by Terry James
In presenting this week’s commentary, I must be careful to preface my thoughts. This is to make clear that I fully realize that the nation of which I am a citizen has no special, private, import, or status within God’s prophetic dealing with mankind, so far as its people being a restraint against the influence of evil is concerned. I can say only that I believe America is, very likely, the nation in which the highest number of Christians reside.
By “Christians,” I mean people who are “born again” in the sense of the words Jesus spoke on the matter of salvation as recorded in John 3:3-7. As a matter of fact, the United States has descended from being the most Christ-centered to, perhaps, the most base nation on the planet, in terms of exportation of the world’s entertainment filth. With the constitutionally legalized murder of more than 4,000 babies in the womb per day, we have spit in the face of the Almighty, telling Him that His love for the human race means nothing in view of expediency in the matter of lust for pleasure.
That established–that America is no longer the shining city on the hill to be admired–the United States still possesses the residual vestiges of greatness. The nation retains, I believe, remnants of the Christian ethic sufficient to be an influence in these closing days of the Age of Grace.
What I am saying–at least it is my intention to say–is that the born again within this nation do, indeed, have a special and private duty to perform in these times that look to be very near the first phase of Christ’s Second Coming. Because of American Christians and their position within present history as the Church Age closes, I’m convinced that we can examine a specific prophetic section of God’s Word and receive insight as to precisely where we stand as a generation on Heaven’s prophetic timeline. That specific prophetic section is found in the following verses:
And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming. (2 Thessalonians 2:6-8)
The reference “he who now letteth” in this passage is to God, the Holy Spirit–the third Person of the Trinity. The Holy Spirit, Paul is prophesying, has been and is acting as restrainer of evil in the present world. God, the Holy Spirit, will continue to restrain the end-times evil until God removes from acting as the restraining influence during this Church-Age dispensation.
We who believe in the pretribulation, premillennial view of Bible prophecy hold that the Holy Spirit indwells each born again (saved) person during this Age of Grace (Church Age). Christians are thus known, collectively, as the church. The church, indwelt by God the Holy Spirit, is the Body of Christ, individually and corporately. It is this body of believers who act as salt and light for a world of corruptive evil that would otherwise bring about total decay, causing every area of human existence to implode.
The Holy Spirit will, therefore, the above prophecy informs, live within and exert influence through believers in Jesus Christ until the moment God no longer acts as restrainer of this world’s evil. This truth provides the answer to the question that is being asked prolifically in one form or another: When will all of the evil that is threatening America and the world bring civilization crashing down?
Some of that evil that looms threateningly over our daily lives brings worried glances from even the most ardent skeptics of Bible prophecy. An economic storm of unprecedented magnitude hangs angrily above America, with national debt that just turned $20 trillion as the Democrat Party–chief among contributors to the fiscal madness asks us once again to put its ultra-liberal candidate into the presidency.— (The Republican Party, it must be said, contributed mightily to the staggering debt load as well.)
It amazes even the global gurus of finance as to why the world isn’t already crushed by the impending economic crash. Iran’s leadership tells Israeli leaders practically every day that they intend to wipe the Jewish state from the face of the earth. They do little to hide the fact that they are in the process of bringing into reality nuclear weapons that can make their destructive wishes a fait accompli.
With such an avowed, blood-thirsty enemy, missiles trained on Israel and, some believe, on the very brink of producing atomic weaponry, it astonishes many observers that the Israeli Defense Force hasn’t already risked initiating all-out war by destroying Iran’s nuclear production facilities.
Absolute evil pervades every strata of society. The days like those of Sodom and of the antediluvian times of Noah inflict debauchery and violence that only a decade ago would have seemed far distant. Islam is allowed to usurp, in some cases, the U.S. Constitution, favoring Sharia Law in order to show tolerance. At the same time, Christianity is pushed to the margins of society and held up as intolerant by the tolerance police–through the insane institutions many of the federal courts have become.
Yet, the world holds together, while seeming to be on the very cusp of “Implosion,” as the title of Joel Rosenberg’s book would have it.
The Restrainer is at work. I believe that’s the answer to why the implosion has not happened, bringing total devastation to this judgment-bound earth. When the Restrainer removes and the church is called to be with Christ, I’m convinced the impending horrors that have for so long engendered the questions about the end will fall instantly upon a Christ-rejecting world.
Are you Rapture Ready?