Nebraska, WWI and the Rapture
Vol: 36 Issue: 22 Wednesday, September 22, 2004
Probably the question most prophecy teachers hear the most often is, When do you think the Rapture will happen? The smart ones will remember the Words of Jesus that no man knoweth the day or the hour but that we WOULD know when it was near, even at the door.
The signs of the times are all around us, but the most potent sign is the one few Christians look to for theological answers the world itself.
By way of explanation, consider the following scenario carefully. Imagine a 12 year old Nebraska farm boy working his father s farm in 1904. He has probably gotten all the education he can hope for, and is working full time on the farm.
He has never seen an automobile, probably never heard of one, and the Wright brothers have yet to prove their theory of heavier-than-air powered flight.
Now, skip ahead to 1924. Our Nebraska farm boy is now in his early thirties. A veteran of the first global total warfare in history, he s traveled to Europe, seen airplanes deployed in combat, come home to find a job in the city to help him pay for his new Model T Ford.
In 1904, radio was unheard of. In 1924, radio entertainment was an industry unto itself. The farm boy who had never heard of electric lights or indoor plumbing is now a sophisticated city dweller with both, plus a Model-T Ford parked nearby.
A lot can happen in twenty years.
Now we fast forward 100 years to 2004. We live in an age of instant communications, global networking, computers and virtually unlimited access to information. At the moment, there are some forty countries who have or are developing nuclear technology.
Chemical weapons of mass destruction can be manufactured by a novice chemist using an apartment kitchen as a laboratory. Most of the belligerents in the Middle East have some form of WMD in their arsenal, whether chemical, biological, or nuclear.
Most of those belligerents are also sympathetic to the Islamic terrorists who have declared jihad to the death with the Western democracies, principally, the United States.
We have been promised by our leaders that the current war against terror will be long and costly.
Now, following the pattern of 100 years ago, we fast forward twenty years to 2024. Given all that computers are capable of, and all that the terror network formed against us plans to use against us, the picture twenty years from now, from a secular political perspective, demands only one of two outcomes.
Either it is a world at peace, or it is a world devoid of inhabitants. Science, technology, history and politics all point to exactly that conclusion. In twenty years, the terrorists won t be armed with Soviet-era RPGs. They will be armed with the most sophisticated and deadly weaponry that will be available on the high-tech market twenty years from now. (Twenty years ago, a PC was an expensive, but unnecessary novelty)
So, unless we wipe out everybody who hates us (an unlikely scenario), or we make peace with everybody (terrorists included) who have access to WMD (40 countries and counting) then the only logical conclusion to draw is that the unimaginable weaponry that will be available between now and 2024 will be deployed against SOMEBODY, who will respond in kind, which will involve other allies, who will be forced to take sides, which is precisely what started the first war to end all wars in 1914.
Those are the only two possibilities imaginable, taken from the secular political perspective, given the information available and the various possibilities.
World peace or global annihilation.
The Bible doesn t say when the Rapture will occur. It says we will know when it is near, even, at the door. And we know that Jesus said of the Tribulation Period which follows the Rapture, that the destruction and death will be so great that, if the days be not shortened, there should be no flesh saved.
Logical secular analysis suggests either an historically elusive and seemingly impossible world peace that will result in the destruction of these weapons, or the historically probable global war that will result in their deployment. And it is impossible to imagine that if we don t achieve one, we are doomed to face the other, as certainly as our 1904 Nebraska farm boy.
Except that we live in a world where 19 guys with box cutters can destroy two 110 story buildings and kill 3000 people, all by themselves.
Now we return to the central question of the timing of the Rapture. I don t know the day or the hour, but I know the odds that we will achieve world peace, keep weapons of mass destruction out of the hands of terrorists and avoid total war with the Islamic world in the next twenty years.
And, unless we do all that, if the Rapture hasn t already happened, there will be nobody left to Rapture.
And when these things BEGIN to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh. (Luke 21:28)