Do You Practice an Escapist Theology?

I believe we all need to read and re-read Matthew 24 and 25.  Many Christians are looking for an event called The Rapture, when Jesus will come and take us out of this evil mess the world and our lives are in. But what if instead of looking for an escape, we should be strengthening ourselves with the “Whole armour of God” Ephesian 6:10-18. to combat this present evil. We are not “called unto wrath”, but Jesus many times told his disciples they would endure tribulation John 16:33.

 In Second Thessalonians the 2nd Chapter, Paul reminded them of a coming trial and a great “falling away” before the Lord’s return.  That is not “Catching away”as you may have been told. Look it up in the Greek.  It is the word “apostasia”. Believers will fall from the faith in droves.  Why?  Because, they believed in an “Escapist” theology and were not prepared for the trials of their faith. 

When God doesn’t rescue us from what is happening in this world, will you still believe in His love and care for you?  When your loved ones are taken and tortured and killed, will you scream against a God that would allow it to happen?  Will you declare there must not be a God, because the whole Earth is filled with horror?  Will you, yourself, deny him in fear, for the horrors that are happening?  Peter did.  And I’m afraid much worse, than what would have happened to Peter, is going to happen to believers in the near future.  Many in other countries are already experiencing it.  Little children are being beheaded because they say they love Jesus.  People in China are being imprisoned and tortured because they were preaching the gospel of Christ.  But you say, “This is America, it won’t happen here”.  I would have agreed with you a few months ago.  But now I read the Prophet Jeremiah’s writings and I see the United States doing even worse than Israel did.  The U.S. has been the most blessed Nation in the world. 

Daniel and his friends were among Israel’s finest, smartest, most godly young men. They were captured, made eunuchs, research what that means, and forced to live in Babylon and learn the Babylonian way of life and religion. Do you remember Sunday School lessons that told us about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego being thrown into a fiery furnace because they would not bow to the Golden Image. Daniel was thrown into a Den of Lions for praying to his god. Do you think we are exempt from discrimination and persecution for our faith? Are you prepared for that?

Luke 12:46-48 “The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. 47 And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required : and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.” KJV

Love Letters

I was watching a 1995 movie, “A Walk In The Clouds”, starring now famous Keanu Reeves as a young soldier who caught up in a pre-WWII frenzy, married a young woman (Debra Messing) whom he had just met a few days prior to leaving for the battlefront.

At times overwhelmed by the horrors of war, he had written daily letters to his bride, describing his experiences and how he felt about them.  He also wrote about his dreams of coming home and how he wanted to return to his job selling specialty chocolate candy, buy a home and start a family.  The time he spent describing his dreams took his mind away from the horrors of the fox hole and his wounded and dying fellow soldiers.  He had poured out his heart, describing both his despair and his hopes for a better life and the ability to forget his present surroundings.

Then the war ended and he joyfully wrote that he was coming home.  His ship landed and there were wives, children, friends and relatives to meet the returning soldiers.  But no one was there for him.  He simply picked up his duffel bag and found his way home.  He still had his key so he let himself into their apartment, just to find his wife actively in bed with another man.  She exclaims, “What are you doing here? I did not know you were coming home!” 

He said, “Didn’t you get my letter?” 

She says, “Oh honey, I got all those letters.  What did you do?  Write every day? But it was always about the War and what was happening and I just quit reading them.”

He exclaimed, “You did not read them?  I told you all about my dreams for us when the war was over.  You did not read them? You don’t know me at all! “

She said, “Oh, I just couldn’t get into them  But look here, I kept everyone one of them!” And she shows him a large box of his unopened letters.

Is that the way we do Jesus?  God has written us hundreds of Love Letters.  We start reading some of them and decide it is just too hard to understand.  It doesn’t apply to your life and you just can’t get into it.  But you keep a Bible on the coffee table.  You’ve still got Grandma’s Bible somewhere. 

Maybe you even go to Church and listen to the preacher or Sunday School teacher share some things from the Bible.  But you just don’t have time to search out the scriptures for yourself to see if what they are saying is true.

If you really love someone, would you be satisfied only hearing what someone else says your loved one said.  Wouldn’t you want to read your loved one’s words for yourself? Wouldn’t you hunger to read every letter and search between the lines to feel what they were feeling as they wrote to you? 

Would you be satisfied reading a daily letter written by someone else who quoted something your loved one said or did but never hearing directly from your loved one?

I wonder if the difficult times we are in just might be a trial.  Many people say they are Christians but never open a Bible.  They know who they are and God knows who they are.  Soon the whole world may know who they are.