Jesus was teaching from the Mount of Olives.
Four of his closest disciples interrupted him; they wanted a private conversation regarding the end times. Scripture doesn’t tell us why that needed to be a side conversation? Did Peter, James, John, and Andrew want a valuable piece of foreshadowing? Or were they reluctant to admit they still didn’t know the answer? Jesus had talked about it from the very beginning.
“Tell us, when is this going to happen? What sign will we get that things are coming to a head?”
Jesus answered them: “And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in many parts of the world, as well as famines. But this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.” (Mark 13:3-4, 7-8)
Jesus went on to tell them of the persecution they would endure for being his followers and that many troubling situations would precede his reappearance.
One of the troubling signs of the end of the age was later identified by Paul in his second letter to the Thessalonians—denial of God’s divine character and moral rebellion. “The mystery of lawlessness is already at work.” (2 Thes 2:7)
During last week’s siege at the capitol, I realized that I was seeing a fresh wave of biblical lawlessness. This is why…
Our country was founded on Judeo-Christian morals. Our laws formed around the universal belief that God is sovereign, right and wrong are not negotiable, and people need a certain degree of freedom so that they can exercise their divine nature.
Serving people is a privilege. Elected officials in all three branches of government (Senate, House of Representatives and Presidency) are accountable to the citizens, to the Constitution, and also to God. Our founding fathers would rather have died than betray that confidence.
So how did we arrive at the dangerous mess millions of us watched on television last week, “Kingdom fighting kingdom”?
Over the past fifty years there has been a shift. Godly biblical values were overtaken by moral relativism, the lines between right and wrong were erased. People were told that their feelings were the most important thing.
If having a child didn’t sound fun, abort the pregnancy. If working for a paycheck wasn’t emotionally fulfilling, quit and let the government support you. If you want to run the country your way, make lots of money and be a bully, or get a few thousand of your like-minded friends and take the capitol by force.
Prayer was removed from our schools. The Ten Commandments were removed from our courthouses. Respect for authority was removed from our homes.
At first these were small, barely-noticeable shifts.
Worldview values were legislated into the fabric of our laws. Abortion, gambling and drugs became legal. Pornography became normalized. As a society, we became really good at looking the other way. We chose not to see racism, child abuse, violence, and the crude images embraced by our entertainment industry.
Little by little, people changed—and not for better.
What I saw in Washington D.C. should not have shocked me. The Old Testament prophets warned that this would happen. So did Jesus. So did the leaders of the early church. And so do leaders in the church today.
Lawlessness is a birth pang that Jesus said must take place before the end of the age. God is skillfully using evil because He wrote it into His grand plan.
Sylvia Peterson is former co-pastor for Bald Hill Community Church and an author. She and her husband are chaplains for the Bald Hills Fire Department. You can email her at email@example.com. She is the author of “The Red Door: Where Hurt and Holiness Collide,” which can be purchased at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.