Over the weekend, there was another horrendous Islamic Terrorist Attack… this time in Paris. The world is reeling from the calculated, callous, and unexpected attack on soft targets. The world seems surprised by this attack, though they really shouldn’t be. On the one hand, the world refuses to identify the root of the terrorism problem these past several decades… Islam. On the other hand, the world’s humanism doesn’t have an answer for dealing with evil, for it is unwilling to censure itself. As Christians, we know better. We have God’s Written Word, the Faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. The world is destined for destruction by God… and in the meantime, the world (under its prince, the devil) will seek to destroy Christians, hating us, and even blaming us for the evil in this world.
Mark 13:3-13 (ESV) | Signs of the Close of the Age
3 And as [Jesus] sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately, 4 “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are about to be accomplished?” 5 And Jesus began to say to them, “See that no one leads you astray. 6 Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray. 7 And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet. 8 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains.
9 “But be on your guard. For they will deliver you over to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them. 10 And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations. 11 And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. 12 And brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death. 13 And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
Islam is a false religion worshiping a false god who hates the Name of Jesus, God the Son. It is a religion whose premier prophet was an evil and wicked man. Islam is not the only false religion, there are many, but in this day and time it is the primary driving force behind global terrorism and heinous acts of wickedness among men. It isn’t new. While its operatives hide, it’s philosophy is announced globally and no one can rightly claim to be caught unaware of its evil.
There are those who would urge Christians to link arms with “moderate Muslims” to stand against Islamic extremists. Such a foolish notion. Christians don’t stand according to men, or create allegiances with false gods to establish a peace with wicked men. Christians stand firmly on the Word of God (which does not include the Qu’ran or LDS “scriptures”) and the Promise of Salvation by Grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, to the Glory of God alone. So-called moderate Muslims don’t follow Islam. Moderate Islam is no more Islamic than progressive Christianity (ala Rob Bell) is Christian.
There might be another world war. Nation rising up against nation, kingdom against kingdom. The world is in tumult, and has been, and will be until the end. The world is under a curse. The curse of sin. It has been subjected to futility and death. Mankind has not evolved since the fall. Mankind has only devolved into depravity. Mankind is the same it was in the days of Noah.
Genesis 6:5-8 (ESV)
5 The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And theLord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. 7 So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.
Every intention of the thoughts of the heart of man is only evil continually. We’ve not changed. God has not changed, either. He kept His promise from the Garden, and spared Noah and his family in an Ark through the waters of destruction. In similar fashion, God is sparing those who are of faith and have themselves come through the waters of baptism and joined with Christ in His death and have been sealed by God the Holy Spirit for His resurrection.
1 Peter 3:18-22 (ESV)
18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, 19 in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, 20 because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. 21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.
Noah’s salvation didn’t spare the earth from destruction. The Church’s salvation will not spare Creation for the judgement that is coming. The world is destined for destruction, just as our flesh is destined for death, but by the Grace of God through Faith in His Son, we will be resurrected in Christ Jesus into the Kingdom of Heaven… the world will taste the second death. Let’s get back to our text in Mark.
Mark 13:14-23 (ESV) | The Abomination of Desolation
14 “But when you see the abomination of desolation standing where he ought not to be (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 15 Let the one who is on the housetop not go down, nor enter his house, to take anything out, 16 and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. 17 And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! 18 Pray that it may not happen in winter.19 For in those days there will be such tribulation as has not been from the beginning of the creation that God created until now, and never will be. 20 And if the Lord had not cut short the days, no human being would be saved. But forthe sake of the elect, whom he chose, he shortened the days. 21 And then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it. 22 For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect.23 But be on guard; I have told you all things beforehand.
No politician, or pope, or imam, or statist will bring peace, though each will claim to be an anointed one, a messenger from God… false christs and false prophets. Some will come from within our churches, literally claiming to be prophets, predicting the return of Christ. Do Not Believe It. Dear Christian, please be in the Written Word of God. The language cannot be any more plainly written here. Jesus told us NOT to believe these rumors. Notice that they will indeed perform signs and wonders… and they will be false.
Mark 13:24-27 (ESV) | The Coming of the Son of Man
24 “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, 25 and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 26 And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27 And then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.
There won’t be anything secret about the return of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He hasn’t left us secrets or codes to figure out in His Word… and when He returns, all will see Him, all will know, for the Just Judge Will Have Come.
Pray for the saints in Paris. Pray for opportunities to love your French neighbors in any way that you can. Be vigilant. Be sober. Do not be afraid. Know that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, He who endured unto the end and resurrected as the first fruits of the Creation that is to come in the Resurrection, will carry you through. Trust in the Lord.
Ephesians 3:20-21 (ESV)
20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
In Christ Jesus,