THE ARMINIAN MAGAZINE. Issue 2. Fall 2011. Volume 29.
Date published to Extended January 2012

Harold Camping has announced the rapture will occur on May 21, 2011. Yet Camping had previously predicted the end of the world between September 15-27, 1994. See "Camping Misses End-times Deadline," Christianity Today (24 Oct 1994): 84.

Nor can we determine the time of the end by consulting the Mayan calendar which runs out in 2012. Jesus said that no man knew the day nor the hour of his return (Matt 24:36).

But what about international tension and the overthrow of governments? According to Matt 24:6 we are not to be alarmed; such events are not signs of the end. In over 3100 years of world history, only 286 years have been warless. Since warfare has occurred across 92% of world history, war can hardly be a sign. Peace would be a more significant signal.

1. We must reject fear mongering. Fear does not come from God (Rom 8:15; 2 Tim 1:7).
2. Our hope is in a sovereign God (Rev 19:6). Our God reigns!
3. God is involved in human history (Dan 2:21)

The greatest event of the twentieth century was the collapse of communism in 1989. Like the old Roman Empire it imploded and was not conquered by another regime. We may be witnessing another sovereign work of God. Saddam Hussein was executed in 2006. We have already seen the overthrow of Mubarak in Egypt after 30 years of corruption. We have seen the overthrow of Saleh in Yemen and Ben Ali in Tunisia. As I write Gadhafi, the longest standing dictator in the Middle East, is tottering. After 42 years as a brutal dictator, his hold on Lybia is weakening.

What is next? There is unrest in Iran and Ahmadinejad needs to go. The world would be a safer place without his inflammatory rhetoric and nuclear program. China is afraid of a "Jasmine Revolution" and there is even hope that North Korea will rise up and overthrow Kim Jong-il.

While there is always the risk of anarchy, we must pray as Christ taught us to pray, that God's will shall be done on earth as it is in heaven. I have no faith in the status quo diplomacy of our U. S. State Department, but I do have confidence that our sovereign God is at work.

At the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Benjamin Franklin said, I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth- that God Governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that "except the Lord build the House they labour in vain that build it."

I do not trust the state-controlled media to even tell us what is happening, but I am confident that something significant is unfolding. I think the internet, cell phones, facebook, and twitter have been the common man and woman a voice that cannot be silenced by government tyranny. We seem to see an international "tea party" standing up to tin-horn dictators and bringing them down.

The fall of the iron curtain and the tearing down of the Berlin Wall produced new challenges, but thanks be to God, international communism which killed 100 million in the twentieth century has been brought down in many parts of the world.

Yet freedom is still threatened by an Islamic agenda which seeks to control the world through Sharia law. Among the 55 nations of the Muslim world that is not one single democracy.

While their agenda has much in common with previous Nazi and communistic agendas, which believe the end justified the means, this Islamic agenda is not atheistic. It appeals to Allah, a god who can cancel his promises and contradict his own commands, but is always right because he is sovereign.

And yet we are now seeing indications that not everyone in these Islamic regimes are committed to living under such oppression. I am not suggesting that everyone involved in this new movement is a Spirit-filled Christian or that this movement will lead to utopia. But I do believe that all mankind is created in the image and likeness of God and that within everyone there is an inherent yearning for freedom. Since I believe that freedom is an inalienable right endowed by the Creator, I support the overthrow of every tyrant — even American politicians and activist judges who disregard our Constitution.