Washington, D.C. When religious leaders, or even commentators in the media, talk about a coming “apocalypse,” people may take note. But when a high ranking U.S. military expert uses the term that is the kind of news that ought to really turn heads. In this week’s Washington Times, Admiral James Lyons, the commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and senior American military representative to the United Nations, authored an article titled “Religious fanatics anticipate an apocalypse.” Adm. Lyons was describing the volatile situation currently in the Middle East. Behind the news now that violent extremist groups like Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood have been working behind the scenes in nations like Egypt and Libya to orchestrate the street demonstrations, there is something that, as Lyons points out, is even more significant: an Islamic “apocalyptic mindset” at work in these current events. Adm. Lyons states: “In Islam there is an end-of-time scenario – and they think its beginning or has already begun.” The article points out that Iran’s president as an example is a member of an extremist sect known as “the Twelves,” who believe that they can trigger the appearing of their Islamic “messiah,” the “12th Imam” by creating world-wide chaos. Meanwhile much more peaceful, but equally important signs are popping up within Judaism. A recent article in the Jewish blog Forward.org notes that Rabbi Yehudah Glick in Israel, with the backing of numerous Orthodox Jewish leaders, is rounding up 300 sheep and goats to be ready for sacrifice during the April 18th first night of Passover, “should the messiah appear.” He has made requests to hold animal sacrifices on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem but has so far been denied. There appears to be a rising sense of anticipation around the world that some kind of religious appearing may be imminent. But students of the Bible understand those world events that must take place before the only true appearing occurs, when Jesus Christ takes up (raptures) to Himself those who have trusted in Him for salvation, and then when the Lord Jesus later establishes His kingdom reign on earth. In Matthew 24 our Savior foretold that there will first be the coming of false messiahs and fraudulent prophets. During His earthly ministry, Jesus Christ gave the world innumerable proofs that He was the Son of God. Have you read the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John recently? If not, as we approach Easter, why not start today? There is no better way than that to make sure that the Messiah you follow is the true one, and not a counterfeit.
© 2011 Tim LaHaye and Craig Parshall
All Rights Reserved