Thursday, March 10, 2011

Apocalypse, Armageddon, and the Coming Glory of God

The word Apocalypse is a Greek word meaning a parting of the veil. It means revelation, revealing of truth. Why are people afraid? Because they lie too often, and hide behind fig leaves of rationalization to cover shame. Some deception is an unavoidable part of our lives and absolute honesty isn't possible or desirable. It's not the social white lies that are the problem, but the ones we condemn in others. Not all of us feel anxious, of course. If you're not afraid of Apocalypse it's because you're a truthful person of goodwill. So you can see it's a litmus test, just like the ones doctors give to see if we're suffering from disease.

Armageddon is scarier, I grant you. The word means the mountains above Megiddo and is derived from a real town in Israel, Megiddo, an ancient and popular with tourists today. It's a metaphorical land of showdowns. In ancient times decisive battles were fought there. For us today it means the final battle between God and Satan, the spirit forces of eternal life and joy vs. the worldly opposite. Our victory is not in question.

We should be celebrating! Just as we would if an old, ugly, rotting, and disgraced house were being             demolished to be replaced with an entirely new and more desirable one. Our world is being transformed before our eyes. It's becoming clearer every day that the nations and peoples we've known are utterly bankrupt; physically, morally, and spiritually. Granted, it's not a pretty sight. Mass delusion and psychosis are abroad in the land. Both Charlie Sheen's and Muhammar Gaddafi's delusional rantings are emblematic of the process.

The evidence is clear to many scholars that the terrible process of demolition has been going on for almost 100 years. World War I began in 1914, and the massive death, destruction, and pure evil we saw in the 20th century clearly started then. Orderly and benign governments were destroyed wholesale. Famine, plague, social chaos, Soviet communism, totalitarian oppression by technology, Nazism, Fascism, holocausts, and inchoate fear of every sort have their roots in that era. It didn't end with the Versailles peace treaty in 1918, but went dormant; gearing up for a worse conflict in the late 1930's. By 1945, half the world lay in ruins and the atomic bomb was the newest instrument of terror. The psychological damage to all of us was even worse.

This was Armageddon as described in Revelation, the last book of the Bible. The events seen by its author, John of Patmos, two-thousand years ago were a warning to all humanity; but nowhere does the Bible say that we living would see what he saw. We experience the effects of the events he saw. Jesus says the Day of Judgement will come upon us quickly, like a "thief in the night". We won't see it coming. On the contrary, people will be taken largely unawares. But not people of faith. We will be as the virgins "whose lamps were shining when the bridegroom arrived".

The truth will set us free. But first it will hurt like hell. The Ruling Classes today are in pride and prosperity withdrawal, like an addict going cold turkey. Few things are more miserable. The term Ruling Classes includes all people who are comfortable with things as they are, and who are trying to maintain the status quo. Money, power, and fear are the gods they worship.

Mankind is staring now at a huge and looming dead end. The Pit.  Every form of government but one has been tried and tried again; failure upon failure. Tribal rule fails, monarchies fail, dictatorships of every kind collapse when dictators die, Marxism is a spectacular fraud and deadly disaster.

One form of government has worked relatively well for much of its tenure but has become corrupted, largely because of its successes: representative democracy based on Judeo-Christian values and precepts.. It takes two forms, the American-style republic and parliamentary democracy. The essential weakness of these is they require an educated and moral people for their support. One thing they do better than all other forms of government - if allowed to function as designed - and that is self-reformation.

This self-reforming function has collapsed and corruption is rampant. Mankind largely lost its faith in God over a hundred years ago, as technology succeeded. We began worshipping pure reason, technology, and science. The planet groans in agony as the future looks darker, bleaker, and more poisonous.

But there's good news. This collapse has been seen and planned for from the foundation of the world. The Scriptures of all great religions predict these events and the outcome of it all.

The angel said, "All the works of godless people must come to wrack and ruin." Faithful people of goodwill and honest words and deeds owe it to themselves to be fearless and joyful. What's coming is the greatest day in human history. A new heaven and a new earth.