsuspecting.
Life on earth during the very end-of-days won't be a series of silly escapades as portrayed in the Rapture Palooza andThis is The End movies.
In one of them, the Rapture happened and millions are left to cope with plagues of trash-talking locusts, foul-mouthed crows, rains of blood, and fiery rocks from the sky, all preparations for the return of Jesus. The cast can relish in the fact that the world is a lot less crowded but the fact is, when this day actually transpires, no one left behind will even have a smile on their face.
The Bible contains detailed prophecies about the end times we are living in, and there is just no way to fully understand much of what is happening today apart from those prophecies. From the meltdown in Egypt to the surveillance of Americans who thought they were safe and secure, only an end-of-days scenario can connect the dots and make things make perfect sense.
We can scoff at the scoffers and hold our heads high as we look up. We have the most marvelous news known to man. The King is coming and no cannon will shoot Him out of the sky!
He'll be here right on time. It will be in God's timing and not ours.
Parting thought: I wanted to put a different title for this article in the subject line: What if They Shot Allah Out of the Sky? I chose not to risk a Web site hacking for doing that as that has happened to this ministry numerous times. But I hear very little blow back from Hollywood blowing Jesus out of the sky with a quick clip of him lying next to his dead white horse in Rapture Palooza.Parting thought: I wanted to put a different title for this article in the subject line: What if They Shot Allah Out of the Sky? I chose not to risk a Web site hacking for doing that as that has happened to this ministry numerous times. But I hear very little blow back from Hollywood blowing Jesus out of the sky with a quick clip of him lying next to his dead white horse in Rapture Palooza.