Commentary on world events that relate to Bible prophecy and on Rapture Ready issues world events.

Feb 7, 2011

The Moral Indicator

Every single day, Rapture Ready is visited by tens of thousands of people who find the site by doing web searches. Our server keeps track of the search inquiries, and I've used this data to discover that people's desire to know what is about to happen is the most common reason the public comes to our domain.

The Bible doesn’t give us set dates for end-time events, but it does provide us with a general idea of where we are on God’s prophetic clock. Because Scripture predicts a number of happenings, we can judge our nearness to the Tribulation hour by how current events match up with prophecy.

The pretribulation Rapture is likely to be the next major event on God's calendar, so it is all-important to be cognizant of the Rapture's nearness. Because the Rapture is a signless event, it may seem like we are in a holding pattern until the Lord Jesus comes for His Bride.

I doubt that we are going to see the destruction of Damascus or the rise of the Antichrist this side of the Rapture. However, prophecy is still moving forward in one key area. The Bible says that mankind is in a continuous state of moral decline, and this tendency for wickedness will lead right up to the Tribulation hour. In fact, total depravity will be God's justification for pouring out judgment.

The Great Flood is proof that God has a maximum tolerance for sin. “God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was evil continually” (Gen. 6:5).

If you want to know how much time we have left, keep track of the moral decay in society. One example is the use of sex-related products in prime-time TV ads. This brief timeline gives a good indication of how rapidly debauchery is taking over.

Viagra - The drug used to treat erectile dysfunction was introduced in 1999 and was first promoted on television at the beginning of 2002.

Condoms - For years, the National Association of Broadcasters’ code of conduct prohibited condom advertising outright. The code was eventually disbanded. The first prime-time, network television condom commercial aired on June 1, 2005.

Sex toy ads - In recent months, the Trojan company has been running commercials for its vibrating Triphoria. The commercial features a group of women sitting at a wedding shower opening gifts. One woman is curious about the new product and asks if this is the vibrator that will blow your hair back.

Another indication of the advanced state of moral decline is a total lack of accountability for leaders in the church today. This past week, Terry and I were contacted by Trey Smith, who has written a tell-all book about Mike Murdock, the head of Wisdom Center ministry and a frequent fundraiser for most prosperity-gospel-oriented TV networks. In the book, Smith paints a damning picture of the true nature of Murdock.

Smith claims to have been best friends with Mike’s son, Jason, and says he discovered a secret closet that contained a stash of drugs, porn, and an extensive photo record of Murdock’s affairs with various women. Smith also described the callous response Murdock has for people who come to him for help.

The book is so profane that I can't give it a recommendation. It has been on the market for nearly two months and has had zero impact on Murdock's operation. The lack of accountability in Christian ministry has allowed corruption to run rampant.

The problem with moral indicators is that society has lost sight of them. We live in a world where morality is set by whatever pleases the majority. If we use the Bible as a guide, we will quickly realize that we are living in the days of Noah. The nearness of the Rapture comes down to the question of how wicked man can get from here. From what I see, the answer is "not much."

“But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (Matt. 24:37-39).

-- Todd

Olivet Observations

Distress, perplexity, seas, waves roaring–these are thoughts that came to mind in observing the past week’s events that demanded attention above all others. Jesus’ words in His Olivet Discourse about things that would be in view as His Second Advent nears seemed to leap from the hourly headlines.

With national and global economic distresses seething upon the surface of world interaction, the Middle East suddenly lit up in a series of perplexing developments for the autocratic governments of the region. Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, and Yemen erupted to one degree or another in demonstrations of protest. But petroleum flow, the life blood of world economic health, is directly affected by these uprisings, making it not just the problem of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s regime or the dilemma of the other regimes in the region. The whole planet is sucked into the Middle East vortex of turbulence. All of this taking place at the same time that what is called the most violent storm in Australia’s history, a cyclone said to be a category 5, approached that nation/continent. (A note of thanks to Jonathan Stettin for providing articles on these matters.)

The seas and waves of both the symbolic and the actual sorts are roaring in a way that can’t be missed: “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring” (Luke 21: 25). No other nation on earth is more at the center of all of this than Israel. Geographically--but more importantly, geopolitically--the Jewish State sits smack in the middle of that oil-saturated region. Even more crucially, Israel is spiritually at the very heart of the Middle East cauldron, just as Bible prophecy says it will be at the end of the age.

Many news pundits at this very moment are trying to understand the causes for the upheaval in the world today: Why the seemingly unsolvable monetary problems that threaten to bring every nation on earth to economic ruin? Why the irresolvable issues that portend war in the Middle East, which could result in nuclear Armageddon?

The talking heads, columnists, and bloggers take all of the distressing, perplexing matters under consideration from every conceivable perspective. They obsess on each intricate detail that seems to exacerbate inability to find resolution. They talk over each other to make their points in a frenzy of trying to find causes and solutions.

Except for very rarely referring to the biblically predicted war of Armageddon, the true source that can provide the answers they seek is never mentioned–and certainly never consulted. Radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh said on his radio program on Wednesday, February 2, that he has never believed anything of an apocalyptic nature when it comes to considering predictions involving world issues and events. He was talking about Paul Ehrlich’s book, The Population Bomb, about the world being overpopulated by the year 2000, and how Ehrlich’s “prophecy” had failed to materialize. Rush then said, “You don’t even want to know what I think about the book of Revelation.”

Well, I can tell you that I infer upon good authority that he has disdain for the book of Revelation, because I heard him in the mid-1990s when he told of how his father said that the book of Revelation should never have been placed into the canon of Scripture. Rush didn’t want to elaborate then, either, because he said it just as his show was doing the familiar out-beep to an “obscene profit break,” as he likes to jibe. He added just as the program went to commercial: “Now, what do you think about that?”

Because he will never let “religion” be discussed to any extent on his program, there has been no retort on air to his summarily dismissing God’s prophetic Word that has the answers he and others are desperate to find. Well, El Rushbo, here’s what that book you apparently disdain has to say, in part: "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book” (Rev. 22: 18-19).

If you will allow, Rush, I or others who believe God’s Word has the answers about the distressing, perplexing problems pressing upon the world will welcome the opportunity to help you and your millions of listeners--on air or in private--understand what is going on and where it is all leading. Jesus Christ laid it out nearly two thousand years ago atop a promontory in the one city on earth where He will one day put an end to all conflict.