The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Understanding the Purpose of Terror in the End Times

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All humans want to believe that they were created by a benevolent Being.  How else can we feel safe?  Clearly the Being who created us and everything else in existence is One whose power, abilities, and intelligence are such that we can’t begin to be His equal in any area.  If we have no hope of besting Him, then we have no hope of controlling Him, and that leaves us feeling totally vulnerable and defenseless.  This is why it is so imperative that God be good in Character.  If He’s not good, then He becomes such a terrifying threat to our well-being that we respond by actually trying to pretend God doesn’t even exist. 

Listen to the endless ranting of those who despise the Christian Gods, and you’ll find that their refusal to submit to those Gods comes down to the very basic issue of approval.  Somewhere in our deluded brains, we humans cling to the notion that we are automatically excused from having to acknowledge or submit to any God who we do not personally approve of.  And since Yahweh, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are big fans of very nasty concepts like Hell, we humans heartily disapprove of Them.

In the world today, there are scores of humans who say that the Christian Gods are sadistic Ogres.  To support this claim, those humans point to all of the horrific things that the Christian Gods have done in the past, along with all of the things that They continue to do today.  The Bible alone provides reams of evidence of the Christian Gods inflicting all manner of suffering onto Their own fragile creatures.  And by the time those same Gods claim to be the Creators and Sustainers of all things, then any attempt to pretend that They have nothing to do with man’s cruelty to man gets proven to be the ridiculous thing that it is.  We simply cannot pretend that the real Gods have nothing to do with evil, and the real Gods have never taught us to take such an absurd stand.   After all, it was Yahweh who said:

“I form the light and create darkness; I cause well-being and create evil; I am Yahweh who does all these.” (Isa 45:7)

A God who causes well-being certainly sounds good in Character.  But if that same God also boasts of creating evil, well then we start having some serious doubts about how good He is.  And once we start doubting the goodness of God, we are quick to conclude that we are justified in refusing to submit to that God.  After all, He sounds like a big Meanie, and we shouldn’t have to submit to a Meanie.  Well, to be more honest, we don’t want to submit to a God who we don’t personally approve of, and it’s really our own personal preferences which we’re trying to turn into universal laws which God Himself must abide by.  Once we accuse God of being a jerk, we sit back and wait for Him to convince us otherwise, fully expecting Him to play by our rules.  But does He?  Of course not.

Whenever we humans start trying to dominate our own Creators, we are the only ones who suffer for it.  There’s a limit to how much attitude our Creators are willing to receive from us, and that limit falls in a different place for each person.  While we have been designed to live forever, we’re only being given a very short window of time in which to sincerely submit to our Creators as the Supreme Authorities that They are.  Should we refuse to give Them sufficient submission, then we will end up eternally suspended in some conscious state of horrific soul torment.  This is how the game works, and since we’re not in control of the game, our only option is to play along with the Ones who are.

Well, submitting to Gods who we don’t personally approve of just isn’t something humans do very readily.  Here’s where scores of well-meaning Christian evangelists rise up to try and convince the world that the Christian Gods really aren’t so disturbing after all.  Since they are humans themselves, Christians have far too much sympathy with the concept of humans not wanting to submit to Gods who they don’t personally approve of.  So Christians mistakenly think that the best way to talk sense into attitudinal rebels is to convince those folks that the true Gods really are a lot nicer than They sound.  It is in a desperate and very misguided effort to help humans like their own Makers that Christians cook up a bunch of absurd arguments for why the Creators of all things have no relationship with anything that humans personally disapprove of.  Did a band of terrorists just gang rape a bunch of women?  Clearly God had nothing to do with it.  Are children being kidnapped and turned into sex slaves?  Is the human sex trafficking industry booming?  Don’t blame the Christian Gods—They would never want any of these things to happen.  Are hideous plagues breaking out somewhere?  Are children being born with gruesome deformities?  Are evil tyrants seizing power?  Are innocent men being tortured to death in prisons?  Are the good getting trounced on while the wicked are thriving?  Don’t point to the Creators of all things, because They don’t have anything to do with the things we humans dislike.  Point somewhere else.  Come up with some other party to blame.  Satan.  Sin.  Anyone but the real Gods.

This is the common Christian approach to evangelism: lie your face off about God’s involvement with evil and talk on and on about His “good” qualities until non-Christians are finally convinced that God really is a nice Guy.  Then, when a bunch of snarky humans decide that, yes, they will give sweet Jesus the great honor of being acknowledged by them, Christians foolishly think they’ve just added to the Kingdom of God.  But have they?  Is patting God on the head and saying, “I approve of how You operate,” really enough to gain admittance into His Heaven?  No, it’s not.

In the game that They are forcing us to play, our Creators present us with two very simple options: submit to Them and have the option of thriving, or defy Them and be stuck eternally writhing.  Unless you want to end up as Their permanent torture victim, you must submit to Them as the Supreme Authorities that They are.  Submitting to God is about your soul bowing down and saying, “I yield to You as the Supreme Authority.”  It’s not good enough to submit to God as an Authority—He demands that you submit to Him as the Supreme Authority.  But here’s where we get to the fascinating part, because submission is not even possible until you are presented with a reason to dislike God.

As soon as two men start fighting with each other in a bar, the question that gets raised in everyone’s mind is, “Who will win?”  Perhaps the fight started when John called Marcus’ wife a fat cow.  Or maybe the fight started when Marcus called John a sissy.  Regardless of what triggered the fight, once the fists start flying, the issue becomes one of domination.  Each man’s goal is now to get the other man to publicly acknowledge him as being the superior one.  And yet each time John hits Marcus, Marcus becomes all the more determined not to surrender to John, because Marcus disapproves of the way John is treating him.  The longer the fight continues, the more humiliating it will be for whoever loses, because that man will be seen as submitting to someone who totally trounced him.  This is how it works with human beings: the more mistreated we feel, the angrier we become, and the less willing we are to submit to the person who is attacking us.  As John and Marcus go crashing around the bar, each man is determined to be the victor in the fight and avoid the pride grinding experience of having to publicly acknowledge someone he hates as being superior to him.

Humans intensely dislike submitting to any authority who they personally disapprove of, and the more reasons they have to dislike that authority, the more intense their rebellion against that authority will become.  Look over human history, and you’ll find that it is always in societies where the common people feel excessively abused by those in power that violent revolutions occur. Talk to Christians who have “walked away from God” and you’ll find that their official rejection of Him is a response to Him sticking it to them in some particularly painful way.  Well, if you turn away from God the minute He really knifes you, what does that say about your level of submission to Him?  It says that it’s limited.  You weren’t all in—you were just going along with God as long as He didn’t dare to act like, well, God, by refusing to play by your rules.  In your mind, you are justified in refusing to submit to God’s Authority because He’s done something which you are totally not okay with. In other words, you are acting as if you outrank God by insisting that He play by your rules.  Whatever He did to you to inspire your rebellious tantrum, the real issue you’re reacting to is not the fact that God harmed your loved one or trashed your health or ruined your reputation or crushed your dreams.  Talking about specific circumstances is just your way of trying to hide what’s really eating at you, and that is God’s refusal to let you tell Him what He can and can’t do.  Oh sure, you boast of being devoted to God when He’s raining blessings and sunshine down on your head.  But when He brings some major trial into your life without getting a permission slip from you first, well then you’re quick to disassociate yourself from Him.  And as much as you love pretending to be the god of God, if you keep playing this game, you’re going to end up in Hell.

You see, submission is essentially a form of surrender, and surrender only comes up in the midst of a fight.  Where there is no clashing of wills, there is no opportunity for surrender, and that means there is no submission.  As long as you’re just going along with folks who are doing what you want to do, you’re not submitting to anyone, you’re just getting your way all of the time.  When you resolve a conflict through compromise, you’re still not submitting, because in a compromise, you get part of what you wanted due to the other person being willing to give in to you in some areas.  Here’s a critical point to understand: God isn’t willing to compromise with you.  God isn’t willing to be everything you want, either, because if He were to adjust to you like this, there would be no opportunity for you to submit to Him.

God demands submission from you.  He demands that you entirely give up on having any control over Him and that you accept your position as one of His powerless subordinates.  You simply cannot deliver the kind of submission God wants from you as long as you approve of everything He does.  Submission will only become possible if you and God get locked in a war of wills, so that is what He sucks you into by intentionally confronting you with aspects of Himself that you find utterly repulsive.  Earlier we listed just a few examples of horrific activities which go on in this world—activities which no honest human can say that they are not intensely disturbed by.  Are we okay with a God who says that He is the true Origin and Controller of every nasty thing that goes on in this world?  Of course we’re not.  The truth is that much of who God is and how He behaves bothers us so intensely that the only way we can get comfortable with Him is to intentionally ignore a lot of truths about Him.  Well, it’s easy enough to turn the real Jesus into some smiling pushover who weeps in horror over people being mean to each other.  But if our fantasy Jesus is the only Guy we’re praying to when we’re asking for salvation, is our request going to be granted?  No, it’s not.

The disturbing reality is that when the Church estimates how many Christians there are in this world based on church attendance and evangelistic efforts, the number she comes up with is a lot higher than God’s number.  We’re deluding ourselves when we think that just pleading for fantasy Jesus to come into our hearts is getting the real Jesus to approve of us.  The real Jesus is not some innocent halfwit who can’t comprehend how His own Creation ran so amuck over one piece of fruit.  Like Yahweh and the Holy Spirit, the real Jesus created evil.  He controls it, sustains it, and wants it to be.  And if your little Christian spine is shuddering with horror over that idea, it’s because you’ve been spending way too much time worshiping the wrong god.  The Church is the one telling you that God is some gracious Sweetheart who never wants you to have a bad day.  That’s not at all what God Himself says, but when you stop talking to God because you’re so busy trusting in the foolish ramblings of people who are trying to deny who He really is, are you going to end up on the right side of eternity?

The very fact that Hell exists should give you a clue as to how important submission is to God.  Hell essentially functions as God’s way of publicly showcasing what happens to creatures who refuse to give Him sufficient respect.  Clearly God must think very highly of Himself to think that anyone who refuses to submit to Him deserves such an extreme punishment.  Is it really wise for you to mess around with such an egotistical Being?  No, it’s incredibly stupid.  God is not an app on your phone that you can choose to engage with or not.  God is your Creator.  He’s inescapable.  You will deal with Him in eternity, and you are already dealing with Him right now.  Since He says that how you’re dealing with Him now is going to be a major factor in what He decides to do to you later on, should you be treating the topic of pleasing Him like a casual thing?  No, your soul should be on its face in front of Him, saying, “If there’s anything I still need to do to get into a good place with You, please show me and help me to do it.”  This is the only wise way for humans to approach the Gods who created them, and yet most of us aren’t doing this.  Most of us have never given the concept of submission much thought, therefore we don’t appreciate what a critical thing it is that God be Someone who we don’t entirely like.

There’s only one way that you’re going to end up on the right side of eternity, and that is if you submit to the Gods who made you.  Because submission can only happen in the context of a disagreement, it becomes essential that the Gods who made you give you reasons not to approve of Them.  In fact, the more you disapprove of Them, the more meaningful your submission to Them will become.  Your Creators simply won’t accept the pretense of submission from you, and They know the difference between real submission and a surge of adrenaline.  Screaming, “God, save me!” when you see death barreling towards you does not qualify as sincere submission.  Coming up with sufficient submission to God requires sober thinking and a depth of sincerity.  And with the end of Project Earth rapidly closing in on us, time is at a premium.  As it stands now, we have a planet full of spiritual rebels and a ton of Christians who are all on their way to Hell because none of them have ever truly submitted to their Gods.  The Christians think that they have, but all they’ve really done is gone along with some edited version of the real Gods that they can personally approve of.  The atheists are so lost in arrogance that they actually think that God can’t exist without their permission.  The agnostics think that merely acknowledging some “Higher Power” will suffice, the New Agers are trying to say that they are the higher powers, and then we’ve got a whole bunch of fools who think that they can get out of dealing with the real Gods by committing themselves to false gods instead. But no, for all of the games we play, we’re all going to be answering to the same Beings in eternity, and right now we could really use those Beings to do something to lodge us out of our stupidity before it’s too late.  We need Them to get in our faces, terrify us with Their awesome power, pound us with everything we hate, and refuse to apologize for not playing by our rules.  In other words, we need the real Gods to act like Gods and force us to realize how absurd we are being to think that we can get around Them, control Them, stop Them, or change Them.  Welcome to the end times.

This world was never created to be a permanent installation in this universe.  From the very beginning, it was designed to be a temporary thing: a Divine sifter for the human race.  Our Gods put us here, confront us with who They are, disturb us with Their use of power, then demand submission from us based on the fact that They infinitely outrank us.  After giving us all of one second on the eternal continuum to decide whether we’re going to submit to Them or not, our Gods then pluck our souls out of this dimension and transfer us to two totally different kinds of dimensions which Christians refer to as Heaven and Hell.  Metaphorical imagery aside, we know that one place is nice and the other is horrid.  But the real crisis is that we’re given such a shockingly short time in which to make decisions which will impact us forever.

What does it matter to God if you end up in Hell when you die?  It certainly won’t put a damper on His day.  On the contrary, God considers Hell to be a fabulous invention.  You’re the one who has a problem with Hell because you’re the one who will be doing the suffering in it if you end up there.  And it is because it is your own suffering that you will be sparing by acknowledging the extremely obvious truth that you’re not the one in charge of this universe, what kind of numskull would you have to be to refuse to do this?  And yet if you’re like most humans, you’d prefer to drag your feet on this seeking God issue as long as possible.  So what does God do for you?  Well, He could just chuck you into Hell and say He’s done waiting for you to get over yourself.  Or He could do you the great favor of putting you through the end time period: a period in which you will be given the opportunity to discover what a whole new level of submission to God looks like.

Now for those of you who think you’ve already got some serious submission to God going on, great.  But you need to go into the end time period ready to give Him even more than you have so far, because it is during the end times that you’re going to be forced to deal with a side of God which He has been sheltering you from so far.  Certainly some of us have already been through our own personal hellish periods with God.  There’s plenty of aha moments to be had about God’s dark side when He’s hauling you through some deep spiritual valley.  But when it comes to global terror—that’s something that we just haven’t experienced.  And when it comes to destructive miracles that defy all the laws of physics, we’re not used to that either.  God is not going to come across as Mr. Nice during the end times.  He’s going to seem terrifying, unpredictable, destructive, and even sadistic.  Are we ready for close ups of God killing people in slow and terrible ways?  Are we ready for Him to bring the elements of nature against us?  What happens when a sidewalk full of people turns into some strange kind of concrete quicksand and everyone starts sinking down into it?  What happens when there’s no way to pull them out of the hardened ground and they’re sinking too fast to amputate free?  When you can stand on the same ground that is swallowing someone else, you can’t help but acknowledge that there is a Supernatural Power at work.  When children disappear in wheat fields, and the boundaries of cornfields begin to expand outward until whole towns are swallowed by them, who are we going to turn to for help?  When kids are turning into metal statues and vines are breaking up through the ground grabbing and strangling the people who are trying to escape, what are we going to think of the God who is terrorizing us?  When flocks of birds are morphing into huge stinging insects right before our eyes and when Someone causes all of the dogs in a city’s dog park to suddenly turn mad and begin trying to rip out their owners’ throats, who are we going to pray to for help?  When every person in a city of millions instantly dies at the exact same moment in time and we’re left with skyscrapers and streets full of lifeless corpses, what then?  How should you respond to the God who is flaunting His absolute power over life, death, sanity, physics, and everything else?  We can’t defend ourselves from God’s power.  We’ll try, of course, because what else can we do when our cities are going up in flames and people are dying by the thousands?  But we won’t succeed.  When God is terrifying us, there is only one correct response, and that is to stop holding back our submission to Him as the Supreme Authority.

Does God need us to submit to Him?  Of course He doesn’t.  But He’s going to drag the end times out for years for our benefit, for it is in the midst of all of that terror and carnage that we’ll be given the opportunity to give God the kind of submission that He demands of us.  Real submission is about you doing what you don’t want to do.  Humans don’t want to submit to a God who they don’t approve of and can’t control and can’t trust.  There is so much about our Creators that we don’t understand, and that bothers us.  They do things that seem cruel and pointless.  They refuse to do things that we desperately want.  But no matter how They behave or how monstrous They seem, the fact remains that They are the Supreme Authorities, and “I don’t like You,” will never be a valid excuse for us refusing to bow to Them.

Motivating stubborn humans to submit to their Creators is going to be a prominent theme of the end times.  And once you understand that submission only comes up when there is a war of wills, you can start to understand why the end times are going to involve so much destruction, violence, and fear.  Our Gods are not interested in scaring us just to do it.  There is always a spiritual agenda behind the way that They interact with us, and the end times are about giving humans one last shot at salvation before this first chapter of the human story comes to a permanent end.  Will this method of terrorizing us into submission work?  Yes, it will.  When our Gods set out to save people, Their evangelistic methods are far more effective than ours.  While Christians try to take submission off of the table by downplaying the disturbing aspects of our Gods, our Gods emphasize submission.  There is plenty of time for discussing the goodness of God after we have been accepted by Them, but there is no acceptance without submission.  Submission is motivated by reverence, and reverence is amplified by our Gods scaring us out of our wits and making us feel utterly at Their mercy.  So this is what They will do.  And while the Church will gripe against God the entire time and call His actions the work of Satan, scores of souls will be shocked out of their rebellious stagnation and driven into sincere submission to their Creators.

As always, what we really need and what we think we need are two vastly different things.  We Christians only long to be raptured away before the trouble begins because we are totally deluding ourselves about where we really stand with our Gods.  We think that simply acknowledging the crucifixion of Jesus gets us out of having to take His demands seriously.  We have taken submission out of the salvation equation, and turned salvation into a simple matter of agreeing to like some smiling Dolt who needs our worship to be happy.  We are not accepting who our Gods really are because we disapprove of who They are.  And after rejecting Their truth and spurning Their Authority, we actually think that if Jesus were to whisk us all away today we would end up in some happy place.  Well, no, a bunch of us would end up in Hell, and while we’re refusing to acknowledge this, our Gods are not.  They are going to give us what They know we need: one last chance to stop playing games and get serious about submitting to Them.  So, yes, we are certainly going to be here for this dramatic period, and if we really trusted our Gods as much as we claim to, then we’d be thanking Them for including us in this unique period of human history.

Living through the end times will be like having God stomp on the accelerator of your own spiritual maturation program.  Instead of griping about the fact that you’re going to be involved, you should be eagerly anticipating the fabulous opportunities for growth that He has already lined up for you, and you should be asking Him to help you learn everything that He wants to teach you through this period.  Living in the end times should not be viewed as some negative chore, but as an awesome privilege.  If you know you’ve got a bad attitude about it, then now is the time for you to ask God to help you do a better job of submitting to His will for your life.  It’s going to be long, it’s going to be messy, and it’s going to be upsetting.  But it’s also God’s choice for you, so since you claim to be a soul who follows Him, start walking your talk.  God has enough spiritual deadweight on His hands without you constantly whining about how inconvenient you feel it is to have to still be in this world when He starts ripping the place apart.  It’s His world, not yours and He’ll do whatever He darn well wants to do with both it and you.  Certainly God invites us to be honest with Him about our feelings, but He also says that His feelings trump ours in importance and He demands that we submit to His agenda.  When God kills you during the end times, you want it to be because He is eager to take you on to a better place, not because He is disgusted with your foul attitude.

FURTHER READING:
Destruction in the End Times: Respecting Ownership
Your End Times Faith Crisis: Staying Aligned with a Scary God
The End Time Prophet: Driving Us Closer to God
Real Talk for Angry Rebels: Negotiating Your Return to God

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