The Pursuit of God

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Dealing with the Death of Christians in the End Times

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The Church is teaching you to view the end times as an epic battle of demons and the world versus Christians.  If you believe this, then you’re going to interpret the death of Christians as “evil” gaining ground, and you’ll end up praying some pretty useless prayers. Rather than join the Church in her imbecilic exaltation of created beings, you need to get serious about seeking the wisdom of God regarding the end times. The clock is running down, and soon we’re all going to have a real mess on our hands. If you go into this period theologically unprepared, you’re going to waste a whole lot of time praying stupid prayers and freaking out over things that aren’t even happening. 

The end times are just that: the end.  This is going to be the period in which God starts drawing a dramatic close to this earthly phase of the human project.  During this period, His patience with our usual rebellion is going to be a lot shorter, so if you’re serious about pleasing Him, you need to be asking Him to help you go into this period ready to honor Him with your response to His actions.  “Oh, God, what is happening?!” is not going to be what God considers an honoring response after you’ve been exposed to the end times material on this site.  Plenty of people will not have been exposed, which means they’re going to have to play some serious catch up.  But those of you who have been forewarned about the level of destruction that God is going to be unleashing and the end time prophet who He is going to be working through fall into the category of extra illuminated. We are judged by what we know, and once God has informed you that He is the One ripping the place apart, you are going to end up on the wrong side of His wrath if you try to credit His work to aliens, demons, or humans.

For centuries the Church has been using the dramatic topic of the end times to sell products and keep Christians bogged down in fear and an idolatrous awe of created beings.  This is how rebellious the Church is.  These antichrist exalting morons who are preaching fear at you from all sides are not listening to God.  They’re just trying to impress you with their ridiculous misapplications of Scripture so that you’ll give them your money and adoration.  They’re using your ignorance and lack of discernment to con you into turning your focus off of everything that matters.  Pleasing God is what matters, and any prophetic teaching that is actually from God will be telling you to embrace soul attitudes and priorities which God finds pleasing.  Obsessing over what crooked politicians are planning behind closed doors is hardly a priority which God wants you wasting your life on.  Developing more reverence for some antichrist figure than you have for God is hardly a soul attitude which God is going to encourage you to have.  Life is about God, not about trying to build underground bunkers and stockpile food so that we can all pretend we’re not dependent on God to protect us in life.  The vast majority of end times teaching which you will come across is 100% garbage.  If you accept lies as truth, where do you think that’s going to take you?  And if you aren’t bothering to ask God for wisdom before you just swallow whatever some self-anointed prophet says, then are you treating Him like the Supreme Authority that He is?  No, you’re not.

The end times are not a game.  We don’t discuss these things to get more hits on our website or to gain fans or so that we can say some carnal “We told you so!” when it all hits the fan.  By the time the end times begin, having accurately predicted them is hardly going to be seen as a plus by governing authorities.  There is no benefit in accurately predicting bad news for the human race—it’s more like you just get yourself in line for an extra amount of flack.  So for those of you who are trying to figure out what our angle is for talking about the end times, the answer is simple: we want you to be among the small minority of souls who actually thrive in your personal walk with God during this period.  Most Christians are going to tank miserably because they will refuse to listen to God.  We want you to not tank.  We want you to rapidly stabilize when you’re hit with a wall of fear and keep your spiritual priorities where they ought to be.  We want you to put God first in this period and look to Him for guidance the whole time.  We want you to leave this planet a whole lot closer to God for having experienced some part of the end time drama.  This is why we talk about the end times: to help you.  How does helping you help us?  It doesn’t.  But God wants His people to thrive by choosing to listen to Him in life and we want what God wants.  This is how it works when you have your priorities right: life is about pleasing God, not pleasing people.  And since God cares about people, you end up caring about people even when caring about them isn’t going to give you any earthly perks.

Now all of that said, the closer we get to the start of the end times, the more urgent it becomes to get a more realistic idea of just how disturbing some aspects of this period will be.  When He’s preparing us for something difficult, God doesn’t just dump the bad news on us all at once.  Instead, He waits until we’re very close to the start of the trial period before He starts getting into some of the more graphic details.  We find Yahweh rolling out this kind of pattern in the Old Testament.  When King Jeroboam created two golden cow gods and told all of the people of his kingdom to worship them instead of Yahweh, Yahweh responded by announcing that He would one day utterly destroy the northern kingdom of Israel.  At the time Yahweh first gave this prophecy, He didn’t go on at length about how grisly the fall of Israel would be.  Instead, He waited until the lifetimes of the prophets Isaiah and Hosea.  These two men actually saw the northern kingdom fall to the Assyrian army, and when they preached, they were talking to the generation of folks who would be alive for that event.  It was to the generation who would experience the crisis firsthand that Yahweh suddenly became very graphic in His descriptions of what was coming:

“The people of Samaria [the capital city of Israel] must bear the consequences of their guilt because they rebelled against their God. They will be killed by an invading army, their little ones dashed to death against the ground, their pregnant women ripped open by swords.” (Hosea 13:16)

Now of course whenever God starts talking about slamming babies against the ground and ripping open pregnant women, a whole crop of God haters start freaking out and declaring that these verses prove that the Christian God is a coldhearted Creep.  Well, no, actually these verses prove that the real Gods are not boundaryless doormats who we can walk all over without consequences.  You see, it’s perfectly okay if we humans draw derogatory pictures of Jesus and openly mock our Creators in public, but should those same Creators retaliate by maiming our earthsuits or slaughtering our loved ones, well then They’re the Jerks, and we’re just the innocent victims.  These are the games we play, but such games don’t fly with our Gods.  You won’t find Yahweh apologizing for His assault on babies and pregnant women.  Instead, you’ll find Him taking full responsibility for the carnage so that the defiant Jews make no mistake about Who it is that’s tearing them apart.

“I have been Yahweh your God ever since I brought you out of Egypt. You must acknowledge no God but Me, for there is no other savior. I took care of you in the wilderness, in that dry and thirsty land. But when you had eaten and were satisfied, you became proud and forgot Me. So now I will attack you like a lion, like a leopard that lurks along the road. Like a bear whose cubs have been taken away, I will tear out your heart. I will devour you like a hungry lioness and mangle you like a wild animal. You are about to be destroyed, O Israel— yes, by Me, your only Helper.” (Hos. 13:4-9)

Who can you turn to for help when God is the One attacking you? There is no one.  You might try pleading with God to calm down, and this is a common way that Christians have responded to God over the centuries.  But, seriously, who are we to give God Almighty lectures on anger management?  If God is angry, He has good reason to be, and if we were really as loyal to Him as we claim, we wouldn’t be so quick to suggest that He’s being unreasonable whenever He starts attacking us.

Now what makes God haters so nervous about Christians being alright with God’s wrath is that they think we’ll then use God’s wrath as an excuse to go butchering people.  Of course this fear is only valid if you totally discount God’s sovereignty, because according to Him, nothing in this world happens without His approval and help.  The biblical records are filled with examples of God using humans as His instruments of Divine discipline.  But the problem with God working through humans is that the reverence factor gets lost.  For example, when the massive Assyrian army invaded Israel and started hacking people down with swords, it would be very easy to simply credit the Assyrians for doing all of the destroying while you pretended that Yahweh had nothing to do with it.  Today the Church plays these kinds of games all the time as she pretends that God has nothing to do with the terrible things that are happening all around her.  But of course He does, and one of the fabulous things about the end times is how God is going to force us all to acknowledge a Supernatural Being at work by pulling off feats that are humanly impossible.

GOD VS. THE CHURCH

In the end times, scores of Christians are going to die.  Scores of non-Christians will die as well, but because Christians like to pretend that God would never aim His wrath in their direction, we will find the death of Christians more difficult to theologically digest.  This is the specific issue we want to deal with in this post: how we can respond to the death of Christians in a way that pleases our Gods.

Now Christians come in a wide variety of packages, and the more popular an individual is in the Church, the more shocked we will be by his death. It’s bad enough if some sweet soul in the general congregation gets it—but it’s all the more disturbing if our pastor is the one who gets killed in some graphic way. The reality is that a lot of pastors are going to get graphically killed by God during the end times, and He’ll often stage their deaths in very public ways to ensure that we all get a good faceful of what He’s done.

Along with our spiritual leaders getting butchered, we’re going to see many churches get destroyed in supernatural ways.  What exactly does this mean?  Well, some nutcase chucking a pipe bomb into a church building does not qualify as “supernatural” in our minds, does it?  And since the end times are all about turning our focus onto our Creators and motivating us to make wise spiritual choices before we’re out of time, God is going to ensure that His fingerprint is quite clear on the destruction He causes.  He will do this by violating the laws of nature and physics which we are so used to depending on.  To help you set realistic expectations, let’s run through some scenarios of things that are actually going to happen during the end time period and consider what your theological response to these things would be.

You’re sitting in a church and you see your pastor’s body suddenly yanked into the air, torn apart, and then dropped onto the ground in a lifeless, bloody pile.

You leave your mega church’s huge sanctuary to fetch something from your car, and while you’re out in the parking lot, the entire sanctuary bursts into flames and everyone is burned alive.

You hear in the news that the bodies of several church board members were found sitting around a conference room table, with swarms of beetles crawling in and out of their mouths.  The coroner’s conclusion is that they were eaten alive.

A traumatized associate pastor tells news reporters that his boss and mentor, a senior pastor at a large church, had his esophagus miraculously torn out of his neck before falling over dead. 

A group of parishioners report being instantly relocated to a patch of lawn on their large church’s campus before the whole sanctuary burst into flames. 

At a Christian worship concert, scores of concert goers suddenly turn into plaster while others flee in terror.  Analysis of each plaster body reveals that the plaster contains the DNA of each human that was changed.  No trace of the actual humans is found, so they are officially reported as missing.

During a packed out worship service, the roof of the sanctuary suddenly collapses as a single unit and hundreds are crushed alive.

During a live news broadcast, the body of a famous church leader is flung into the air and slammed against the side of a tall building.  The man dies from impact and the Church encourages everyone to glorify him as a martyr.

How would you theologically interpret events like these today?  Are you going to credit God or demons?  When bodies start going aerial and entire rooms combust without any triggering explosion, we can hardly blame human terrorists.  But wait—why would God want to assault His own people?  Well, let’s be honest: the Church isn’t exactly wowing God with her loyalty.  It’s more like she’s promoting a reversal of His truth and rebelling against Him every chance she gets.  God has plenty of reasons to be ticked at the Church, but does this mean we should conclude that every soul God kills in some graphic way was personally rebelling against Him?  No, such a conclusion is far too simplistic.

It never works to try and use external factors to determine someone’s standing with God. And since God works with each of us individually, He’s not going to be providing explanations of His personal view of every soul who He kills.  Why should He? It’s really none of our business, nor is it relevant to what we’re doing in our own walks with God.  In your life, what matters is that you and God are in a good place.  If you know that He is pleased with you, then you really don’t need to stand around approving of His every move.  But you do need some way to theologically digest the very upsetting things He is going to be doing, and there are several ways that you can do that.

ALIGNING WITH GOD’S VIEW OF DEATH

God is a very good and gracious Being.  He also views death as a mere transition, not as an end to our existence.  While we humans tend to obsess over how we die, God says what really matters is where we end up in eternity.  For some of us, death is the beginning of a much better situation.  Is God going to apologize for taking souls to Heaven?  Not hardly.  It doesn’t matter how graphic their deaths are—He is giving them a fabulous gift, and He hardly considers admittance into His Heaven to be a negative thing.  As Christians, we need to do a better job of aligning with God’s view of death, because this will help us steer clear of griping at Him when He takes someone we care about.

GETTING OUR PRIORITIES RIGHT: GOD COMES FIRST

Clinging to this earth as if this place is so much better than being with God in Heaven is hardly an attitude that is pleasing to our Creators.  At the same time, accusing God of being mean for taking our loved ones when He actually took them on to a much better place is hardly justifiable.  Let’s get real about what we’re really doing when we beef at God for killing the people we care about: what we’re really mad about is our own loss.  If our loved ones took care of business with the true Gods on earth, we should be glad to see them go on to their reward. But the truth is that we’re much too selfish to be glad for other Christians who get transferred out of here.  Instead, what we care about is the void they’ve left in our lives, and it’s really our own pain that motivates us to start accusing God of being cruel.  So how do we improve our attitudes in this area?  Well, an obsession with other people is the first place we go wrong.  God says we’re supposed to be loving Him first, but for many of us, other humans are far more important to us than our own Creators.  If this is where you’re currently at, now is the time to ask God to help you get your priorities aligned with His.

Now because the Christian label is so frequently misapplied, many souls who are calling themselves Christians on earth will actually end up in Hell when they die.  Is God going to give you confirmation about where all of the people you personally care about ended up if they die before you?  No, He’s not.  But if your priorities are in the right order, then you will have a way to accept the notion that your loved ones ended up in Hell.

When we have a correct understanding of what it means to put God first, then we consider God’s satisfaction to be far more important and satisfying to us than the satisfaction of other created beings.  Let’s use a human analogy to see how this works out. Suppose a man has a wife who he dearly loves.  The man also has a coworker who he considers to be little more than an acquaintance.  Who does the man care most about?  His wife, of course.  One day the man’s wife comes home with exciting news that she’s finally accomplished a personal goal which she’s had for a long time.  Because the man loves his wife so much, he is sincerely thrilled by her news.  Her joy brings him joy as well because of how much he cares about her.  But when the man mentions his wife’s good news at work, his coworker scoffs and says, “That was a stupid goal for her to pick in the first place, so I don’t see what’s so thrilling about her reaching it.”  Does this sour attitude lessen the husband’s joy?  No, he considers his coworker’s opinion to be irrelevant because his coworker just isn’t that important to him.

Our Creators say that it is very pleasing to Them to eternally punish those who scorn Them on earth and refuse to submit to Their Authority.  They also say that no one ends up in Hell by accident—we only get there through willful rebellion.  Well, the more you care about your Gods, the more important Their satisfaction will become to you.  Certainly humans will never like the idea of other humans ending up in Hell, but your Creators say that the whole Hell package is a fabulous thing.  So who are you going to side with?  Suppose you knew that some human who you cared about ended up in Hell when they died.  Would it be honoring to your Gods to go into some big depressed funk and sit around crying over that soul’s anguish like it’s some terrible thing?  If you were to act that way, you would be siding with humans against your Gods.  Humans say Hell is bad, the Gods who created Hell say it is good.  As a Christian, you have to pick a side.  You can’t straddle both camps when there is such a strong difference in opinions.

Now since you are a human, you can’t help the fact that you are personally disturbed by the notion of your Gods torturing humans forever.  You don’t find such behavior easy to understand, but understanding is not what your Gods are asking of you. They want your loyalty.  They want you to be choosing to side with Them over other humans whenever humans decide to oppose Them.  So how do you do this when you still feel squeamish about Hell?  It’s simple.  You pray something like this:

“God, help me to honor You with my view of death. Help me to embrace attitudes that please You and help my devotion to You to grow so strong that I never consider siding against You for any reason.” 

This is a prayer of submission. You and God have different opinions about Hell, but you want to please Him, so you are submitting to His perspective.  Now if you can’t honestly pray something like this, then you are withholding submission, and that is definitely not the kind of position you want to stay in.  So if you’re stuck, ask God to help you get unstuck.

REMEMBERING THAT ALL LIFE IS GOD’S PROPERTY

Humans are quite literally the property of the Gods who created them.  Given this, can we really justify telling God who He can and can’t kill or hurt?  No, we can’t.  You see, the Church teaches us to be very lazy in the submission department.  She teaches us that revering God is no big deal, and that we needn’t get serious about pleasing Him until we find it personally convenient to do so.  And while we’re not finding it convenient to treat God like God, we settle into a very dangerous mindset of treating Him like our Servant.  Here is where we start in with the bossy prayers and the constant criticizing of God’s choices while we keep nagging Him to submit to our agendas.  We need to realize that carrying such snarky attitudes into the end times is going to put us in line for some nasty forms of discipline.  When God is in mass slaughter mode, He is less patient with griping.

UNDERSTANDING GOD’S PROMISES TO CHRISTIANS

God has not promised Christians a sweet life on earth in exchange for their sincere devotion to Him.  He also has not promised to give us longer lives than non-Christians, nor does He say that we are exempt from all forms of discipline.  Given these facts, how exactly do we justify viewing the death of Christians as more horrible than the death of non-Christians?  We of all people should understand how temporary life on earth is, and we should be the most prepared to move on when God says it is time.  Considering all of the songs we sing about joyfully anticipating Heaven, why do we get all attitudinal when God starts killing us off?  Are you seeing the problem with going into the end times all huffy about the notion of God killing Christians?  It simply doesn’t work. God isn’t being unfair when He kills us.  He isn’t breaking a promise, He isn’t stepping out of His place, and He certainly isn’t being mean to take us on to Heaven.  So if you know you’ve got a beef with God killing Christians, now is the time to ask Him to help you fix your attitude.  God is going to be killing scores of Christians during the end times.  He’ll be leveling many churches, and He’ll be killing many famous Christian leaders.  He’s God.  He gets to do whatever He wants and we really have no grounds for griping.

GUILTY BY ASSOCIATION

There is one final point that we need to discuss regarding this death business.  If you’re going to some church that is taking a rebellious stance towards God, are you going to get in trouble with Him for associating with those who are intentionally defying Him?  Well, God judges you by your soul’s response to Him, not by who you’re hanging out with on earth.  If God is telling you to cut ties with some lemon of a church, and you’re refusing to listen to Him because you don’t find His convictions convenient, are you setting yourself up to be spanked?  Yes, you are.  Why should God put up with your snarky attitude?

Now does God expect you to dig into the leadership of every church you attend and try to assess what’s going on in other people’s souls?  Not at all.  Trying to judge other people is the wrong focus.  You need to keep your eyes on your own walk with God.  If you’re going to church right now and God isn’t telling you to stop, then there’s no reason to think He’s mad at you. God never confuses those who care about Him with those who don’t.

In the end times, many reverent souls will receive some miraculous help in times of crisis as a reward for their right soul choices.  Does that mean God is angry with souls who He’s not helping as much? No.  Daniel and Ezekiel both pleased God, but Daniel was set up in a fancy palace while Ezekiel was left living in the poor section of town.  When God rescued Daniel from the lion’s den, He was rewarding Daniel for his faith.  But when God had John the Baptist get beheaded, He was rewarding John as well by taking him on to Heaven.  Divine help, rewards, and commendations come in many different forms.  When we compare stories with each other, we often end up misinterpreting God’s view of someone because we don’t have all of the information.  What you need to understand is that God judges you by your soul’s response to Him.  If you sincerely care about pleasing Him, you are going to want to obey His convictions, and He is going to be pleased with you. If you are defying Him, then you’re going to blow off His convictions and He’s going to discipline you.  Don’t confuse yourself by focusing on your circumstances—instead, trust that God will clearly communicate to you when there’s something He wants you to do or change.

As we often say, the end times should be viewed as a thrilling opportunity for spiritual growth.  In this post, we’ve been covering a grim subject and discussing some disturbing ideas.  But even though there will certainly be negative elements in this period, there will also be many positives.  Our Gods are always with us and They promise to guide us and draw us closer to Them if we are serious about pleasing Them.  By being receptive to any help They want to give us now, we can go into the end times ready to thrive.

FURTHER READING:
Destruction in the End Times: Respecting Ownership
Preparing for the End Times: Releasing Our Loved Ones
Your End Times Faith Crisis: Staying Aligned with a Scary God
Honoring God with Our View of Heaven
What Happens After Death
Why We Shouldn’t Mourn for the Dead
RIP: Escaping the Delusion that Souls Rest In Peace

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