French poet and essayist, Paul Valery 1871-1945, said “The trouble with our times is that the future is not what it used to be.” Those who look back longingly to fairer days agree with Valery but who could have seen a time when changes would become so radical that temporality and periodicity itself would become a form of entertainment?
Newness and news has become entertainment and an acceptable form of distraction for millions today, but it is far from being anything new. The ancient Greeks were caught up with news so much so, that when the Apostle Paul visited Athens he was considered a novelty because of an all new concept he put forth called, the “resurrection from the dead,” and one Jesus Christ who Paul said had accomplished it.
“For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.” (Acts 17:21)
A modern world presumes that God is static and if he exists at all he has limped into the backwaters of importance and scope. His word or his message, they are convinced, has also taken a backseat to the musings of modernity’s hot pursuit of all that is deemed as empirical, nascent and timely.
The world has wised up in its own eyes and anyone who chooses to hold a contrary view is ostracized, marginalized and one day according to scripture, will be euthanized. God reverses the assumptions of today with an answer not from the ancient world but from his own world, a place called “the eternal.”
Advances in knowledge are useful but when coupled with our collective narcissism it always leads to fluff. God put it this way “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:22) God is OK with man’s ability to look deeper into the creation but the result is that pride in our discoveries has lead us to question the Creator. Think of it, we have advanced so far, so fast, that now we can finally dismiss God and give credit to the real creator of all things, that dumb, nameless and perfectly nebulous power known as “time and chance.”
Over fifty times in Genesis the Hebrew word “bara” (baw-raw) is used to say that God created everything from virtually nothing. In only a few millennia man has progressed to the wisdom that says God did not create the worlds “from nothing,” but rather the worlds were created “by nothing.” This kind of reasoning is why some have concluded that it takes a great deal more faith to be an atheist than a believer. But reasoning is not always why someone becomes an atheist.
In today’s academic and social climate we have replaced thinking with political correctness, tolerance and diversity. Put simply, this is a system of socially acceptable parameters put forth for the inept, the confused and those who just don’t have time enough in a busy world to actually weigh what they are being told against any serious introspection, investigation or philosophical evaluation. Education has become systematized and now only entertainment has the possibility of bringing on something truly new.
Macrocosmically we have lumped or conglomerated all religions into a general grey area where it’s all good, just as long as we are all good, or pretty good at least. No one religion can rise to a level above anyone else’s and dialogue has replaced dogmatism. Piety is OK as long as no personalities emerge to spoil the soup with something akin to salvation messages that require anyone else to respond, to re-think or repent.
The great religious pot of all religions is insurance against the need to microcosmically adhere to those tedious specifics as outlined in the Bible. When junior sets his eye on the artistry and the colorful drawings at the local tat parlor, we need only calm ourselves with the knowledge that everyone’s doing it these days. Why be bothered by the guide of Leviticus 19:28 which says “Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the Lord.”
When the newly enlightened educators want our kindergarteners and grammar school children to become well versed in the full PC acceptance of others’ sexual orientations we readily bow to the sacred cow of the new tolerance. Now, we are convinced that we can dismiss out of hand the archaic and repressive admonition of 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10 NASB, which clearly warns that a person’s entire eternal destiny can be lost in the pursuit of a homosexual lifestyle. “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals…will inherit the Kingdom of God.”
Rather than being static God is actually dispensational in the way he interacts with men. He changes how he deals with us based the maturing of civilization as a collective. When each period reaches its peak God moves on to the next dispensation in order to keep man on the same page with what he is doing at all times.
In the antediluvian period God allowed man to be guided by that instinctive knowledge of good and evil he built into every person and thus it is also referred to as “the age of conscience.” That did not go well because man has the ability to completely ignore his own conscience but possesses little natural resistance to his own imagination. It was that misuse of our imagination that led God to say “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Gen 6:5)
In the next dispensation God refines and particularizes the difference between right and wrong by giving man the law under the administration of his servant Moses. It eventually got buried in ceremony, tradition, religious precepts, hierarchy and mans failure to keep the law in its entirety. Not until Christ, was the law ever once perfectly fulfilled and when Christ said those three final words on the cross, “It is finished” a new dispensation began.
Its most commonly referred to as the age of “grace” because it is a period that is underway until this day in which, it is no longer what man does that enables man to reach God. Now it is only what God does, sending his son to die on the cross that paves the way. We can partake of the cross by faith but no one can offer anything anymore to placate or satisfy God. It is one life at a time before the cross that God now accepts and nothing more.
Unlike previous dispensations many names are associated with the age of grace. Because none of the prophets clearly saw the age of grace it is sometimes called “the mystery age.” Its sudden inclusion into the history of man is why in some theological circles it is named “the parenthetical age.” Perhaps the most accurate description of it is “the church age” because from its inception at the resurrection of Christ until the second coming, what is going on is the calling out of the “ecclesia” or the body of Christ. The ecclesia is the individuals throughout the centuries that God pulls out of the cosmos or the world system of evil.
There remain three distinct periods or dispensations and they vary so greatly that we can only touch on them here. One is called the “great Tribulation” or the “day of evil.” The next will be the millennial kingdom (1,000 years) and lastly will be that unending stretch of God and man together for all eternity. Suffice it to say that the worst and the most turbulent of all three is the next and it is perilously near.
The tribulation period is the worst of the worst yet it is the shortest of them all, it is a mere seven years in length. It is preceded by a generationally long period in which knowledge will double over on itself repeatedly and so will man’s appetite for unbelief and everything prurient and base. The knowledge will see men boasting and predicting the end of all strife, disease and worldwide ecological problems all at the same time there will be no peace anywhere on earth.
That preceding generation is long underway today. In fact while no one knows the exact day or hour, it will culminate in the revealing of the world’s last and worst ruler. Most people who are in what might be called the mainstream of eschatology (Second coming doctrine) generally agree that we have only about two or three years left before the “great tribulation” period is to begin.
Describing the events of those last seven years is a book length endeavor but it is what leads up to it that we should be most concerned about today. It is in that generation that apostasy is predicted within the church, politics, morality and every standard of man ever practiced. It will be an unprecedented period of anarchy, not of governments but of people at large. Every whim and interest will be unlatched and unleashed.
Absolutes, moral laws and ethical boundaries will all be cast off among the citizens of the world. To ensure the success of that period a general acceptance or a standardized form of speech will be recognized. Enter political correctness, tolerance and diversity with all of its forced standards and its empty rhetoric.
So when did PC, tolerance, and diversity become laziness and lying? The one word unmistakable answer is simply, today! We are knee deep in it and the only way out is still the same answer we heard from the beginning.
Copyright ©2010 Rev. Michael Bresciani