Audio of the post Doctrines or Jesus.
The is read by Sherman Haywood Cox II.
Audio of the post Doctrines or Jesus.
The is read by Sherman Haywood Cox II.
The other day I received an email regarding the coming economic crash to the US. This is interesting to me for a few reason. First I am a citizen of the United States, but what was of more interest was the fact that the person was a Seventh-Day Adventist who tried to emphasize that there were prophetic implications to this crash. He quoted a popular evangelical author that predicted this downturn and connected it to his prophetic time-line that ushers in the secret rapture.
The question I have is where is the necessary connection between an American economic collapse and the end time? Why is there a desire to hook an American financial collapse to the onset of the end times? To put it more clearly, Is the economic crash before or after the onset of the final issues?
While I do agree that a financial collapse that brings on the end time is certainly possible, but why is it preached as a necessary condition for the onset of the final crisis and our end time scenario. I mean there is nothing that says that our end time scenario could begin by some other crisis.
The Great Controversy scenario sees a powerful United States and an apostate Christianity at the center of the end time crisis. The Adventist end-time scenario sees that many of these issues will converge on the issue of obedience symbolically presented in the Sabbath issue.
Finally, the Adventist scenario, as traditionally understood, sees great importance in the state of the dead which is a way to unify disparate groups. But where is the NECESSARY connection between an American Financial collapse and the ushering in of the end time crisis.
One could argue that the economy will collapse before the Second Advent of Jesus Christ, the scripture points to that, but is that a necessary component of the “onset” of the crisis?
Now I am not arguing that the US Economy might not collapse. It may very well. Neither am I arguing that if it did collapse that it will not help usher in the end time. Certainly it COULD be a factor in bringing in the end. If the economy collapsed then one could easily see the onset of the things that Adventists have predicted for years, however note I said “could” be a factor. But there are other things that COULD be factors that we don’t’ emphasize. Perhaps we don’t emphasize some of these possibilities because there are no popular evangelical authors promoting it as helping their own end time scenario which many evangelicals don’t’ even accept. What that means is that we are promoting ideas simply because a popular author is using it to promote his scenario.
So what are some factors that are in line with the scenario that the Great Controversy predicts? Well the continued progress of the Gospel to all the world is one. Another factor is increased religious intolerance. America is showing this with recent laws such as the patriot act where they are holding American citizens in jail for months and months without any recourse. Could the hatred of Muslims that we saw a couple of years ago be a precursor to the hatred of other religious minorities?
The increased power of the United States. Not long ago their power was shown in the beat down of both Afghanistan and Iraq (which was one of the strongest military powers in the world) very quickly. How about the increased spiritualism that you see on television including such things as Sci-Fi where life after death is assumed true and supposed proof of is given on such shows as “Ghost Hunters?”
Finally, Ellen White argues that Christ could have come around 1888. The congress had passed some Sunday legislation called the Blair Bill. The loud cry, according to White, had begun in the work of Jones and Waggoner. And there was no American economic collapse for another 40 years at least.
In short, I don” deny that the end could be ushered in with an economic collapse of the United States of America, but that is only one scenario. However there are real fulfillments happening today, but we are not going to find it in the prophetic speculations of those who are attempting to teach the secret rapture.
To repeat, Where is the Required financial crisis to usher in the end time?
When I was about to begin college, I had to take a vision test. I remember like it was yesterday going to take a routine vision test at Oakwood College. It turned out that my vision was so poor that even this perfunctory test showed that I had some real problems. The one who took the test told me that I need to go see a vision professional as soon as possible.
I went to the optometrist and they gave me a full scale test and gave me glasses. I will never forget when I put on those glasses how sharp everything looked. I could see!!! Well I wasnâ€™t blind, but everything was blurry before. It had happened so slowly that I didnâ€™t realize that I was having problems. I learned to live with this hampered vision until someone gave me some glasses to put on. Immediately I realized I couldnâ€™t see before.
I think that many of us today are working with the same kind of vision loss. We have lost our reason for being. We have lost what we are here to say. I think it is interesting that one can now attend some of our churches and never hear the unique call of God to remember the Sabbath. Many of us no longer emphasize that Jesus is coming again. Even though these two doctrines are etched into our very name as Seventh-day Adventists, we have slowly come to the point where we are trying to live without the vision that the Sabbath brings. We are slowly trying to live without the perspective that the second coming gives to us. We no longer are hampered by the demands of a high priest who is seeking to bring this era to a conclusion. We have slowly lost our ability to see clearly.
And just like me, we donâ€™t even miss it. We listen to sermons that could be preached anywhere at any time. We sing songs that have lost any connection to the principles of the movement that we all know and love. We no longer say, â€œif time will lastâ€ when we speak of our plans and hopes. We have lost our vision!
And just as in my case, it is easier to see the problem than to promote the solution. One of my teachers told me once that I need to stop cursing the darkness and turn on a light. How do you turn on the light? Is it simply a regurgitation of sermons from greats in the past? Will our vision problem be solved by simply reading the sermons of yesteryear and singing the songs of yesterday?
While there is a time to remember and to go back, we cannot go back to those times. I think we must take the principles that our great forefathers have given to us and seek to apply them to this world at this time. We need to preach the Sabbath, but a simple regurgitation of previous sermons will not help our vision problem.
What we need to do is dig into the Sabbath, dig into the second coming. Do some hard work. What are these doctrines telling us? Does the Sabbath have something to say to a United States that is bent on acquisition and has an economy built on obtaining what one may need or not need? Does the Second Coming have something to say to the nihilism that one finds in so much of the world today? Does the message of our High Priest have anything to say to us today at this time? It is time for work. It is time to Re-Hear. It is time to preach again.
But thanks be to God, that we have a prophecy that this message will not die out. Somebody will pick up the message that we have allowed to lay fallow while we copy the offerings of popular media ministers. The Bible says that there will be another angel who will should with a loud voice. That angel will have her voice to join the three angels messages as it crescendos into a loud cry. Letâ€™s put on our glasses so that we can see where God is leading us.