Tag Archives: Israel

TEOTWAWKI . . . Redux

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People might not agree with him, but I’ve never heard anyone call him anything but a good man.

I have a confession to make. Actually, I’ve made it before, but I’ve picked up a lot of followers since then and recent events plus the date have brought this heavily to my mind once again. Some of y’all that I’ve picked up will read this and dismiss me as kooky and probably never read anything I write again. Well, it’s seventeen months from an event I lived my life believing would never occur, so I’ve got to get this off my chest and I guess the chips will fall where they may.

Until October 16, 2006, I was completely, unshakably convinced I would never die — honestly, hand to Heaven, absolutely no joke.

Not only was I certain I would never die, I was JUST as certain Mama, Papa John, and many of my believing friends and family would never taste death either. Standing in front of Papa John’s casket in a driving rain on October 18, 2006 but a huge crack in my uncrackable faith; standing in front of my Mama’s casket on a beautiful, crisp spring morning seventeen months ago shattered it altogether. I am mortal, Budge is mortal, and all my friends I never expected to see buried are mortal.

The reason for my crystal clarity on the matter of my de facto immortality is twofold and one of those reasons I am not prepared to discuss, and may never discuss here or anywhere else, but the second suffices — Mama raised me believing and expecting the Rapture of the Church. Quite simply, Papa, Mama, and I were never going to die because we — and all other believers — were going to be taken up bodily to Heaven to ride out the coming Great Tribulation before our return with Jesus Christ as part of Heaven’s army at the climactic moment of the Battle of Armageddon. I wasn’t going to die. I was going to watch Jesus deal a death-blow to the Antichrist and usher in the Millennial Reign of Christ on Earth.

At one time, I was just as unshakably certain of this as I am now that the Sun will rise in the east and set in the west tomorrow. That is to say, I took it as a matter of course. I couldn’t get my mind around how anyone WOULDN’T believe Jesus was going to take His Church at any second. Then the massively successful Left Behind series of 16 novels came out and all of a sudden, people were talking about what I had believed for certain all my life on Oprah and the Today Show with Katie Couric. The Last Days were the hottest topic of conversation around for a while. Those books closely mirror what I learned as a child and what my own Bible study convinced me of further as an adult.

This series is pretty close to the doctrine I learned growing up.

Then Papa died. Then Mama died. I wasn’t crystal clear on ANYTHING anymore, much less the imminent return of Jesus. Those were black, black days and their shadow and chill haven’t completely left me even now. Some days even now, it’s all I can do to hold on to ANY faith in anything.

I didn’t think about the Rapture anymore. The church I attend now does not stress or teach on the Last Days because our two teaching pastors are diametrically opposed to each other in their views on eschatology (fancy word for “study of the last thing). Good, conservative thinking, Bible-believing Christian people have several opinions on the matter. It’s a big deal and when I was younger, I studied it religiously (no pun intended). I devoured every book on end times I could find and believe me, there’s a lot written. Then, I just stopped because it didn’t seem important anymore with Papa, and especially Mama, dead.

This evening, however, Budge found and read an article to me with the headline “Billy Graham Sounds Alarm for Second Coming.” That got my attention because Reverend Billy Graham is the real deal. The man is 95 years old; he’s been preaching crusades across the world for over SEVENTY YEARS — and his televised crusades were the ONLY thing Papa Wham would switch a Braves game for — in all that time no one has dug up the first speck of dirt on him and don’t think they haven’t tried. No women, no drug use, no money schemes, NOTHING. Seventy years and he’s squeaky clean.

The article took me aback because in all the years I’ve listened to Dr. Graham speak and preach, I’ve never known him to weigh in on End Times. I figured he probably had solid beliefs, but his message was always more about getting people saved than about a heavy theological topic like eschatology. He never mentions it in either of his biographies or in any other writing I can find he’s done. So what? Well, he’s 95 and preachers with that many miles on them don’t usually start making up stuff. If HE is seeing clear signs of the end of days enough that he wants to go on record about it, maybe it’s time to look around a little.

I’m going to set this plane down now by saying I know this isn’t one of my better pieces, but quite honestly, looking at current events and reading the Bible and listening to what other people are saying . . . well, I can’t help but wonder. Most of the major end time prophecies and theories revolve around the Middle East, specifically Israel. In fact, a great many prophecy scholars point to May 15, 1948 as the moment the End Time clock started ticking — Israel, after 2000 years of wandering, became a nation again and with the way Syria is going . . . and Russia (yes, I know Russia isn’t in the Middle East, but Google “Gog and Magog) and things just start looking, I don’t know . . . plausible?

Anyway, I Love y’all, and keep those feet clean!

 

 

What If They’re Right?

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Religious Subject Matter Disclaimer: My atheist and agnostic readers might want to skip this post since I realize many view me as a nut job or fanatic for discussing something as “archaic” as “Christianity” but think of me what you will; my motto has always been “Better to be hated for who you are than loved for who you’re not.”

Egypt’s new President, Mohamed Morsi. How will his election affect the Middle East and beyond?

I was raised Pentecostal and steeped in the hope of the imminent Rapture of the saints and return of Jesus Christ to Earth to judge the quick and the dead. I was a devoted student of prophecy to the point that I honestly never figured my loved ones nor I would die because we would be “caught away” to spend seven years in Heaven while the Great Tribulation raged down here on Earth under the command of the Antichrist.

Well, times of personal tribulation proved to me all my loved ones will not be in the Rapture — most of them have already gone by the grave. Same destination, just a different bus. In any event, my present church doesn’t emphasize prophecy or eschatology the way my former church did so I haven’t kept up with every website and article like I used to. Still some events earlier this week touched off my prophecy radar more strongly than anything has since the 9-11-01 attacks had so many of my colleagues buzzing about the end of times. The event that sent me checking up on some old sources was the election of Mohamed Morsi as the new President of Egypt.

So what? Why would one election in the midst of a slew of revolutions and general political upheaval in a traditionally volatile Middle East cause me to sit up and take notice? One simple reason: Mohamed Morsi is also one of the highest ranking members of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Muslim Brotherhood is the granddaddy of all Pan-Islamic movements. Its mission statement, according to the MB English language website is

“God is our objective; the Quran is our law, the Prophet is our leader; Jihad is our way; and death for the sake of God is the highest of our aspirations.”

Three goals of the Brotherhood are: 1) Installation of Shari’ah (Islamic religious law) as the CIVIL legal system 2) Unification of all Islamic Arab states under the banner of Allah and 3) Liberation from foreign (read Western) imperialism.  Again . . . so what? You may be wondering, “Dude, why does this concern you at all? What’s Egypt got to do with anything?” Well, it’s not Egypt necessarily that I’m thinking about. I’m thinking about Israel.

Since the 1978 Camp David Peace Accords, Egypt and Israel have been at peace. Understand that from 1948 until 1978, the two nations were at one another’s throats and fought four serious conflicts: The Israeli War of Independence, The Suez Crisis, The Six Day War, and The Yom Kippur War. The enmity between these two nations goes all the way back to Genesis. Egypt was Israel’s bitterest enemy for 6,000 years. Now, however, Egypt is the ONLY Arab nation that recognizes Israel as a nation having the right to exist.

What worries me is new President Morsi — despite calming words to the contrary — will eventually renege on the Camp David treaty. You have to realize just how badly the Arab nations HATE Israel. I won’t get into the 6,000 year history of blood and fire between Arab and Jew, but NO member of the Muslim Brotherhood is going to stand for peace with Israel indefinitely. The rest of the organization won’t let him, and if Egypt breaks the treaty with Israel, that little nation will once again be surrounded on all sides by water and hostile nations. Israel will be backed into a very tight corner and since 1948, backing Israel into a corner has NOT turned out well for the attacking nations.

This is how Israel responds to being backed into a corner.

So here’s what all this means. The Middle East is a tinderbox in the best of times. Israel’s existence is the main catalyst for the friction. The United States is Israel’s ONLY consistent ally and we’ve cooled towards her significantly over the last few years. If Egypt turns on Israel, it will be a matter of WHEN, not IF the Arab countries invade Israel just as they did in 1973. War will engulf the Middle East and the United States will NOT intervene for one simple reason . . . the Samson Protocol.

It is the worst kept secret in the world that Israel, thanks to the French and Mossad, has full nuclear weapons capability. Make no mistake, Israel will NOT give up one inch of her land. Before she will admit defeat, she will initiate the Samson Option and threaten to use medium range ballistic missiles to turn every Arab capital from Riyadh to Cairo into smoking glass parking lots. Then, things get real ugly. Russia jumps up in anger, China comes in . . . it’s all just a mess until one voice speaks up.

Nobody knows who he is or where he will come from. Ignore anyone who tells you differently. Whoever he . . . or maybe she . . . is will step up with a plan and — somehow or another — accomplish what NO ONE ELSE in history has been able to do: bring total peace to the Middle East. This person is the Antichrist prophesied by Daniel and John the Revelator. He will take over the world THROUGH PEACE. It’ll be a false peace, but peace nonetheless.

Now I realize it may seem farfetched to think that one Egyptian presidential election is going to directly usher in the reign of the Antichrist, but if you buy into Pre-Tribulation, Pre-Millenialism views of the Last Days, SOMETHING has to touch off everything . . . why not this? If you wonder what Pre-Trib, Pre-Mill means, read or look up synopses of the Left Behind series of books by Tim LaHaye and Terry Jenkins.

You know, this may all be smoke and mirrors in my mind. I don’t know. I have several very intelligent pastor friends who think Pre-Trib, Pre-Mill is a complete butchering of Biblical interpretation. I can’t completely answer that. What I can say is this: the US is waning in influence, Europe is in chaos, China is on the rise, the ice caps are melting AND December 21, 2012 is just around the corner. To quote Billy Joel, “You may be right; I may be crazy,” but just humor me and ask yourself one thing . . .

What if They’re Right?

Love y’all. Keep those feet clean and get your burquas washed.