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Thread: Are we in the Time of Sorrows?

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post
    I think from any perspective, "drop out of society" is the wrong answer. The question for me is how to be involved in a society that increasingly doesn't want to hear it. Maybe the more accurate question is finding the courage to live out what God expects.
    Well put. That's not easy for any of us.
    Something is always happening, but when it happens, people don't always see it, or understand it... or accept it.

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  3. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post
    I agree the passage is more aimed at practices in Protestant Christianity than RCC or orthodox. Other passages do go after practices in those groups. I guess it just shows that man can twist anything God establishes into something else.

    Going back to your original post, it appears that between you and me there is agreement that we are in an age of serious decline or possibly the beginning of the last days. Knowing what to expect, how should we respond? Crawling into a cave or behind church walls doesn't seem to be the right answer. Do we just continue to point out the errors to the wayward church and society? I'm not sure. What do you think?
    Dropping out of society is not an option. To answer your question, I think the first thing Christians need to do is concede that our Lord gave us end time signs and then commanded us to be aware when the end is occurring by observing those signs. Just that alone seems to be a monumental hurdle to get over with the current church. Once we’re at that point, then we have to figure out the why our Lord would command such a thing when it not only has caused so much turmoil and embarrassment in the church throughout the centuries, but seems more sensible for a Christian to just always be ready for his return, thus watching signs of the end in the first place shouldn’t be necessary. So watching the signs must have some exceptional relevance.

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    tWebber Thoughtful Monk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seanD View Post
    Dropping out of society is not an option. To answer your question, I think the first thing Christians need to do is concede that our Lord gave us end time signs and then commanded us to be aware when the end is occurring by observing those signs. Just that alone seems to be a monumental hurdle to get over with the current church. Once we’re at that point, then we have to figure out the why our Lord would command such a thing when it not only has caused so much turmoil and embarrassment in the church throughout the centuries, but seems more sensible for a Christian to just always be ready for his return, thus watching signs of the end in the first place shouldn’t be necessary. So watching the signs must have some exceptional relevance.
    Everything you say about God's teaching on end times is true. However I do think you are projecting what is happening in the USA as a sign of what is happening in the whole world. From my understanding, there is too much Christian life in Africa, South America, and China to say the whole world has turned as Jesus taught here. Even in the US (I don't see where you're located), it depends on the local. A friend from work just resigned and relocated to NC and says how different the Christians are in NC than here.

    At best the world is in maybe the first "day" of the end. I think a comparison to Judges with falling away and repentance maybe more applicable to today. The teachings of Isaiah, Jeremiah and minor prophets of that day probably has applicability.

    Why did Jesus teach on end times? First because the disciples asked Him about them. A partial answer is I think Jesus is continuing His warnings that following Him will not necessarily be pleasant and may actually fatal in this life. Like all humans, the disciples want to skip to end where life will be good and perfect and eternal. Jesus is warning the road there may be long and harsh.

    (PS. I will probably be off-line until Sunday or Monday. Please do not take a lack of response as lack of interest...I'm simply unable to post.)
    Last edited by Thoughtful Monk; 05-13-2014 at 11:34 PM.
    "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

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  5. #24
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    I'll agree with Thought Monk that I don't think the world seems ripe for the end, even though the western world as a whole has become apostate. We were just unlucky to be born in evil times.

    Although I am curious to hear what your friend has to say about Christians in NC (I presume North Carolina). I don't have the highest opinion of Christians in my area of the south, but I recognize that my experience may not be typical.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Some Dude View Post
    I'll agree with Thought Monk that I don't think the world seems ripe for the end, even though the western world as a whole has become apostate. We were just unlucky to be born in evil times.

    Although I am curious to hear what your friend has to say about Christians in NC (I presume North Carolina). I don't have the highest opinion of Christians in my area of the south, but I recognize that my experience may not be typical.
    He said: "(compared with NY)...the people not being shy about their faith. They are truly kind and courteous on balance." This may say more about NY though than North Carolina.
    "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

    My time to be on TWeb is unpredictable. It may take a few days for me to see your post and respond.

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    Just to be clear and reiterate on what was stated in the OP, the Time of Sorrows precedes the end...

    Mark 13 "When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be frightened; those things must take place; but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will also be famines. These things are merely the beginning of birth pangs."

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    tWebber Thoughtful Monk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seanD View Post
    Just to be clear and reiterate on what was stated in the OP, the Time of Sorrows precedes the end...

    Mark 13 "When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be frightened; those things must take place; but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will also be famines. These things are merely the beginning of birth pangs."
    Thanks for pulling me back on topic. A problem with slow moving threads is I lose track of where they started from.

    To recap, we have agreed that at the least the US is entering into a time of sorrows. How far into the actual end times is up for debate and off-topic. My opinion and final comment in this thread on the topic is that we're not very far in - a few hours if the whole end times is summed up as a week.

    To revisit your post #22
    Dropping out of society is not an option. To answer your question, I think the first thing Christians need to do is concede that our Lord gave us end time signs and then commanded us to be aware when the end is occurring by observing those signs. Just that alone seems to be a monumental hurdle to get over with the current church. Once we’re at that point, then we have to figure out the why our Lord would command such a thing when it not only has caused so much turmoil and embarrassment in the church throughout the centuries, but seems more sensible for a Christian to just always be ready for his return, thus watching signs of the end in the first place shouldn’t be necessary. So watching the signs must have some exceptional relevance.
    A Christian should always be ready to met their Lord. At this time, I think it is still far more probable that the meeting will be a result of the Christian's death than some form of Christ's return. So that brings me to your idea that watching the times has some exceptional relevance.

    One thing I note is that all the signs point to trouble in the world. Nothing says when everything is going well. May I suggest that sign watching is meant to give the Christian hope. There is no time or trouble that is so harsh that God can't step in and fix it. Jesus knows there are going to be hard times and He doesn't want His followers to despair. Also He knows that there will come a time so terrible that only God can stop it, He wants to warn the disciples living in that time what is happening to them. Since He the Son doesn't know the date (Mark 13:32-33), He can't provide it.

    Since in troubled times, how does the Christian respond? First we should look to God the source of all hope and salvation. Then we need to continue to proclaim God's hope and salvation (the Gospel) to all the world. That this gospel has to be proclaimed to a church (local body), indicates to me that the local church has taken its eyes off God and maybe doesn't even believe anymore - which of course is another sign. Finally where we can, we help those in distress during those times.
    "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

    My time to be on TWeb is unpredictable. It may take a few days for me to see your post and respond.

  9. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post
    Thanks for pulling me back on topic. A problem with slow moving threads is I lose track of where they started from.

    To recap, we have agreed that at the least the US is entering into a time of sorrows. How far into the actual end times is up for debate and off-topic. My opinion and final comment in this thread on the topic is that we're not very far in - a few hours if the whole end times is summed up as a week.

    To revisit your post #22


    A Christian should always be ready to met their Lord. At this time, I think it is still far more probable that the meeting will be a result of the Christian's death than some form of Christ's return. So that brings me to your idea that watching the times has some exceptional relevance.

    One thing I note is that all the signs point to trouble in the world. Nothing says when everything is going well. May I suggest that sign watching is meant to give the Christian hope. There is no time or trouble that is so harsh that God can't step in and fix it. Jesus knows there are going to be hard times and He doesn't want His followers to despair. Also He knows that there will come a time so terrible that only God can stop it, He wants to warn the disciples living in that time what is happening to them. Since He the Son doesn't know the date (Mark 13:32-33), He can't provide it.

    Since in troubled times, how does the Christian respond? First we should look to God the source of all hope and salvation. Then we need to continue to proclaim God's hope and salvation (the Gospel) to all the world. That this gospel has to be proclaimed to a church (local body), indicates to me that the local church has taken its eyes off God and maybe doesn't even believe anymore - which of course is another sign. Finally where we can, we help those in distress during those times.
    We're not seeing the time of sorrows just in the US. We're seeing all these things all over the world -- wars and rumors of wars, tribe against tribe, etc. That's why I think these things described in the OP are unusual because they're global events.

    My opinion as to the purpose of the signs is that there is a deception coming that will be so profound that it will be almost impossible to recognize as a deception. The three major players in the NT -- Jesus, Paul, John -- all gave us specific signs of the end times, and the most common thing among all three was a coming deception (Matthew 24:23-26, 2 Thess 2:9-12, Rev 13:13-14). I’m supposing that the only way to resist it will be the awareness that we’re in the end times and that it’s part of the end times, otherwise, it will just look like a natural societal progression or maybe even an actual divine event. I believe this is why very specific signs were given because the mere expectation of a deception coming will be our only defense against it, which is why it’s so important to discuss the matter and even argue about it. Other than prayer, that’s probably the best we can do in the meantime.
    Last edited by seanD; 05-22-2014 at 04:50 PM.

  10. #29
    tWebber Thoughtful Monk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seanD View Post
    We're not seeing the time of sorrows just in the US. We're seeing all these things all over the world -- wars and rumors of wars, tribe against tribe, etc. That's why I think these things described in the OP are unusual because they're global events.
    True enough; as we've said, we're in a time of sorrows. The only problem is these things are always true in any age. As Jesus says in Mark 13:5-8, these are just a sign of the beginning of the end. Apparently the end has been beginning for 2,000 years as I don't think there is a single year between the Ascension and today where these signs are not true. Maybe what has changed is they are of more global impact. The Japan-China wars of the 1300 or 1400 hundreds had measurable affect on the Americas. Now the tension between the two has global ripples.

    For me, the key verses are Mark 13:12-33 (NIV - Jesus speaking): “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. Everyone will hate you because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved." This is approaching us. The family ties are being ground down. The reason I don't think we are deeper in the end times is not everyone hates Christians - yet. For me, this is my measure of our depths of being in the end time.

    Quote Originally Posted by seanD View Post
    My opinion as to the purpose of the signs is that there is a deception coming that will be so profound that it will be almost impossible to recognize as a deception. The three major players in the NT -- Jesus, Paul, John -- all gave us specific signs of the end times, and the most common thing among all three was a coming deception (Matthew 24:23-26, 2 Thess 2:9-12, Rev 13:13-14). I’m supposing that the only way to resist it will be the awareness that we’re in the end times and that it’s part of the end times, otherwise, it will just look like a natural societal progression or maybe even an actual divine event.
    I admit I keep forgetting about the coming deception. As I think about it, it seems to be going along the lines of "there is no need for God; man can do it all." So many advances seem to or are presented as cutting God out of the loop. We don't need creationism because the world is evolving without guidance, you don't need repentance because we have therapy, etc. A lot of this does look like natural social progression. So you are right that without awareness of the end times, you would miss the significance of the changes going on.

    I have no idea what a deceiving divine event would look like. Society has so removed the spiritual from life that there is no room for divine events anymore. That life does not have a spiritual component is I suppose another deception of these times.

    Quote Originally Posted by seanD View Post
    I believe this is why very specific signs were given because the mere expectation of a deception coming will be our only defense against it, which is why it’s so important to discuss the matter and even argue about it. Other than prayer, that’s probably the best we can do in the meantime.
    Let's continue to review and discuss the signs. However, I don't think prayer, study, and discussion are the end of our responsibility. As ambassadors for Christ, we need to take this message into the world and give warning. The numerous passages about watching tend to include a responsibility to give warning. Ezekiel 33:1-6 being the most clear example.
    "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

    My time to be on TWeb is unpredictable. It may take a few days for me to see your post and respond.

  11. #30
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    TM, I don't think naturalistic and atheistic philosophy is the deception, because for some Christians, this is too obvious. This is too obvious to some even outside Christianity, and it's not the impression I get from end time scripture. In fact, I don't believe atheism will continue to be considered a viable option for long. I'm thinking the deception will come in the guise of God. Either technology will become so miraculously advanced that it will look supernatural, or there will be a direct manifestation from a deceiving supernatural force (or perhaps both -- the latter will herald the former). In either case, science will underscore its validity and necessity. People will begin a renewed introspective search of spirituality. Religions, and most churches, will jump on board because it won't look evil at all but will be the greatest altruistic event in the history of mankind. Because of it's benevolence, empirical evidence and authority behind it, it will be virtually impossible to see as a deception except those that know a deception is supposed to come before the appearance of Christ.
    Last edited by seanD; 05-25-2014 at 08:54 PM. Reason: word confusion

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