Monday, April 23, 2018

What about the Call of "Peace and Security"?

When Christians discuss where we are in the stream of time, there are certain “signs” we look for.

The major ones are listed in Matthew 24, Luke 21 and Revelation 6: 
  •          large-scale wars
  •          Frequent earthquakes
  •          Widespread food shortage and disease
  •          The preaching of the Good News of the Kingdom earth-wide

If you’ve been paying attention, you know you can check those off your list. But the sign marking the Last Days includes some other details that don’t get as much attention, such as this one: 
When they say, “There is peace and no danger,” then sudden destruction will come on them, as birth-pains on a woman with child; and they will not be able to get away from it. (1Thessalonians 5:3 BBE)

The greatest cry of “Peace!” in all history has to have been the elation, the dancing in the streets, that accompanied the end of World War Two.

Yet clearly, that event wasn’t what Paul was talking about, since the ‘sudden destruction’ hasn’t happened. It is hard to imagine a war that so dwarfs World War Two that its ending prompts a significantly louder cry of ‘Peace!’ – so loud that everyone knows it is the real fulfillment of the prophecy.

Therefore, the talk of ‘peace and security’ has to be different from merely the end of a war, no matter how great.

In my book Resurrection Day I suggested that 1 Thessalonians 5:3 could be fulfilled by a technological advance so great that the majority of mankind feel an improvement in their standard of living because of it. This is realistic: we are on the cusp of advances in battery technology, graphene, thorium reactors and other marvels that potentially could, if used correctly, have people sighing with relief, however misguided their belief.

But here’s another thought: What about a different take on "Peace"? This week the United Nations is have a special meeting entitled, “A New Approach to Peace.” The agenda points out that the theme will be peace-building and sustaining peace. The focus will be on “renewed efforts toward conflict prevention addressing the root causes of conflicts rather than the consequences of conflicts.” The agenda candidly admits that, in spite of the UN’s best efforts, 
“Violent conflicts in many parts of the world are surging and becoming more complex, deadly and protracted.” There is a “troubling increase in the casualties among innocent civilians that have been the target of direct attacks, as well as unparalleled numbers of displaced populations.” The United Nations, they say, “needs to adjust its capacities to build and sustain peace. It must engage with Member States long before conflict breaks out and be able to support them at all stages of conflict.”
 The real motivation for this appears a couple paragraphs later: “More resources are spent on addressing the aftermath of conflicts than on preventing them from flaring up and escalating.”

One of the most effecting ways to motivate someone to do something your way is to show them how it will save them or make them money.

The UN has been called ‘The World’s Largest Debating Society,’ and with good reason. If their success was measured by the number of empty words they’ve produced they would be ranked the most successful organization the world has ever seen. So my hopes are not too high that anything will result from this high level meeting.

But as a Christian who carefully watches events to keep track of where we are in the stream of time, I’d be crazy to ignore it.

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