Good News to All Mankind: Apocalypse delayed...again!

For years we have been hearing here in South Africa of a "night of the long knives" massacre coming after the death of Nelson Mandela. It reminds me of the rumours for decades now among our evangelicals of the coming apocalypse of Armageddon. Well let me tell you the good news and the bad news about those rumours.

One of our biggest problems in the church is that people do not really believe the Bible, or at least want to only believe parts of it and they do not really believe the gospel. The word "gospel" means "good news".  And what is interesting to me is that some of the same Christians want to believe the worst about our country South Africa and the so called "end times".  Namely the bad news that prophesied destruction of South Africa (misinterpreted from Siener van Rensburg) and the supposed coming any day now of the coming battle of Armageddon in the Middle East.

The last news reports here in South Africa that I am aware of is that our black compatriots are celebrating the life of Nelson Mandela with sorrow and dignity but also as the Bible commends us to let all things be done in "decency and order" which is what is happening. As for the whites supposed to hurry to places of safety, our roads as usual this time of year are packed with holiday makers off to the coast for our annual national shut down (thank the Lord!) and the only long knives to be seen are being packed in for carving the Christmas leg of lamb.

Now I do not wish to minimize the danger that South Africa faced moving from Apartheid to democracy.  It was touch and go there for a while. The guns came out at some times and places.  There were many hurts on all sides. This thing could have degenerated into national civil war.  But let me tell you the real secret to the peaceful transition to majority rule here in South Africa.  It is found in Proverbs 21:1...
"The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord as the river of water: he turns it whithersoever he wills."

God touched the heart of Pres. F.W. de Klerk and said there was to be a peaceful hand over of South African rule to a black majority without a shot being fired. God touched the heart of Pres. Nelson Mandela and said there was to be forgiveness and no retribution.  And it is interesting to read now in our newspapers some of the background stories coming out as to how the Lord changed the hearts of leaders to reflect his will for South Africa.

Tito Mboweni (our past governor of the Reserve Bank) relates how he accompanied Nelson Mandela to his first meeting at Davos after his release from prison to meet the world economic and political leaders at that famous gathering in Switzerland.  He and Trevor Manuel had prepared a speech for Mr. Mandela for that gathering about what the ANC's economic policy would be and it included nationalization of businesses as required in the Freedom Charter of 1955.  Then before the speech they met with the leaders of communist China and Vietnam at the meeting.  These leaders told them, forget about nationalization, they were selling off state enterprises and turning to market economies and free enterprise.  Mr. Mboweni says they decided right there to change their economic policy and drop nationalization in the speech.  A major conflict in South Africa was avoided.

Heaven's Foreign Policy Pronouncement
On our about 29 September of the year 2 BC when Jesus the Messiah was born (on our about Rosh Hashana of that year) into our earth timeline, the court of the God of heaven and earth sent ambassadors to earth to make an important foreign policy announcement as to His policy for His dominion, planet earth.

This policy announcement was not made to the Senate in Rome or to the nominal king in Jerusalem (Herod).  They would have made every effort to thwart this new policy from implementation.  This policy was announced to those who were to implement it and carry it out....shepherds in the field.  The policy announcement was this:

"I bring you tidings of great joy to all people.  Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour which is Christ the Lord...Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace and good will toward men."  (Luke 2:8-14)

The good news to all men is this: The Lord God has manifested Himself in human flesh and has come to save the world.  His plan is the salvation of the world, peace throughout the earth and good will to all and among all.

I have trouble convincing my fellow evangelicals that this policy is now in effect. They are under the illusion that Satan or the will of evil men can thwart the plans of God. That God needs to delay His plans or change His mind about what He intends to do. They mentally agree that yes theoretically peace on earth is possible but the only way that can happen is if Jesus comes with the armies of heaven to earth and starts a mass slaughter of every evil man woman and child. The peace of death on the earth, that is what they expect from Armageddon. Billions slaughtered until the blood flows everywhere.

But the Lord just bypasses our bad theology and carries on with His program of reconciling the world unto Himself and creating good will among men. Peace between people and peace between God and man. That is heaven's policy for earth. And yet when it actually happens before our eyes we are shocked and surprised.  We are surprised at who God uses to bring peace on earth and good will among men and we are surprised as to how He does it.  It was surprising to the Sanhedrin in Jesus' day that God wanted to use shepherds, tax collectors, zealots and fishermen to extend His kingdom into all the earth. It was shocking to them that the great powerful Messiah to liberate Israel from her enemies was to appear as a common labourer.  

And today we continue to be surprised as the barriers between people fall and the things that cause ill will among men melt away and people by the hundreds of millions are not only coming to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ but are also finding that they have more and more in common with other just common people all over the world.

Look at the things that used to divide people and caused ill will among nations, races and people.  The biggest of these were nationalisms and ideologies.  Nationalism in the form of race division such as white and black racism, nationalism in the form of national identities such as German, English, French. Then there were the ideological wars of communism, fascism, capitalism.  World wars were fought over these divisions.  Hundreds of millions dead over useless conflict.

And now? National barriers are falling everywhere.  People en masse are migrating from one country to another. America is flooded by the tens of millions by immigrants and yet over a million Americans are now living in Mexico. Europe flooded by migrants.  Race divisions have fallen.  Signs of "whites only" have disappeared in both South Africa and America. Ideologies are becoming irrelevant. There is a generation of youngsters in China who can more readily identify Col. Sanders than Chairman Mao.  And they have more in common with other youngsters around the world than their own parents generation. They wear the same clothes, listen to the same music, play the same games.  Google, Facebook, the Internet are creating a one world culture.

What does that mean?  It means more "good will" among all men than has ever been possible. It is the common people of the world, the same type of people that first heard the gospel from Angels that are going to bring in the Kingdom reality all over the world.  Common people of all nations and races realize they want the same things...good education for their children, good jobs, peace on earth and they have good will towards others all over the world who have the same values.

Even world leaders are catching on.  Last Thursday Vladimir Putin the President of Russia made his state of the nation address. he shocked the news commentators in Europe and America.  He declared that Russia has no interest in being a superpower or pushing its nose in other people's business and stands for traditional conservative values of family and church. It also stand against the political correctness that as he put it "equates good and evil" as both of equal value...making another attack on the gay lifestyle of the west. 

Could any evangelical immersed in bad news Armageddon "end times" theology even have begun to imagine such a speech from the Russian leader who is supposed to invade Israel according to their interpretation of prophecy?

The bad news that is coming is all just good news for the spreading Kingdom of God. The world international money system is falling and it is going to cause another great depression....but the economic liberation of the people of the earth is also coming. The Middle East is facing enormous future wars and disruptions, but that will open the region to the gospel and the spreading of the Kingdom of God to bring peace and goodwill among all men there, even among Arab and Jews, Sunni and Shiite as the good news of the Messiah gets freedom to be preached.

Once again I thank the Lord for using the people He chose to bring peace and goodwill here to us in South Africa.  He changed the hearts of the kings to do His good pleasure. As a result we are going to have a wonderful peaceful Christmas and can plan for extending His Kingdom next year to more of our people in South Africa...and from here into the rest of Africa. Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God in the coming year that He may use you for this wonderful work of preaching the good news to everyone.

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