An Invitation to Armageddon

An Invitation to Armageddon

Revisited

Robert Wurtz II

For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. (Matthew 24:7 NKJV)

Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. (Matthew 24:9-12)

Matthew 24 is typically viewed as a passage about end-time events, or what theologians call eschatology (from the Greek eskhatos meaning “last things”). The idea is that the closer we are to the end of the age the more evil and godless society is going to be. The sobering thing is that many end-time things were prophesied over 2000 years ago and are as real today as if they were just penned. In fact, when Jesus said that nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom nation is the Greek ethnos from which we get our English word ethnic. We could read this, “Ethnic group shall rise against ethnic group…” On the very date of this publication, a simple internet news search yielded this headline as the number two search result, The Latest: Threat of ethnic violence looms in Nairobi slum.” We are seeing it in America increasing over the last several years. What is happening?

It is simple, the further people get from God’s word and His influence, the more wicked and evil they become. It is axiomatic. They can do no other. As men dismiss God and His rule from their minds; when they no longer have God’s word as the primary variable under which they make decisions; unbridled evil is always the result. (Jeremiah 6:28-30, Romans 1:26-30) By way of analogy, the influence of God is waning in the world like the battery that runs down on a cell phone. If the phone is used more than it’s charged the battery will get weaker and weaker until it finally switches off. In the case of this present world, as God’s influence becomes less and less — it won’t switch off — it will blow up. It will come front and center into what we read about in Matthew 24 and the book of Revelation. The only thing that can turn the tide of this progress is for God and His word to be more of an influence and not less. 

   

If the people who hate God could have their way and He be purged from society — they would not like the world they would be living in. We have had a couple of great awakenings in America and many revivals. These have kept the lid on things (so to speak). Yet in the 1960s rebellion against God reached a fever pitch and we have been on a slide (like no other) ever since.


Abraham Lincoln once said that “the philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.” So it has been in the West. Multitudes of God-hating professors and teachers have taught children against God in unconscionable ways. They grew up and brought forth another fresh crop of God-haters. They probably thought they were winning, but now, in the 21st century, the world is sitting on top of an apocalyptic powder keg. The world will self-destruct without the influence of God.


The “seismic activity” (as it were) that we read in the news every day is indicative of an eruption that seems inevitable. Like a volcano with hot pools of lava swelling under the surface — society is readying itself to explode at any time. If God were to take His hand completely off of this world, we would be plunged into fire and blood in ways unknown in human history. The warfare bloodbaths of the early 20th century, that witnessed the deaths of some 100,000,000 people worldwide, would be mere skirmishes compared to the bloodshed the 21st century will experience without God’s restraining hand. 

God’s Restraining Influences

God declared in Genesis 6:3 that He would not always strive with man, but that His days (of striving) would be 120 years. God’s striving is like a tether — restraining the full expression of evil that fallen men are capable of (Galatians 5:19-21). The Hebrew word for strive in Genesis 6:3 carries the meaning of sailing straight. God works to thwart the expression of man’s evil thoughts and intentions. In fact, God is striving with the very nature of Satan himself, who is working to a greater or lesser degree in all unregenerate people (Ephesians 2:2). 


Satan has been a murderer since the beginning (John 8:44). He enjoys bloodshed. As people resist God and yield more to Satan, they become more like him. They are his children and manifest his nature. Indeed, men become Satan’s slaves to an increasing degree as they resist God. We can see plainly that people are becoming more and more murderous and hateful as society drifts away from God. God is love. Satan is a murderer. Men determine (by who they yield themselves to) who they will ultimately reflect and become like. 

The Holy Spirit Strives With Man

God strives with man to limit his or her iniquity. The word iniquity simply means lawlessness. This does not mean lawless towards man’s law — but God’s natural Law. First, the masses are rebelling against the very law that God has written upon all men’s hearts increasingly by the day. They reject the light of conscience. Their hearts are hardened and in many cases, they are past feeling (they are numb to their conscience) This is where the Church (comprised of the regenerate) must step in. With confusion rife, God has called Christians to be salt and light. In other words, we know that iniquity is going to spread like gangrene though this present evil world, but God has established the Church to be a light in the darkness and salt to help slow the festering wound. The Church should be a serious impediment to the spread of evil. Otherwise, we are worthless for the task and are nothing more than impotent dust that the world treads under their feet. Light is anathema to a person who loves darkness and salt is painful to an open wound. However, we are called to a task and God expects us to do it.

We are on the Road towards Genesis 6. People love their lawless ways but they have no idea about what the consequences are going to be — not just in this world but in the world to come. There is a great effort to rewrite right and wrong on all levels. Satan is doing everything he can to corrupt mankind with all kinds of sexually related sins. Drugs that used to be illegal are slowly being legalized until the day may come when people can buy Opiates at the same liquor store that sells booze and cigarettes. It seems insane now — but so did same-sex marriage thirty years ago. No telling what diabolical wickedness we will face next. God’s word forbids certain behaviors (in one sense) because of the destruction they cause. Do we really want to live in a world where it’s legal to get bombed out of your mind with drugs as people do with alcohol? 

God’s law can be summed up by one word: love. Men are to love God with all of their heart, soul, mind and strength and their neighbor as themselves (Luke 10:27). Take away God’s law and you strip away love. To evict God from our society is to risk being unable to love anything but sin. Paul describes this condition in the closing days of his life when he writes to young Timothy:

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

The words “without natural affection” is the Greek word astorgos. This is the natural love that a mother and father ought to have for their young; it is familial love (family love). How could that happen? Think of the fatherless children in the world as one example. When men refuse to take care of their own family and children there are serious consequences. Men who willing do this are worse than infidels no matter what their profession of faith (1 Timothy 5:8). It creates a cycle of bitterness and misconceptions in the hearts of the children. As Mac Davis penned some 50 years ago… “… He’s going to be an angry young man some day! Take a look at you and me… are we too blind to see. Do we simply turn our heads and look the other way? As the world turns.” This is but a single example of a consequence of disregarding God’s word. There are as many examples are there are people who reject God’s word. There is no escaping it. Reject God’s word and there will be a serious consequence.

God: Just Cut Us Loose? 

We are moving towards Armageddon as fast as the unlocked wheels of time will take us. What happens as the collective mind seeks independence from God’s influence and comes completely under Satan’s? Notice our text again. The love of many shall wax cold. Greek scholar Marvin Vincent reminds us that it is not the love of many people only that shall be chilled, but of “the many,” “the majority,” “the great body.” This is the consequence of man wanting God to “cut the tether” that restrains them from sinning. 

Many want freedom from God and their conscience — freedom to sin without restraint. What happens? If Genesis 6 is any indicator; if the current trajectory of things continues; people will become bloodthirsty savages — slaves of hate, and lovers of violence. It can be no other. It is all that will be left once God, and His word are gone from the peoples’ minds and hearts. 

Selective Love and Fellowship

Selective Love and Fellowship
Robert Wurtz II

“Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you,leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”
(Matthew 5:23–24 NKJV)

“And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:3 NKJV)

“If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?” (1 John 4:20 NKJV)

I often find it deeply disturbing to find Christians busying themselves in a myriad of ways “doing a work for the Lord” while simultaneously ignoring the most important thing to God. It’s hard to get away from. Where can I go to escape the vexing grief? From the politicking pastors and ministers who believe that God wants them to move up the ranks — to the local churches who hold all kinds of events trying to grow their congregations — a great many Christians are laboring biblically (lawfully) and unbiblically (unlawfully) trying to please God with little consciousness of His heartbeat. Add to that the number of people who attend churches every week, raise their hands to a Holy God, and sing with the worship band (all the while living in a perpetual state of conflict with their fellow brothers and sisters), and one wonders what on earth is going on. Do they not see what they are doing? Is there anyone after God’s own heart these days? That is to say, is there a person whose heart beats in step with God’s?

A Timeless Message

I have chosen three passages from three New Testament time periods in order to illustrate how serious God is about His people loving one another. His message is an extension of His person. As John has told us, “He that does not love does not know God — for God is love.” Matthew 5:23-24 is from the Sermon on the Mount (one of the Lord’s Jesus’ first teachings). The second is from Paul’s writings to Corinth; whose saints having spent a year and a half with him, fell into gross carnality — treating each other in horrible ways. Most sobering is 1 John 4:20. This verse was written around 95 CE and is among the last writings in the New Testament. As if God was making sure that this fundamental truth was still at the forefront of the Christian mind; and for us… that it would be in the mind of Christians forever. Having inspired the words of Christ and Paul on the great topic of love He cots to the chase and declares as bluntly as our sensitive ears can handle; “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar.”

 

Sad Senior Man

 

I am confident that God is ten-times more concerned about how we love our fellow man than He is what we “do” for Him. In fact, He will not accept anything from us if we are feuding with people (especially our brothers and sisters in Christ). For anyone who has ever read the New Testament it is common knowledge. What good does it do to teach deep truths of the New Testament if the people are carnal (sarkikos), hate-filled, and living like unsaved men? Why raise our hands and pretend to love God when He sees merely a liar? At least, that’s the clear conclusion we arrive at in view of 1 John 4:20. What if a congregation was singing along telling God how much they love Him and a voice from heaven (bath kol) answered back, “liars! Do you not know that where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there?” (James 3:16 NKJV) We may never hear it audibly and God may never speak so direct to us; but if lovelessness were our reality Matthew 5:23-24; 1 Corinthians 13:3; and 1 John 4:20 should shout from our consciences.

God’s Concern

How are we to accept with good-will the proclamation of ministers who have a “word from the Lord” and there is rarely an attempt to deal with the hatred, strife, and division that openly exists among so many Christians. All too often “words” are given more as an unconscious (or conscious) attempt to stump for the next vote in the next election than to speak of the well defined concerns of God. Men are building their own kingdoms and do what pleases them. Many have completely lost touch with the principals of the kingdom of God. Moreover, the world cannot identify us either. Jesus left us with an unalterable truth soon before His crucifixion; “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John 13:34–35 KJV)

How can a church have compassion for souls if it can’t love it’s own present and past members? Is there any wonder the Lord, our Great High Priest threatened to remove the lamp stand at Ephesus? What good is a church that has lost it’s love? However, modern church-growth coaches encourage pastors to just “let them go.” It was Mark Driscoll who used the phrase “blessed subtraction.” He famously boasted against and laughed at the “pile of bodies behind the Mars Hill bus” (his church) who were “stiff-necked, stubborn and obstinate” rejectors of his “vision.” He went on to suggest that he hoped God’s grace would “make it a mountain by the time he was done” or people who either “got on the bus or got run over by the bus.” This compassion-less attitude is no reflection of God’s attitude, but Satan’s. Getting people to see that in an atmosphere of carnality is almost impossible. Why? The “run them over” approach makes sense to their carnal mind.

Go and Learn

What happens when Christians refuse to do what Jesus told the religious leaders, “Go learn what this means, ‘I will have mercy and not sacrifice’?” Answer: The carnal mind behaves with the spirit of the sons of Zebedee, “…. shall we call fire down from heaven?” Mercy and grace are handed out discriminately (to friends and family)… while sinners are never allowed to get up and get on with their lives. This is what happens when compassion for souls (real souls) is gone. Indeed, many have compassion on that nameless sinner who lives in a distant land and never harmed us. But what about the drug pusher who sold dope to your family member? What about the thief that broke into your house? What about the sexual predator who assaulted your friend or family member?

Undoubtedly, many Christians who lived in the first century had run-ins with Saul before he was Paul. What did they do? What about Stephen’s family or someone else who was persecuted and compelled to blaspheme by him? Paul was the chief of sinners — meaning, he had offended a lot of people. What did they do? Were they happy when he repented and turned to Christ? Or did they wait until after he was through giving his testimony to come up and say, “You know, I hear you talking and all, but I just can’t get past the way you treated me and my family! Some of them couldn’t even come today to hear you testify because they are so bitter!”

I suggest that if that were going on in Paul’s day the whole of Christianity would have been labeled a farce and came to nothing. Imagine that Jesus forgave the people who were crucifying Him; but His brethren, children of His Father, were vessels of hate and biterness? God forbid! The reason the story of Paul’s life works is that the saints forgave him and acknowledged the work that God performed in his heart. Otherwise, how could Paul declare, “For this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.” (1 Timothy 1:16 NKJV)

Conclusion

When Christians refuse to love their own brothers and sisters in Christ, how can they love God? How can they love the unlovable? What hope is there for a lost and dying world under the imminent threat of a Devil’s hell have any hope? Not sinners who have no names in places no one has ever been. Real people. Real names. Real faces. What hope is there for the murderer, rapist, terrorist, or socialist when Christians have no love for them? In the twenty-first century hating sinners has been normalized. Beloved, this ought not so to be and is the greatest evidence of all that carnality is rife and that the love of many has waxed cold.

In these last days with mockers and scoffers by the score and carnal minded Christians threatening to overtake the visible church; let us heed the words of Jude who exhorted us, “Keep yourselves in the love of God (…)” (Jude 1:21 KJV) Just as the angels left their first estate we are at risk of leaving or forsaking the love of God. To “keep ourselves” implies effort. We have to do it. This is the great calling of the churches. If we don’t: we may as well lock the gates and close the doors.