The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Prepping for the End Times: The Non-American Advantage

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God is not an American.  He’s not a Jew, either.  God is not any nationality, and He doesn’t view the countries of the world the way that we do.  While America is often referred to as a world super power, to God, America is just one teensy little patch of land on a dot of a planet which exists in a vast universe that He is sustaining.  From God’s perspective, there’s nothing “super” or “powerful” about human politics.  God is not a capitalist or a communist.  He’s not a democrat or a republican.  While God certainly understands the human perspective, His own perspective is vastly different than ours, and this a fact which you really need to keep a grip on.

Today false prophecies about the end times abound, and many of them predict that the end times will start in America.  Why is America always getting the special attention? Because the world is impressed with America, and humans tend to fixate on the things which impress them.  Consider all of the extra attention celebrities and powerful people receive in your own country.  If the top leader of your country trips and falls on his face, that’s a big news event.  But if a regular citizen of your country trips, no one writes an article about it.  The same event is considered unimportant when it happens to someone who the world views as unimportant, but it’s a big deal when it happens to someone who everyone is impressed with.  This is how biased humans are, and this bias affects many of the things they talk about.  False prophets aren’t listening to God—they’re just making stuff up.  Once you’re just inventing a bunch of dramatic tales in order to get attention for yourself, your natural biases will play a big role in the kinds of stories you dream up.  If you’re an American, then you’re naturally going to make America the star of your end time horror stories. If you’re impressed with Israel, then you’re going to give her a big part to play as well.  As for all of the other countries in the world that you don’t personally care about—you’ll just ignore them and act like they don’t really matter.

When you listen to the messages of false prophets and you don’t ask God what He thinks of what is being said, then you end up thinking that false prophets are accurately reflecting God’s view of things.  If a false prophet makes a big deal out of America, then you think that God actually thinks America is more important than other countries.  When false prophets talk on and on about Israel, then you end up thinking that God is as obsessed with Israel as they are.  But is He?  Of course not.

God is totally unimpressed with how we humans have chosen to divide up this world.  God doesn’t think Jews are better than non-Jews.  He doesn’t think Americans are better than Africans.  God loves all ethnicities and nationalities.  The folks who live in Madagascar are just as important to God as the folks who live in New Zealand, Iceland, and Mexico.  He is just as involved in the lives of Brits as He is in the lives of Siberians, Koreans, Australians, and Italians.  On this planet, no one is overlooked, no one is unwanted, and no one is forgotten by God.  He is present with every human all of the time.  So if you currently think that God is less interested in you because of your gender, nationality, ethnicity, or location on the planet, you need to realize how wrong you are to think that God’s interest in you could possibly be diminished by such things.

God loves variety.  The specific features He gave you—your skin color, your gender, your size, your shape, your language, and your skills—all of these things just make you more interesting to God, not less.  God loves variety.  He would find it utterly dull if we all looked and acted the same.  To God, the human race is a like a huge spice rack, with each individual human contributing their own special flavor to the whole fantastic array.  The more variation, the better—this is how God sees it.  Once you understand this about God, then you learn to stop reading favoritism into everything He does.  The fact that God is giving some other country more power than yours does not mean that He thinks your country is less important.  The fact that God is pounding some other country with problems while He’s keeping yours functional does not mean that He thinks your country is better than the one that’s such a mess.  God is very strategic and purposeful in what He does, and we never come close to seeing the whole picture.  Since God is not going to share His master plan with any of us, you can avoid jumping to wrong conclusions by remembering one simple principle: every human is important to God.

So now that we understand that both Americans and non-Americans are equal in God’s eyes, let’s talk about the end times.  What exactly are the end times?  What does that term mean?  Well to say “the end times” is like saying “World War 2.”  When people talk about World War 2, they’re referring to a period of human history in which certain countries were at war with each other.  When we talk about the end times, we’re talking about the last chapter of human history on this planet—a period in which God will be performing many dramatic and destructive miracles for the purpose of preparing the whole human race to transition to eternity.  Just as a war begins with one country officially declaring war on another country, God will publicly announce to the whole planet when the end times have begun.  Contrary to what many false prophets are saying, the end times have not started yet, but they will be starting very soon.  And just as a period of world war is marked by massive violence and high numbers of deaths, the period that God calls the end times will be marked by major destruction and scores of deaths—only everything about the end times will be far more dramatic and farther reaching than any war we’ve experienced.

Now your physical location plays a big role in how you experience a war.  If you’re personally standing on a battlefield that is getting blown apart by bombs and riddled with gunfire, then you’re going to be a lot more stressed out and terrified than if you’re living on some tiny island far away from the fighting.  If you’re living on the island, the war is just as real, but because the violence is far away from you, it’s easier for you to stay emotionally calm and take in the big picture.  From the safety of your island, you can read the news about what different countries are doing.  Your perspective of the war is a lot broader than the soldier who is trapped in some trench with bullets flying over his head.  Unlike you, the soldier in the trench can’t step back and see how various countries around the world are participating in the war.  The soldier only knows that there are bullets flying past his head and he’s thinking about different things than you are.  While the soldier is staring death in the face and giving serious thought as to where he will end up if he does die, you’re chilling on your island, feeling relieved that you’re not caught in the middle of the mess.

There are countless ways that God could handle the end times.  When humans try to guess how this world will end, they often think of huge natural disasters, like some massive asteroid hitting earth or the sun going out.  Other times they imagine a nuclear holocaust that makes the planet uninhabitable.  When they really want to get dramatic, they imagine hostile, super powerful aliens invading the planet and exterminating all human life.  When Christians try to guess what the end times will be like, they turn to the book of Revelation for ideas.  They imagine things like an evil one-world government, global economic ruin, and the systematic execution of those who claim to be followers of Jesus.  So who is right?  No one.  You can take all of those horror stories you’ve heard about how the world might end and flush them.  No one is depicting the end times as they are actually going to be.  No one is expecting what God is actually going to do, which is why the world is going to be so shocked and confused when the real end times begin.  The good news is that while most humans are scratching their heads in confusion, you can understand exactly what’s going on.  You don’t have to settle for being as confused and upset as everyone else, because as a human being, you have direct access to the God who will be directing all end time activity.  Ask Him to help you prepare for what is coming and He will.

Now as we said before, there are countless ways that God could handle the end times.  He could arrange some event that instantly devastates the whole planet, or He could ease us all into this period by kicking it off with some dramatic miracle that gets the whole world’s attention without causing global destruction.  This second option is what God is going to do: He’s going to ease us in.  He’s going to kick off this period by bringing one American city to an abrupt standstill for three days.  If you don’t personally live in America, this kind of event could easily go unnoticed by you, because why should you care about some American city being incapacitated for three days?  Well, God doesn’t want you to find this event insignificant.  Instead, He wants to use it to really grab your attention and make you wonder what’s going on in that American city.  So He is going to choose an American city that is considered globally important—and that really narrows the list.  Then He’ll shut down the city in a way that you’ve never heard of before.  This won’t be some simple power outage—in fact, the power will stay on and the city’s technology will work just fine.  This won’t be a terrorist attack.  There won’t be a bunch of violence or mass destruction of property.  What you’re going to read about in the news will be something that no one can explain.  It will be a highly bizarre situation that makes no logical sense.  It will be, well, supernatural, and of course this is the whole point because God will use this strange event to pull the attention of the whole world onto this one city in America that is having such bizarre problems.  The whole world will be talking about it, and waiting for American scientists and experts to figure out what’s going on and fix it.  But no one will be able to.  Americans will just have to grind through three days of strangeness and hope that the problem goes away, which it will.  But then, just as everything returns to normal, new problems will start happening, and that is when things will start to get violent.  By that point, God will have secured your attention, and you’ll be checking the news frequently to see if America is having any other bizarre issues.  Here is where you will start coming across some very shocking videos and photos that Americans will be posting in a frantic frenzy as they try to record events that they find totally baffling.  The things you’re going to see will look so unbelievable that you would think someone was playing a prank if it weren’t for the fact that so many different people were saying the same things.  Your eyes are going to widen in shock and you’re going to be playing YouTube videos over and over again as you try to get your mind around what is happening in the streets of America.  Then you’re going to be enormously relieved that you’re not personally living in America, because this world superpower is going to quickly become the world’s super problem as American leaders try in vain to contain a problem that just keeps growing worse.

As time passes, it’s going to become very clear that Americans do not have their problems under control—in fact, they aren’t even going to know who it is they’re dealing with.  It will be God, of course, but since American society is atheistic, the American government is not going to publicly accept the concept that God could be the Source of their problems.  How do you explain supernatural miracles if you don’t want to use the G-word?  Well, you have to dig up some other non-human entity to blame, and for Americans, that will be aliens.  Any aliens will do—Americans won’t have specifics.  They’ll just need someone to blame who isn’t human.  Meanwhile, the rest of the world will start growing very nervous and hoping that America at least finds a way to keep her problems contained to her mainland.  But will she be able to?  No, she won’t.  While God is going to start the end times on the American mainland, He isn’t going to stay there.  Instead, He’s going to start branching out, and it will only be a matter of time until your country gets a direct dose of what you will have watched the Americans struggling with.

As a non-American, you need to make the most of the advantage God is giving you.  While Americans are getting thrown directly into panic mode, you’ll have the luxury of getting to watch their problems from a safe distance away—at least for a while.  You need to not squander this time.  Instead, you need to use it wisely.  By flooding the internet with footage of the kinds of miracles He’s pulling off, God will be giving you time to expand your imagination about the things He is capable of.

We humans have a very pinched up idea about who God is and what He can do.  We’re so used to taking His power for granted and entertaining ourselves with special effects, that many of us think we’re beyond being easily impressed by anything God can come up with. But when you see impossible things happening to real people in the news, and when you see real people reacting with raw emotion to the things that are happening to the places and people who they personally care about, you’re going to realize just how serious the crisis is.  You’re also going to notice that there is one individual who keeps showing up in a lot of the videos—and that person will soon become the handy scapegoat who American authorities are blaming for all of their problems.

To appreciate how Americans can become such numskulls that they actually believe a single human being is managing to knock whole skyscrapers to the ground and throw humans into the air merely by pointing a finger, you have to appreciate how atheistic American culture is.  America doesn’t do God.  Sure, you can find a bunch of people in America who claim to personally believe in God, but when it comes to our public schools, our history books, the sciences, and American politics, God is scrubbed out of the picture.  It’s okay to use Jesus as a cussword in public, but if an American president were to get up and say “Jesus is the One destroying our country,” there would be mass riots.  You can’t say that God created the universe in American schools, or you’re being biased and naughty and shoving your beliefs down other people’s throats.  You can’t hang a cross on a wall in an American business or put a “Merry Christmas” sign in your store window without someone throwing a hissy.  In America, we use our right of free speech to condemn anyone who tries to promote reverence for God.  The only Christian churches who make it big in America are those who promote prosperity theology, because in that belief system, we don’t treat God like God, we just pretend that He is Someone who we can manipulate into doing what we want.  It’s okay to promote God in your religious community as long as you’re making Him out to be Someone who humans can push around.  But to talk about God like He’s actually, well, God—that’s something Americans don’t tolerate.

Complicating things even more is the fact that Americans are so gorged on blessings that they have developed very entitled, rebellious attitudes.  They’re so into demanding privileges and dodging responsibility, that the whole notion of actually submitting to God utterly repulses them.  Americans are routinely rewarded for talking back to parents, teachers, law enforcement officers, politicians, and every other authority figure they come across.  They are taught to rebel, gripe, and sue at every opportunity.  So when God starts spanking this country, you’re going to see both Christians and non-Christians flat out refusing to own that God could have anything to do with what’s happening, because if they own that God is the One responsible, then they’ll have to deal with the concept of submitting to Him, and no one wants to go there.  So American Christians will blame the devil and bombard their servant God with endless criticism and commands.  While the Christians are busy trying to make God do what they want, non-Christians will be scrambling to find some logical explanation for what is happening.  Of course blaming humans is the most appealing option, because humans are easy to stop. When a human shows up in an American city shouting that the end times have begun, and then the whole city is brought to a standstill, naturally people will want to know who that human is.  And when the same person who showed up at the very moment everything stopped accurately predicts when things will return to normal, well, then clearly that person becomes a person of interest.

The end time prophet is going to be just a regular human who God will use to speak through and perform miracles through.  Is this a new idea?  Not hardly.  God has been working through human prophets since the beginning.  What’s the point of God working through humans?  Well, it’s one of the ways God makes Himself feel more accessible to us.  Sure, He could talk directly to your soul, and He does all the time, but many humans find it easier to hear God when He speaks to them through another human.  This is the whole point of pastors.  God doesn’t need pastors to educate people about who God is.  But a lot of people find it easier to understand a message from God when it’s delivered to them through a human who speaks to them in ways that they understand.  Humans understand humans easier than they understand their non-human Creator.

Well, what about miracles?  Why does God involve humans in that?  Because once again, He is making things easier for us.  When you live in an atheistic society like America and a building falls over, your first thought will be that something happened to the building’s physical structure.  You’re going to think maybe it was built wrong or maybe someone set off a bomb.  What you’re not going to think is “God just knocked that building over.”  But now suppose you see a human point at a building and at that very moment, the whole thing falls over.  Now it will seem obvious to you that the human had something to do with that building falling.  Suppose that same human starts pointing at random people and everyone he points at falls over dead.  Then suppose that same person starts levitating.  Humans can’t just rise up off the ground on their own—it’s physically impossible.  When you see a regular human doing things that no human can do, you are forced to recognize that supernatural power is at work.  Take the human out of the picture, and it often seems easier to explain things away as freak accidents or bad timing.

During the end times, God will perform many miracles without involving His end time prophet.  But other times, He will involve the end time prophet in what He’s doing.  His whole purpose in involving the human will be to help the world understand that a non-human is really the One causing all of the miracles.  To understand how this works, let’s go back in time to the days of Moses—that fellow who was involved when God parted the Red Sea and caused ten terrible plagues to fall on ancient Egypt.  In Moses’ world, there were no atheists.  Instead, everyone was religious and very superstitious.  In Moses’ day, if a building were to suddenly collapse, everyone’s first thought would be, “A god did this.”  People would have different ideas about which god was to blame, but they would be certain that some supernatural being was involved.  Because the folks who lived in Moses’ day viewed gods as being involved in every aspect of their lives, they needed different kind of help than we need today.  Today Americans have to be prodded into acknowledging that a supernatural power is even at work, because they prefer to treat the whole idea of God as absurd.  In Bible times, no one had to be convinced that gods were involved in their lives—instead, what they needed help with was to understand the difference between false gods and real Ones.

The story of Moses is very useful prep for us today, because he did such strange things and he appeared to have powers that he didn’t really have.  Let’s consider the story of the ten plagues.  Moses predicted each of the plagues in advance.  He would march into the Egyptian king’s court and say, “This is what is going to happen, and my God is the One who will be causing it to happen.”  These verbal warnings were often followed by Moses doing some bizarre behavior.  For example, before the first plague—which was water being turned to blood—Moses said to Pharaoh:

“With the staff that is in my hand I will strike the water of the Nile, and it will be changed into blood. The fish in the Nile will die, and the river will stink; the Egyptians will not be able to drink its water.” (Ex. 7:17-18)

Then that’s what he did.  He slapped the surface of the Nile River with his walking staff and the water turned into blood.  Because Moses was talking to people who already believed in the existence of many gods, no one had any trouble accepting that a supernatural deity was at work.  But if Moses hadn’t been involved, the Egyptians wouldn’t have credited the water miracle to Yahweh.  Instead, they would have assumed that the water turning into blood had something to do with the river god who they had invented for themselves.  Their river god wasn’t real. Yahweh is a real God, and Yahweh’s purpose in performing the ten plagues was to get the Egyptians to focus on Him and understand that He was more powerful than the phony gods that they worshiped.  By commanding Moses to tell the Egyptian king that Yahweh was the God who was ruining the water, Yahweh convinced the Egyptians that they were dealing with a new kind of Deity.  The big question for the Egyptians then was to determine how powerful Yahweh was compared to their own gods.  So after Yahweh turned the water into blood, Egyptian sorcerers called on their gods to perform a similar miracle.  When such a miracle did occur—although on a much smaller scale, the Egyptian attitude was, “Ha!  See?  Our gods are as strong as the God of Moses, so we don’t have to be afraid of Him.”

This was how things worked out for the first two plagues—with the Egyptians clinging to the idea that their gods were as strong as Moses’ God.  Of course making a cup of water turn into blood is a different deal than reversing the huge miracle that Moses’ God had performed.  Even with all of their magic tricks, Egyptian sorcerers couldn’t purify Egyptian water, so everyone was very miserable until Yahweh made the water go back to normal.  And then the third plague came—when Moses’ brother Aaron hit the ground with a stick, threw some dust into the air and suddenly the whole country was swarming with gnats.  Can a human really fill a land with insects by beating sticks and throwing dirt?  Not hardly.  Humans can’t perform miracles on their own—we don’t have that kind of power.  So when the gnats came, the very religious Egyptians immediately accepted the idea that it was Moses’ God who caused the gnats.  And when Egyptian sorcerers couldn’t make any gnats appear, they were forced to conclude that the God Moses was promoting was stronger than the gods of Egypt.  What a mess.

Now today God will use this same kind of system to help modern day people realize that God is the One dishing out the destructive miracles in the end times.  Today there are many different religions in the world, and there are many people who insist that the whole idea of God is absurd.  Then there are a bunch of Christians who claim to be worshiping the only real God, and yet they’ve made up a bunch of rules about what the real God can and can’t do.  People who are worshiping false gods need to realize that their gods aren’t real and figure out who the real Gods are.  Those who scoff at the idea of God’s existence need a major wake up call, and Christians need to let go of the delusion that they can decide what God’s limitations are.  By performing destructive miracles through a human prophet, God will help all humans get a better understanding of how things really work.  How quickly people will progress in their acceptance of truth depends on how much resisting they’re doing.

As a non-American, this is another huge advantage for you: you can get a lot of your learning and adjusting out of the way before God starts attacking your country directly.  You can watch the Americans freaking out, see the mind-blowing miracles God is pulling off, and decide that you’re not going to be an idiot by refusing to submit to a Being who is this powerful.  While Americans are talking like fools by pretending a mere human can possess supernatural powers, and while they’re spending a bunch of resources trying to locate aliens who don’t exist, you can recognize how blind they’re being and you can ask the God who is doing all of the damage to help you get into a good place with Him.

You see, the real God is very easy to succeed with.  He’s an extremely gracious, kind, and merciful Being.  The reason He’s going to be acting so violent and aggressive is because the world as a whole is refusing to respect God.  We blow Him off.  We scoff at His rules.  We tell ourselves that the afterlife can be customized like an app on a cell phone.  And yet the truth is that the God who created us demands that we submit to Him as the Supreme Authority that He is.  If we refuse to do so, He says that He will punish us for our rebellion in horrible ways.  When the end times begin and you get a sample of just how easy it is for God to make humans miserable, you’re going to realize that messing with Him is a really stupid choice.

Because God is so gracious, He’s going to drag out the chaos of the end times in order to give humans a little more time to get serious about submitting to Him.  By placing you outside of America, God is positioning you to have a front row seat to watch the chaos begin without being nearly as stressed out as the Americans will be.  You need to recognize the advantage of your position and ask God today to help you respond well to Him during this period.  By the time God gets around to throwing your country into chaos, you will want to know that you and He are in a good place.  Then, no matter what He does to your homeland, you won’t need to be melting into a puddle of fear because you will know that God’s anger will not be directed at you personally.

God is a wonderful Being—but He has an absolutely terrifying side.  That side is easy to avoid when you make wise soul choices, so ask God to show you if there’s any unfinished business between you and Him.  Preparing well for the end times has nothing to do with gathering physical supplies, hoarding ammunition, or building safe houses.  You can’t hide from God.  You can’t defend yourself from His power.  If you want to do well in this period, then you need to align your priorities with God’s.  He says that your personal relationship with Him should be your top priority in life.  He says that His opinion trumps all others, and that pleasing Him is the highest prize you can hope to attain. Set your sights on the things that God says matter and then view the end times as an opportunity to grow much closer to Him as He helps you understand how awesome He is.

FURTHER READING:
What it Means to be Aligned with God
No Antichrist in the End Times: Can it really be true?
Better than Heaven: Pursuing What Really Matters
Soul Attitudes That Please God: What They Are & How We Develop Them
Divine Judgment in the End Times: Dealing with a Less Patient God
Preparing for the End Times: Interacting with God’s Prophet

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