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Given Over

Given Over
By Pete Garcia

As of late, there has been a growing and disturbing trend not only across America, but also around the world known as Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS). Allegedly, TDS results in the inability to cope with the reality that Donald Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States. However, here is the truly puzzling part of it all…the MAGA situation. Why do so many revolt against the idea that Trump wants to Make America Great Again? Presumably, if we became great again, it would mean more jobs, better living conditions, more money flowing through the economy and into the pockets of Americans. We could have better security, less terrorism, and lower crime rates across the country. Not only that, but a strong America, equals a stable world. How are any of these things terrible or offensive? Why are any of these things reprehensible to of all people…Americans?

I think the answer is that while TDS may be a new phenomenon, it is however, only a symptom to an even greater problem known as last days madness. Not to be confused with Gary DeMar’s preteristic book called by the same name, of which he attributes last days madness, NOT to the current world condition, but to those who are enthusiastic about our Lord’s return.

No, this madness is more than elections, but an overarching issue, the loosening of the restraint of evil around the world. In other words, the closer we get to the end, the more unhinged the world becomes. TDS then is only one sign (out of many) forecasting the true nature of the increasingly deranged times we find ourselves. On the plus side, this madness is not only symptomatic of the lateness of our day and age, but is also indicative of the nearness to our Lord’s return.

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! 2nd Timothy 3:1-5

This concept of lessening restraint is backed up from numerous different perspectives from Holy Scripture. First, Jesus stated that things would progressively deteriorate politically, morally, religiously, and in the natural world the closer we got to the end. He even likened the progression to birth pangs in a pregnancy (Matt. 24:3-22). The Apostle Peter spoke of the last days being filled with skeptics and mockers questioning if the Lord would ever return (2nd Peter 3:1-3). Jesus half-brother Jude spoke of the apostasy and falling away and likened it to previous times in history, where sexual perversion would become normalized and false teachers would wreak great damage by creeping in unawares and leading many astray. The Apostle John spoke of a spirit of antichrist (even present in his day), which would become intolerably worse until THE antichrist arrives.

The Apostle Paul writes that the coming man of lawlessness/son of perdition (aka…The Antichrist) would not be revealed, UNTIL the departure (apostasia) occurs. While many simply attributed this to believers apostatizing from the faith, no one can say with any specificity, when and which apostasy this passage points too. This means that believers have to either watch for some vague, indeterminable sign (Mormonism, Roman Catholicism, New Ageism, cults, or take your pick) or that this sign (the apostasia) will be clearly identifiable to the world by the Church’s physical departure at the Pre-Tribulation Rapture. Subsequently, our departure then ushers in the final new world order along with its apostate religion, which ensnares most of the inhabitants of the earth.

Of the two views, which sounds more likely? Since Paul is laying out the order of events, it is more reasonable (and understandable) that Paul uses the term apostasia to not only describe a physical event that marks our physical departure, but also the world’s religious departure at the same time.

Assessment

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. Colossians 1:15-18

A recent discussion on Facebook with a non-believing friend of mine resulted in me sharing the gospel with him, along with the eternal ramifications should he continue to reject Christ’s free offer of salvation. To him, this sounded absolutely absurd. And to his credit, religious and political views aside, he is a good family man, a hard worker, and is an expert at his particular craft. Yet, the Gospel is foolishness to him. This brought me back to the realization that the unregenerate man cannot accept the things of God at face value (1st Cor. 1:18).

Now with a global population of 7.8B people, you could multiply my friend by hundreds of millions (if not billions), of unregenerate people, and see that this is becoming the prevalent attitude of people all across the planet. So if Colossians 1:15-18 is true (it is), then it makes sense that Christ can influence by any measure, how things are held together. Romans 8:22 states that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now, and it does so because creation was subjected to futility and corruption at Adam’s fall. The further and faster the world continues to distance itself from the truth, it is in the same measure, being given over by God to not being able to ever come to the knowledge of the truth (Romans 1:18-32).

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them. Romans 1:28-32

This debased mindset, is part and parcel why the world is the way it is today. Since 1948, Satan realizes his time of running things is winding down, and thus is ramping up his campaigns of corruption and perversity across every spectrum. Where we are seeing the friction today, more so than at any time in the past seventy years, is that the status-quo of moral and societal degradation being challenged by President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. And God is currently using these two leaders to throw a monkey-wrench into Satan’s new world order campaign. Don’t get me wrong, that final government is coming and there isn’t anything we or government can do to stop that, but it will be on God’s timetable, not Satan’s.

But where does that leave us in the here and now? The great gray middle where folks used to ride the fence and sit out the issues, is quickly shrinking. The differences between light and dark are becoming starker, and it is uncomfortably forcing people to choose sides. For the liberal church, who has no issue acquiescing to a deteriorating culture, this exposure is finally showing where their true loyalties lie. For those who hold fast to God’s word, it is marginalizing us into silence and tribulation (Rev. 3:10). This will continue until this generation reaches its appointed fullness, and then God will remove His own and return His full gaze back upon His covenant nation of Israel (Luke 21:24, Rom. 11:25-26).

In 1999, Gary DeMar (partial preterist/skeptic) wrote a book entitled Last Days Madness. Essentially, this book was simply another, in a long line of others, trying to cash in on attacking the futurist and dispensational positions. Preterism, like atheism, offers nothing and takes everything. What does Preterism (either partial or full) offer?  To say that everything (or almost everything) prophetic has already been completed in the first century, is to ignore the prophetic nature of God and the Bible (Isaiah 46:9-10). Not only that, but it ignores the issues at present and sets the believer up with a false premise for what is to come. As for DeMar, former president of American Vision, and when you read their website’s vision statement, it states…

An America that recognizes the sovereignty of God over all of life, where Christians apply a Biblical worldview to every facet of society. This future America will be again a “city on a hill” drawing all nations to the Lord Jesus Christ and teaching them to subdue the earth for the advancement of His Kingdom.

I am not sure when that was originally written, but American Vision as an organization, has been around since 1978. Given the way the world is today in 2018 (and the trajectory it has been on for decades), I am curious how that vision (and eschatological positions) has been working out for them. Clearly, Christian revivalism has not swept across America’s fruited plains.

Futurists do not haphazardly broadcast doom and gloom because it sells more books. We warn against what is coming, because that is what the Bible says. In Matthew 24:21-22, Jesus states that great tribulation is coming, and it will be the worst period of time ever. It will be worse than the days of World War II, worse than the Roman siege of Jerusalem in 70AD, and worse than Sodom and Gomorrah. It will even be worse than the days of Noah, in which God flooded the earth and only eight souls survived. Historically speaking, these two passages alone refute everything for which preterism stands for.

Conclusion

For most of the western world, the days and weeks immediately following the Rapture will be a period filled with societal, governmental, and geopolitical chaos as well as unadulterated peril and bewilderment by those left behind. It will be the revelation that all those crazy bible-thumpers were actually right after all. And that the Day of the Lord had finally arrived. Since Satan also doesn’t know when the Rapture will occur, he will have to deal with the fallout from the unmitigated crisis the event itself presents, which is why Trump’s presidency represents a significant setback he had working under the previous US presidencies.

Nevertheless, the delusion will finally set in because the “experts” will come forth trying to explain away what happened. These “experts” will attribute our disappearances to anything and everything except Christ. This probably explains why we are seeing a ramp-up in the strange and paranormal activities in the skies above us. From UFOs, strange trumpet and groaning sounds in the sky, to the increasingly bizarre activities in space, it seems Satan (the prince of the power of the air) is busy building his pretexts for post-rapture explanations. And the same people (such as my friend) who will not receive the truth today, will most definitely not receive it after the Rapture.

The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason, God will send them strong delusion that they should believe the lie that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 2nd Thess. 2:9-12

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