Saturday, November 04, 2006

The Race to Armageddon

During the last month, two things have caught my attention and reminded me that the end is coming at an ever increasing rate. These two things are not new; they have been going on for years. Nor are they directly related. Yet they provide a telling picture of the coming conflict.

The first was an article about the North American Union.1 According to this article, the leaders of the United States, Canada, and Mexico have met and are working on a plan to unite the three countries into one geopolitical unit, similar to the European Union, called the North American Union. Portions of the plan would result in the virtual elimination of the international borders between these countries, a tremendous increase in economic activity among the countries, and the merging of the laws and currency of the three nations. In other words, the United States of America would have ceased to exist as a separate, sovereign nation. And all without the consent or support of the American people.

And this is just one small [relatively] part of a larger plan that has been going on for decades to unite the world in one global community. Many Christians feel this will usher in the rule of the antichrist and the persecution of Christians worldwide.

The second was a reminder at a Wycliffe banquet about the work of Bible translation that is going on around the world. During the past several years, the pace of Bible translation has been accelerated dramatically, to the point where Bible translators are hoping to have started translation in every language that needs one by 2025.2 That is a tremendous task indeed, and the obstacles seem daunting, but over a century has already been cut from the job since the adoption of Vision 2025, as the goal is termed. And the acceleration is increasing continually, as more and more Christians catch the vision and support the work of Bible translation through giving, volunteering, and praying.

The Bible repeatedly ties the reaching of all language groups with the gospel with the end of the age.
And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
Matthew 24:14

And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
Revelation 5:9

And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,
Revelation 14:6

As I thought about these two continuing developments in the last great saga of the universe, I couldn't help but think of the difference in response to each of them. The first reaction, at least of conservative Christians, would be to fight to the death to avoid the creation of the North American Union, while also supporting the work of Bible translation as they think necessary. But is that the proper response?

We already know from prophecy that a one-world government ruled by evil incarnated will arise in the last days. The details of how that will come about are sketchy, but I don't think it would be a stretch to say that the NAU would be part of that plan. If it is, nothing we can do will stop it from happening.

On the other hand, we also know from Jesus' words that the gospel will be preached to all nations, and that people of all languages will be present around the throne of God. Again, the details of how that will happen are also not clear, but it would not at all be a stretch to assume that Bible translation will be a vital part of that. If it is, nothing Satan can do could stop it from happening. But anything Christians can do to make it happen sooner will shorten the reign of evil. The Bible says that "The longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9) That means it's up to us to reach all nations as quickly as possible.

So which is the better strategy? To use our resources and time to fight the inevitable evil, or to use them to further and accelerate the inevitable good? The end is coming. How soon it comes depends on us. We decide, at least to a certain degree, how evil the world will be when Jesus returns. If we persist in wasting time fighting the inevitable evil, the inevitable good will take longer to be accomplished. And the longer that takes, the more evil the world will get.

Another thing to think about is that as the world slides more and more into violence, confusion, natural disasters, etc. as the end approaches, fewer and fewer people will have the economic means to support the work of Bible translation. Right now we are still extremely rich, with abundant resources available and the technology and equipment to carry out the numerous Bible translation projects going on. But that will change in the not too distant future, if not because of persecution, at least because of a poor economy.

So again, it is up to us, right here, right now to decide how we will fight in this battle, whether we will defensively oppose the evil or offensively support the good. True, to go on the offense will lose us many things we hold dear. But is America really more important than the souls of men and women or the will of God?

Armageddon is coming. What are you doing about it?

1. Kerby Anderson, "North American Union", on the Christian Worldview Network. See also "The Federal Reserve: The Engine of Power" and "The Twilight's Last Gleaming?", both by Chuck Missler.

2. Vision 2025 on the Wycliffe International website.