Starting to think about our next message series coming this fall – Future Shock. Not sure how I landed it but my job on the teaching team this series is to deal with all the cosmic bad-boys found in biblical eschatology! Who are God’s most powerful enemies- bent on the destruction of his people- alive and dangerous as they rise in power and influence in our world?
If you’ve ever read parts of scripture like Daniel 8-9 or Revelation 16-19 you’ll meet world rulers with blatantly anti-God goals, Dragons and Beasts depicted as tools of Satanic aggression, false prophets actively manipulating world systems, deceiving people and bringing them under his power, the Anti-Christ, and even a cosmic bad-girl who imbibes the blood of Christian martyrs! To be honest, I feel like Daniel in response to his apocalyptic visions:
“I, Daniel, was overcome and lay sick for some days. Then I rose and went about the king’s business, but I was appalled by the vision and did not understand it.” Dan 8:27
Something of enormous proportions is at stake. In Daniel’s day a vision of a goat with a few extra horns growing out of it’s head turned into a disgusting abomination of God’s temple and the public executions of priests. Antiochus IV was a real world ruler Daniel’s vision predicted would unleash great evil on God’s people. Does the Bible tell us similar things might be in store for Christians today?
YES. God has enemies. Real ones. That means God’s people will face God’s enemies in some form. Church history tells that story already. Christ followers have always taken the mission of Jesus forward through real opposition. That will only intensify as the timeline of salvation history advances to it’s climax. The role for Christians isn’t to “hope it doesn’t happen” or just close our eyes and brace for it.
Jesus gave us absolutely realistic instructions when he said this: “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world the world would love you as its own, but because you are not of the world, the world hates you.” Or how about this one: “A servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.” John 15.
I don’t know about you, but along with the likelihood of being the target of Anti-Jesus hatred comes a fascination with who those enemies are. I want to know as much as I can about The Anti-Christ, The Beast, The False Prophet, The Dragon, The Man of Lawlessness, The Blood-drinking Prostitute riding a scarlet beast (well maybe not so much about her).
Make sure you don’t miss Future Shock. I think it will scare your pants off to be honest. But I also think for every nasty enemy of God poised to unmake our world, there’s an assurance from Jesus that he can see his people through and that he longs to share his cosmic victory with us!
Send me your comments and questions as we gear up for this incredible series. Get into the book of Revelation over the next several weeks. Let us know what you’re thinking!
PS – no, this is not a photograph of me or any other CCC staff member.