The End of the World: 1918

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66 Responses

  1. Jean says:

    Is Laurie earning a commission on the defense aid package he’s lobbying for through this BS. This is the dumbest s*** I’ve heard this week.

  2. Steve Wright says:

    In the year of 19 and 18, God sent a mighty desease.
    It killed many a-thousand, on land and on the seas.

    We done told you, our God’s done warned you,
    Jesus comin soon.
    We done told you, our God’s done warned you,
    Jesus comin soon.

    – Blind Willie Johnson circa 1928

  3. luke says:

    There’s a sucker born every minute.

  4. Xenia says:

    Not only the catastrophes you listed, Michael, but in 1917 one of the greatest Christian nations in the world, was, in the twinkling of an eye, transformed into one of the greatest atheist nations in the world. Their Christian monarchs were massacred. At the time, Russian Christians did think it was the End of the World. But it wasn’t. But one day it will be.

  5. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    Yes…someday it will be.
    We won’t know from current events, however, as history has proved over and over again.

  6. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Greg Laurie holds the same biblical perspective he has since he was 17 and the same teaching he taught me and I held for 25 yrs. He is more theologically consistent than I am.
    He is wrong, but he is not dishonest and I don’t think he is posing for profit. I was fortunate – I escaped, he is less fortunate and is held captive by false teaching.

  7. Dan Lilledahl says:

    Michael,

    I saw that article on Christiangarbage (post) earlier today. Do these people really think? I mean, their theology suggests they are more in step with the fictions of Hal Lindsey, Tim Lahaye, the whole Left Behind series, etc, than the Bible.

    Yuck, that is all I have to say.

    Good point about giving thanks how things are actually BETTER in some ways today than they were 101 some years ago?

  8. Em again says:

    it is an interesting spiral… things are definitely better and, yet, they are worse also… i don’t know just where the clicks are – when things have come full circle only to repeat again… the signs are there and, yes, probably have been for 2,000 years…

    we can’t say we’re without a clue though … 2 Peter 3:3-8

  9. brian says:

    “Those war numbers pale in comparison to the 50 million people who die in a worldwide influenza epidemic.” This came up in a bible study when I first became a Christian and it was seen as small potatoes to how God is really going to send His Divine Wrath down upon the world and billions are going to die during the great tribulation. Of course, this was back in the early 80’s when many were lying about Jesus coming back and screwing up the lives of thousands of folks. On a much more important note, several prominent Christians made a good living off of prophecy so no harm no foul. Almost all of us in my group really thought Jesus was going to return, and we were all played like fiddles again all is fair in business, and I was stupid enough to actually believe it so shame on me.

    Want to hear something a bit tripe. I use to pray God would spare / save the folks I was working with, they struggled with a horrid sin they could not fully understand every single aspect of the Christian Religion as put forth by the group I was in so they were on the express train to hell. No one really said it that way so direct but blow off all the fog and it was clear. I guess I sort of resent being lied to all those years by so many fake prophets about so much, but they did have rather lucrative ministries and that is what really counts.

  10. Kevin H says:

    I hear the same themes of teaching from my CC on a regular basis. Always hearing about the “times we live in” as a negative connotation and as an indicator (sometimes directly said, sometimes implied) of the Rapture that is seemingly just around the corner. I agree with MLD. I don’t think it’s being done for profit. I think it is a sincerely held belief that is still pretty common among some old school Calvary Chapels and pastors. I do also think it is unhealthy in many ways.

  11. Josh the Baptist says:

    If it’s the same thing Peter and Paul thought about their times…then I don’t see the error in teaching it.

    My grandfather fought the Nazis but could have never imagined the immorality of the world we now live in.

    I think there is a healthy balance in being careful what we emphasize, but I don’t think ignoring the truth is helpful either.

  12. Xenia says:

    One problem with emphasizing world events as a prelude to a Rapture or the 2nd coming is that you can begin to view everything with suspicion and become very sour. Every news event, every trend, every new product in the store can become an occasion to gripe and talk about how decadent the world is becoming so the Rapture or Antichrist is just around the corner. We all know people like this. They believe in conspiracy theories, etc. Except for enthusiasm in spotting “the signs of the times” they seem to be pretty miserable people who mistrust everyone not in their own group. I even see this in the EO church.

  13. j2theperson says:

    I don’t know about Greg Laurie or his motivations. My own CC pastor when I was growing up was obsessed with the Left Behind version of the End Times and worked it into basically every sermon regardless of what part of the Bible he was “teaching” from. I was talking to another former attendee of that church and she speculated that he was so hyper-focused on the end times–and I would say that specific version of the end times–because it was the one section of scripture that he could talk about and not feel any sort of conviction for the multitude of immoral and ungodly things he was doing. It was all focused on countries and faceless rulers and massive world-wide events, and Christians weren’t even going to be around for any of it so it really had no meaning for him personally.

  14. Kevin H says:

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with teaching that Jesus could return at any moment and we should be prepared for such a happening. Now I know there are some who disagree theologically that Jesus could literally return in the next few seconds without some other things happening first. But the teaching that Jesus could return at any moment is within Christian orthodoxy.

    The problems we run into, like Josh said, is on the emphasis. When every little thing that happens in the world is always run through the filter of how this applies to the return of Jesus and then much time is given to teaching and focusing on such, this becomes problematic.

  15. Michael says:

    My whole point is that we cannot ascertain how close or how far the Second Coming is by world events.
    When we see the rise of Anti-Christ, I’ll be talking about the end, but not until.

  16. Em again says:

    Matthew 24 has a lot – scratch that – our Lord has a lot to say on this subject – i believe there are some here who interpret the chapter as spoken solely for the persecutions immediately following His ascension… but the verse that has always intrigued me speaks to His coming at a time when we don’t expect Him … could that be a time of prosperity and order? dunno – it’s hard to keep looking up and walking at the same time

  17. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I expect Jesus to come at a time that we don’t expect it also – and in chapter 25 he tell us exactly how.

    But I do know that he is not waiting for s tsunami to hit Japan (one of the last times people freaked) and he is not waiting for a particular war. The day is set and it may be after a season of peace and prosperity or or war and famine — but neither enters into determining the day or time.

  18. Disillusioned says:

    Xenia nails it.
    Any traumatic event, be it man-made or an act of God, is viewed through the lens of “God is REALLY pissed at us now! That why He allowed [fill in the blank] to happen.”
    When Jesus said NO MAN knows when He is returning, I think He meant it.
    Yes, CC pastors, He is talking to you….

  19. Em again says:

    i like the idea (that’s all it is) that He’ll come (the rapture thing) when His Bride, the Church, is completed … pray for souls to be saved 🙂

  20. Cash says:

    I agree we should be thankful things aren’t worse than they are right now. We recall a period of time in history known as the Dark Ages and I guarantee that things then were a whole lot worse for average people than they are now.

  21. Jim says:

    I think, to be fair to Greg, whether you agree with him or not, he desires people to put faith in Christ and anticipate His soon return. There is nothing unbiblical in that. As far as where we are in the timeline, I do think there is at times some over-sensational teaching that goes on, but when you factor in things like the embrace of homosexuality, violence, and all things demonic… I don’t know… but we can say with certainty that we are closer than before. Maranatha! As always, just my $.02

  22. Michael says:

    The notion that people are more immoral today than before is pure fiction.

    A cursory reading of the sexual habits of leaders in the worlds empires since Sodom will quite easily disavow that idea.

  23. Em again says:

    i must partly disagree with #22 -yes, human nature is bent to sin in all directions and has been so since Adam and Eve thought one little disobedience was no biggie
    i seem to see that the ideal of the higher ground has been held by various societies in history; Europe used to deride the puritanical, naive United States – for a time we knew how to blush, to see and feel shame for the right reasons, but now those shameful “things done in secret” are thrown in our faces – celebrated and flaunted
    it isn’t that people didn’t do those things, rather that we, as a society, knew and cared that they were wrong

  24. Mr Jesperson says:

    When I was young I was introduced to Dispensensationism by Hal Lindsey. Because I was young I believed it. The Late Great Planet Earth predicted a lot of soon coming events. They did not happen => false prophecy. As a grown man, I studied it and the three major theological alternatives. I came to the rational conclusion that the current fad is the one that least lines up with what is in the scriptures. It is sensational baloney. The biggest problem I have seen is that it preaches two raptures. The one everyone knows about and the one no one talks about: the post-millenial rapture just before God destroys the current earth to create a new one. Their are humans alive on earth at this point of time. Does God leave them to perish with everything else when they are destroyed by fire?

  25. Em again says:

    Mr. Jesperson, what i have found that integrates into Scripture very well may be what you’re describing – not sure…

    i am of a mid-trib rapture mindset (the Bride is removed – are Church and Bride synonymous, dunno, but i think so)
    but the gospel still goes out to all the world from a group (probably Israel – dunno) until the end of the tribulation period

    Christ comes back to earth at this time and slays all the folks alive on planet earth that have not believed the gospel msg.
    He then reigns as “Supreme Ruler” for a thousand years
    the believing portion of the human race that were alive upon His coming back to earth go on to live out their lives and repopulate the earth – still mortals
    then Satan is given one last shot at defeating Christ, he gathers rulers from the four corners of the earth who’ve been smarting under Christ’s dictatorship and they form one big army to go after Him.
    Satan’s last shot doesn’t work out the way he wanted, the rebels are all wiped out now for all time and this cursed earth is destroyed by fire and then comes a new earth and what all else is ahead after that? dunno, but it’s all good 🙂

    i buy into this and hope for it, but God is sovereign and it will play out according to His holy will and it will be the absolute best that could happen, however it happens, eh?

  26. Steve Wright says:

    Once more, I suggest the simple, well known, example of the list of the top ten problems in the high schools of America in 1955 and that same top ten list today.

    It is an objective sort of comparison that speaks for itself.

    There is no doubt that when it comes to both quantity and quality of life, that today is better than 1918. Since God is the One that gave humanity the death penalty for sin, and it eventually gets us all even if we do put it off a little longer, I am not sure that is the best comparison for how bad things are.

    I also do not believe in newspaper prophecy but I certainly do believe that God has given us prophetic details concerning the 2nd Coming just as He did of the 1st Coming. And I do think the Church is clearly stated to not be in the same darkness as the world (in the context of the Lord’s return – not simply salvation)

    I also think Greg is not doing anything different than Billy Graham did with Storm Warning 20+ years ago. And Billy ain’t CC

  27. Steve Wright says:

    When I was young I was introduced to Dispensensationism by Hal Lindsey. Because I was young I believed it.
    ————————————————–
    I introduce dispensationalism through Charles Ryrie – specifically his book by that title.

    It is far, far more than just a pretrib, premill eschatology.

    Even if people disagree with Ryrie, at least they are exposed to an accurate explanation of the theology they are disagreeing with…and not a cartoon representation

  28. Michael says:

    There is absolutely no “sign of the times” that can’t be found throughout history and in greater measure.

    While there has been a change in cultural attitudes toward some sin in America, America is not the measure of much in any sort of bigger picture.

    I would suggest that what can be measured is cultural decline in empire, not nearness to the Rapture.

  29. Babylon's Dread says:

    A little apocalyptic background on Greg from Lonnie Frisbee

    In the background I could hear someone saying things like –– “So you think that you know it all huh???” Little railing accusations from a brat came flying at me. He said rude things, and then he began to mock openly. It was like having mosquitoes come around your head. Swatting them away is not the same thing as getting them with a bug zapper. He was making my train of thought get off, because he was railing disrespectful blasphemous things. And so the Lord said, “Stretch forth thy hand and with the authority I’ve placed on your life –– you bring him down.” So I did exactly what the Lord said. I stretched forth my hand, and used the authority that God put in my words, and I turned everything that he was saying around on him in divine judgment. He fell on the ground powerless. Before everyone God struck him with the power and presence of God. The young student, Greg Laurie, was saved that day, and God also baptized him with the Holy Spirit. It was dramatic. Subsequently, God raised him up to be a pastor at the age of nineteen years old. He was seventeen when he was converted, and raised up to pastor Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, CA

    ….But I’m telling you that back on that hot day at Harbor High School, Greg Laurie got converted when he was struck from on high by the power of God. He was struck down a mocker, and raised up a son of God. It was a very powerful Saul of Tarsus type of conversion, where there was an experience literally from the sky. He became my little brother and spiritual son from that day forward. We were together almost every day, while God had him in my school. He knew my schedule, and followed me everywhere. He spent time with my family, and came to my meetings.

    … Greg Laurie was the son I never had –– and it was not by might, nor by power –– but by my Spirit saith the Lord!

    Frisbee, Lonnie; Sachs, with Roger (2012-06-26). Not by Might, Nor by Power: The Jesus Revolution (pp. 131-133). Freedom Publications. Kindle Edition.

  30. Michael says:

    I’ll even up the ante.
    I think we sin corporately by not acknowledging and giving thanks for all the ways that things are better than they were even fifty years ago.

    This constant harping on what’s wrong is denying the grace of God poured out in history.

  31. Babylon's Dread says:

    The real sign of the times was the destruction of Jerusalem AD70

    That was game set match for covenant Israel under Torah.

    What remains is a secular state in need of Christ.

    But most of that is another story

    Still … Let it be

  32. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Someone on the Linkathon thread said that he was amazed that the end times people follow the fiction of the Left Behind books more than the Bible.
    That whole end times theology is fiction and none of it is found in the Bible. Em’s timeline in her #25 is the exact view of these folks and not a single instance is in the Bible.

    And I find it kind of creepy that for 1,000 yrs regular people will be living with and interacting with spirit beings, like at the grocery store.

    Check it out – no fiction books or series of books on the Amil position 😉

  33. Babylon's Dread says:

    Like MLD, I find the millennial dictatorship of Jesus and his redeemed ones to be cartoonish. I find it astonishing that Jesus could reign with 1000 years of peace and heaven on earth realities and yet a Donald Trump figure could fuel the forces of those wishing to deport Jesus and his aliens. The more I write the more I think this could be a good series of fictional books.

    Tim LaDread

  34. Babylon's Dread says:

    I now put the Greg Laurie kind of presentation in the exact same category as conspiracy theories. When I do that it makes both more coherent but no more believable.

  35. Muff Potter says:

    While I can respect and tolerate Mr. Laurie’s views on eschatology, they are not mine and I wish him well on his journey. I doubt very seriously that he and his devotees would be as tolerant of me if they were to somehow seize power. (Think Snow and PANEM from the post apocalyptic Hunger Games trilogy).

    I agree with MLD and Babylon’s Dread about Jesus’ alleged dictatorship in the millenial kingdom. People who do the right thing and don’t do that which is abhorrent to them to others, need no king.

  36. Josh the Baptist says:

    “People who do the right thing and don’t do that which is abhorrent to them to others, need no king”

    Millennium or no, Jesus is King forever.

  37. Em again says:

    “This constant harping on what’s wrong is denying the grace of God poured out in history.”

    this is worth some thought …

    the supposition that Jesus couldn’t logically set up a thousand year kingdom here before the final destruction of the planet is … ? … dunno – assumptive and presumptive? why couldn’t He?
    IMV, it’s okay to not hold to that possibility, but to conclude that it is an impossible state of affairs is not …?… possible 🙂

  38. Em again says:

    “People who do the right thing and don’t do that which is abhorrent to them to others, need no king.”
    not following this … trying… who and where are these people? right now, in our present state of affairs?

  39. Babylon's Dread says:

    “the supposition that Jesus couldn’t logically set up a thousand year kingdom here before the final destruction of the planet is…”

    “I saw a new heaven and a new earth …”

    Many of us believe the text of scripture challenges the notion of a destroyed creation and relegate that idea to the myriad of problem teachings.

    As for the idea of a millennial reign being possible on earth, of course, it is. That it is coherently depicted in pop constructions is a fable. The depiction of it is so odd as to be non-sensical

  40. Michael says:

    In ancient Rome, murder was a spectator sport.
    After they ran out of victims for the day, you could go to the bath house or temple and engage in all manner of public debauchery.

    Tell me again how wicked we are in comparison…

  41. Em again says:

    look at what happened to Rome… one of these cycles – IMHO – will be the last one

    BD, not sure whether you theologians are so far into the forest that all you see are the trees or whether you’ve already come out the other side and have the logic down pat … i do know that you know more than i do … my late husband did also, but that never stopped me from disagreeing with him – never, even tho he was right most of the time – most of the time 🙂

  42. ( |o )====::: says:

    “This constant harping on what’s wrong is denying the grace of God poured out in history.”
    ~Michael Newnham

    Most excellent!

    =)

  43. Babylon's Dread says:

    Em,

    Emoji onward …

    😉 Dread

  44. Em again says:

    BD – the only emoji in my purse now is the smiley thing… but, it is a love smiley, not sarcasm

    BTW – your church is blest to have you IMO …
    maybe, however, you are blessed that i’m on the other side of country lol … but, i’ve never been a disruptive troublemaker in group situations… i don’t think … dunno

  45. Babylon's Dread says:

    Em

    Troublemakers like you are welcome

    I have learned to practice mutual trustful ignoring

    And still hug

  46. Lutheran says:

    Millennium or no, Jesus is King forever.

    Amen!

    As the pastor at the charismatic church I once attended would say —

    “That’s shoutin’ material!”

  47. Babylon's Dread says:

    Hallelujah!!

  48. Mr Jesperson says:

    Steve, I know that almost anybody is better in the Dispensational camp then Lindsey. He was my first exposure, but not my only. I attended a CC for 10 years. I had rejected Dispensationalism by that time after carefully comparing it with the alternatives, as I already stated. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historic_premillennialism https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amillennialism https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postmillennialism I did what a good Berean should do: I compared them all against each others and against the Scriptures. I am somewhere between the Amillennial and Historic view. I know who Darby is and Scofield. I even am even aware that the theology was once traced to a Baptist preacher in the south in the 1700’s. I think Dis. does not align with the scriptures at all.

  49. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Mr J and I finally agree on something 🙂

  50. Ixtlan says:

    Interesting that Laurie is talking end times….While not following him much, i don’t recall him doing so in the past several years.

    While I am not a dispensationalist, some of the poster’s here betray their blind bias in their hyperbolic characterization of a dispensational position. Obviously, they have their own draftsmen.

  51. Muff Potter says:

    “Millennium or no, Jesus is King forever.”

    No argument here Josh. There’s an old hymn that I believe fervently:

    Beautiful Savior
    King of Creation…

    In that sense yes.
    What I had in mind, and what I flatly reject is the control-freakery Jesus many fundagelical sects teach.

  52. Eric says:

    Coming soon on a Facebook status:

    “This constant harping on what’s wrong is denying the grace of God poured out in history.”
    ~author unknown

  53. Em again says:

    Eric – gotta agree – that was one of Michael’s aka “author unknown” quotables

  54. Ixtlan,
    I slip back and forth in my phrasing, but I usually do not like to get into dispensationalism because the adherence are too dishonest and they are like trying to nail Jello to the wall. Whenever you describe the position, they always say “well I don’t teach that”. If you bring up Hal Lindsey as an example, they deny him as not being an authentic disensationalist — he is not teaching what Charles Ryrie taught. But in fact he is – most people don’t know that Ryrie changed his view on dispensationalism in the early 60s – but when Hal Lindsey was his student in the mid 50s that is exactly what was being taught.

    I much prefer to speak in terms of Rapture Theology – which has been the majority end times view in America – this is Chuck Smith, Greg Laurie, Hal Lindsey, Tommy Ice, the Left Behind guys.

    I know that position well – was fed it for 25 yrs and taught it for 20.

  55. Ruth says:

    I would love to believe Greg Laurie isn’t in this gig for the money, but I think he is just another celeb christian selling Jesus for his own profit. I hope I’m wrong.

  56. Josh the Baptist says:

    Muff – We’re singing that one Sunday at church!

  57. Nonnie says:

    I believe that Greg Laurie is a man who has a God given passion for people to know Christ.

    Agree or disagree with his take on end times doesn’t matter to me. I really do believe he has a heart for people come to Jesus.

  58. Disillusioned says:

    “I would suggest that what can be measured is cultural decline in empire, not nearness to the Rapture.”

    This.

  59. Ixtlan says:

    mld,
    Rapture theology was the catalyst of the Jesus Movement as it appealed to a generation that was attracted to an escapist narrative. It was, in sense, another form of “turn on, tune in, and drop out”. I don’t consider this as heavy an indictment as it sounds, God has many things at His disposal to reach the human heart. As you noted, “The Late Great Planet Earth” was the spark that set fire to the interest in eschatology; it scared the hell out of people, and sometimes , that’s a good thing. As we get older and look back on shifting tides of populist movements within the church, we view the phenomena and the theology that drove it with greater maturity and balance. As you yourself stated, you were in the thick of such teaching for over 25 years… I have moved on from feeling ripped off, to assigning it as a place in my overall journey.

  60. Michael says:

    Here’s what I’m getting at.
    We have had fifty years of preaching about “the signs of the times” that weren’t signs of anything and the signs changed with the daily news cycle.

    I think I would contend at this point that the only discernible signs of the very end will be associated with the rise of Anti-Christ and even those have historical precedent.

    We have created a cottage industry in the church based on fear and slander, while being almost completely ignorant of the doctrine of the kingdom.

    We don’t need anymore hysterical articles about the end times and it’s boogeymen, we need instruction on how to be ambassadors for Christ proclaiming His kingdom rule.

    Have a great day…

  61. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Ixtlan
    ” I have moved on from feeling ripped off, to assigning it as a place in my overall journey.”

    I agree – I just toss it off as bad teaching as I do the Word Faith stuff … same root (attraction)

  62. Jean says:

    MLD, I thought the Caitlyn Jenners are common place in your neck of the woods. 🙂

  63. Dan from Georgia says:

    MLD (#32)

    The lack of amillenial books/movies/posters/conferences/coffee mugs/etc may be more of a reflection of the lack of sci-fi type action in that position…a la a Michael Bay blockbuster movie?

  64. Dan from Georgia says:

    Probably heard this quasi-joke/pun somewhere, but I am of the “pan-millenial” position…whatever pans out (in God’s plan) is fine with me!

    No conferences, fiction books, hoarding supplies, guns, etc.

  65. David H says:

    Greg Laurie hasn’t met a end times scenario that he doesn’t love.

    I spent my first years as a new Christian at Harvest. Every service ended with – paraphrase – “You need to be right with the Lord in case the world ends tonight.” The I moved on to another CC where the services ended on the same note. “We’re all going to die, are you ready?”

    I’m at a new place where I haven’t heard that for over a year. Our new church is all about making disciples, and reaching the community.

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