Two things jump into mind every time I think of Bill Wiese’s book, ’23 Minutes in Hell.’ The first is Christ’s warning, not about who is going to hell, but how many are headed there.
“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.” (Mt 7: 13)
The second is the blood curdling part of his story in which he describes the specific movements of the great throng that is barreling down the road to the pit. It is a steadily moving, crowded party, full of everything imaginable, laughter, sensuality, dark crimes and perversions and everyone is emboldened by those around them and thoroughly convinced that it’s all, perfectly OK.
It is not until those in the very front of the great stream approach the opening of the pit and sees the flames and hears the screams that they turn and try to backtrack away from the horror. But the press of the crowd behind them is too great and they are forced over the edge by the sheer force of the huge crowd swelling just behind them also marching unawares to their dreadful fate.
In modern psychology it is generally accepted that for anyone to begin to find some mental balance in the face of a habit or destructive behavior, they must first admit that they have a problem. Those proclaiming the gospel message for the last two thousand years have known that the first step in salvation in God’s plan is acknowledgement of sin.
Sadly, those marching headlong to their own destruction neither acknowledge that they have a problem or that they have any sin. The crowd itself is their insulating blanket, providing both an atmosphere of fearlessness and a total lack of accountability.
In America, our particular brand or style of dismissiveness and denial is radically different than in other countries. We have more distractions and diversions than all other nations including Europe. We make denials with great pomp and we polish them to the nines with the help of educators, scientists, politicians and pseudo experts of every description and kind.
If we question the experts, we are haters; if we don’t accept their conclusions, we are religious dumbbells. The pressure and resistance is so great that at times we may begin to lose sight of the fact that we are the separated, sanctified and, special group called ‘the people of God.’ No shame here, but the work is hard and the road is long. We have the knowledge that there is no heated pit at the end of this road we travel.
Those who see themselves as enlightened have used the last generation to mock and dismiss the Christianity just by keeping the young from making serious inquiry into it. Social pressure is applied with a few unsubstantiated claims about its authenticity and a sprinkling of snickers and laughter for those who believe. Next, we in the faith embolden the scoffers by allowing others to continue to see Christianity as mere orthodoxy replete with behavioral restrictions, external practices based on ceremony and liturgy and a system of laws that make God look like an angry stepfather with a big stick in his hand and a scowl on his face.
Jesus said his followers would be given his Holy Spirit after they gave up their sins in a simple act of repentance. After that he promised a lifelong interaction with us, a relationship in which he would provide peace, purpose and eternal life. We often accept religion in place of the relationship, but in the last days many will want to skip even the religious substitute for complete autonomy.
The saddest part of this story is that those who choose autonomy are not left to wander around alone until the end of all things. There is another spirit out there who is perfectly willing to guide and empower. While mocking the biblical teaching that we must be born again, (Jn 3: 3) little do they know that according to Scripture they are being born again daily into the family of the god of this world. (Jn 8: 44)
No one who has reached the age of accountability and continues to ignore the call of God on their lives is free. When sin and immorality become the solid choice either by mental assent or continuation in a lifestyle the unaccountable become the agents of evil. At some point not altogether specifically outlined by scripture, but nevertheless fully known by God they become what the Bible calls ‘children of the Devil.’
In the realm of Satan the Bible predicts that a new wave of fresh births takes place in large numbers in that period known as the last days. To put it simply, you can’t have a last days’ scenario without lots of willing participants in evil. They are as it were a crop of Belial’s boomers blindly bringing in the fulfillment of prophecy and the full judgment of the earth.
We refuse to admit that a generation long system of education that promotes theory as science, God as bunk and morality as relative, has produced a crop of misfits by the millions. This generation is like a rolling ball of Hollywood and media plebes who think the only authority worth a wit is the next carnal impulse they are apt to feel. Sin for this group would be to not act on every impulse or whim. If it feels good - do it, has long since passed from suggestive nonsense to becoming the Magna Carta of modernity.
In this immense crowd of wanderers, stepping across the line between right and wrong is now far behind and they wear their errors like a badge of accomplishment. They love the biblically forbidden practice of marking their bodies – the art of tattooing. (Lev 19: 28) They refer to the perversion of the gay lifestyle and homosexuality as a - civil rights movement, or even worse, as a – choice-less natural occurrence.
They won’t admit that Apostle Paul was right about a last days’ time when children will despise their own parents, (2 Tim 3: 2) but they go yet one step further to proclaim that their most ancient parental lineage consists of apes and monkeys. While the evolutionary model has failed to give credence to conclusions about our origins, behavioral science may give us all assurances we need to continue to act and look like those we claim to be our esteemed progenitors.
Somehow representative government has given way to those who think being elected to office is their long awaited chance to put forth their own agenda, ideology and personal heap of world views on a public too dumb or invested in other things to notice or care.
Barack Obama is the perfect example to work from. He was elected on popularity, but then proceeded to introduce an ideology that has proven to be the most unpopular idea in world history; and the one with the most evidence of past failures. Whether we call it Alinsky-ism, communism, socialism or just plain eclectic confusion, by any other name it is still un-American and foreign to anything the nation has ever known.
He has lied to the public so many times that several people have created websites just to enumerate and keep track of his fibs. His policies in every area of endeavor have failed from the economy to his signature legislative effort, the healthcare bill. He still blames George Bush for everything, even nearly four years after he took office and at this point would beat all others for the prize of becoming the poster boy for refusing to take responsibility for his own actions.
His cabinet and appointees are what make up the rest of the circus of prospects for the poster contest. None stand out as glaringly brazen as Attorney General Eric Holder. Two nations have endured the senseless slaughter of their respective citizens and lawmen (Brian Terry) while Holder, who swore to uphold the laws of this nation, has played dumb and blind to the inquiries of our nation’s duly elected body of congressmen and senators about the botched gun walking scheme known as ‘Fast and Furious.’ Yet, he still goes on as the head of something we still dare at the moment to call, ‘The Department of Justice.’ It is here that we see a denial not just of the truth, but of justice. Who could have guessed that while the evolutionary model is still struggling to prove our origins; one attorney general would leap ahead to make monkeys of us all?
Be it Obama, Holder or any one of the dozens of other irresponsible politicians of this day, the church largely hangs back still proclaiming the need to keep politics and religion separated as if one of them had a contagious disease. The church needs a little kick in the pants these days, not to come to a new view of religion and politics, but to see its own history and interactions with civil rulers as found in the Bible and the annals of church history. It takes no genius to see that in that record, the greatest resistance, persecution and bloodshed that ever came to the church was initiated by civil authorities.
The drive toward creating one world religion is part of the prophetic warning of the last days. Trying to lump all religions together requires a massive force of denial if an honest comparison has been made. If anyone from any faith, founder or follower, can say they died for our sins, after raising the dead and healing the sick and then coming out of the grave alive after three days then we should all be giving other religions a serious look. Until that happens, this great crumbling craft called comparative religions needs to come in for a landing before all onboard are brought down in flames.
It may seem fanciful or overtly cultural to study the religions of others, but when perusals give way to practicals very few will stand by and accept the result.
Will Hollywood divas that now prance proudly before the cameras in the latest fashions and near nudity accept wearing the Muslim hijab? How will they know who they are handing the Oscars and Emmys to if they all look alike? How many parents will stand by while their teens have their hands lobbed off as punishment for petty thievery? How many mothers will watch as their daughters are beheaded for the poorly defined infraction of dishonoring their families? Try denying this – Americans will never submit to these backward and draconian practices.
Societies are rarely blown to pieces all at once like abandoned buildings that are dynamited to bring them down. History shows us that most fallen powers have the foundations kicked out from under them one beam, post and plank at a time.
In America we started about a generation back to dismiss the Bible and the Constitution. God, the founding fathers and anyone in the present who tries to hold to anything remotely conservative is seen as a dinosaur. The removal of principles and practices that have supported our nation for over two centuries is not noticed so much because it is coming down by degrees.
It is the law of gravity that needs to be utilized to grasp the full impact of this decade’s long trend. When the foundations are knocked out of anything it has only two options. One is to stand in midair supported by absolutely nothing. The other is to obey the laws of gravity and collapse into a heap of rubble. Not even a ‘superpower’ can deny the laws of gravity.
James Madison is best known for addressing the folly of gradually deconstructing our foundations. He said, “I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.”
As for deconstructing the Bible, that is strictly impossible. We can try to squash the gospel and we can kill the proclaimers, but the full effect of doing this leads to our own judgment and complete destruction. Jesus covered this immutability by declaring, “Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.” (Luke 21: 33)
In every era God provides both a call to sound the alarm and extend invitation and warning to the recalcitrant. This is always followed by judgments in varying degrees and increments, sent as wake up calls.
The god of this world (Satan) has chosen the most propitious moment in history to introduce the big bang and evolutionary models to the world. Because of it, we think the God who created everything in the universe doesn’t even exist. How convenient! In fact he not only created it, but he rules it in every moment of time right down to the rise and fall of specific nations and kingdoms even if they should presume to call themselves superpowers. America may be an exceptional nation, but we are no exception to the rule.
Consider this – “At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it; If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them. And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it; if it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them.” (Jer 18: 7-10)
Copyright ©2012 Rev. Michael Bresciani