Editors Note: this article from Pastor James McBride in the UK was sent to me via email and is being reprinted here by permission of the author. I felt it was an excellent editorial from a bible based viewpoint. their primary website is http://www.cgom.org
Euphoria from half the nation’s electors as newly-elected Donald J Trump takes over the most influential political office in the world, President of the United States of America.
The other half? Bitter disappointment, tears—and riots—follow the announcement. Then violence and invective (from those who condemned it in the election run-up). Due democratic (of a sort) process was faithfully followed, but that didn’t satisfy the ‘losers’.
President Trump was born to an immigrant mother climbing the success tree to reach this highest office. During the campaign he talked tough and rough, offending many. Not so dignified for an aspiring President, though now that ‘it’s in the bag’ a different ‘The Donald’ may show!
Every time we have a change of leadership (wherever we live) there’s hope of ‘better times’. Each time it will be different, we think. A new broom will sweep in policies that will usher in Utopia—or at least put more money in my pocket.
It doesn’t happen—or not sustained for long. For history shows mankind simply doesn’t know ‘…the way to peace’ (Heb. shalom: a Hebrew word meaning peace, harmony, completeness, prosperity—Romans 3:17).
Will the Trump Presidency be any better? Can America – still the world’s most powerful nation— truly be ‘great again’? That greatness was the result of the diligent use of the vast resources gifted to the nation—coupled with the acknowledgement of their true source, the Creator of all things and the fulfilment of millennium-old promises.
That relationship with the Creator, however tenuous it was, has been broken. The principles on which the nation was founded (based largely on the Christian Scriptures) have been undermined.
Disappointment, despair, disenchantment, alienation from the nation’s leadership—all contributed to the cry from the heart that surfaced as a massive rebellion against the alien and out-of-touch values imposed by successive administrations.
But it’s not just the United States, for the same populous sentiment is widespread among the Western democracies, with ‘right-wing’ parties in ascendence—many of which, notably in Europe, have elections looming. Political tremors are shaking the nations!
It’s tempting for Christians to see such seismic changes as the ‘end of the age’ as predicted by Jesus Christ. In due time that’s a certainty –but His inauguration date is not spelled out! At an unspecified time selected by the Father He will, as promised, facilitate the return of Jesus from Heaven, as political and religious Supremo, to wrest the reins of government from every human ruler.
For now, a variety of ‘prophets’ are positioning President-elect Trump as a saviour—or, as a destroyer. The only certainty is that whichever role he may assume, he is in office by divine authority—the ‘man for the moment’—and he will be called on to answer for how he performs in office.
A sixth century BC Babylonian King was given such a lesson:‘…to the intent that the living may know that the most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomsoever he will, and sets up over it the basest [lowest] of men’ (Daniel 4:17). That’s a concept unexplored by present-day leadership.
God intimately knows each of us and how we may respond to circumstances. The Egyptian Pharaoh of the Exodus (who ‘hardened his heart’ against the LORD—Exodus 8:15) was thus selected by Him: ‘…in very deed for this cause have I raised you up, for to shew in you my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth’ (ch 9:16). We know the consequences!
The people of Israel in the eighth century BC sank morally to rock bottom. To correct them God raised up the fierce nation of Assyria: ‘…I use Assyria like a club to punish those with whom I am angry. I sent Assyria to attack a godless nation’ (Isaiah 10:5-6). The entire nation was deported from their homeland and have not returned to this day.
A century and a half before his birth, King Cyrus (of the Medes and Persians) was prophesied by Isaiah to initiate the restoration of the people of Judah, taken captive into Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar: ‘…You are the one who will rule for me; you will do what I want you to do: you will order that Jerusalem be rebuilt and that the foundations of the Temple be laid’ (Isaiah 44:28). Ezra the priest (Ezra 1) records the fulfillment of the prophecy.
An End to Prophecy
‘Trump good’ or ‘Trump bad’? Is the President-elect a parallel to King Nebuchadnezzar who enslaved the nation of Judah? Or does he parallel King Cyrus who facilitated their restoration? Secular pundits leap on bandwagons heading in both directions. And so, too, do the religious pundits each claiming insight as to our world’s trajectory over the next few years—their projected ‘end time’.
Each ‘prophet’, of course, has (in his own eyes) the ‘right’ interpretation of the Bible prophecies. But the prophecies as given are right—and will in time be proven so to the last jot and tittle. And maybe someone will inadvertently ‘hit the jackpot’ and get it right—but evidenced only by the ultimate fulfilment of the prophecies. Truth is, there’s no virtue in speculation.
Century after century has witnessed the failures of prophetic interpretation—even to our own era: Christ will return in 1000AD, 1844, 1914, 1975, 2000AD, 2012—and 2017, 2021, 2033. (Well—those last three have not yet stood the test of time.) Wrote Paul: ‘…we know in part and we prophesy in part’ adding, ‘…now we see through a mirror [indirectly], but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know completely, just as I have also been completely known’ (I Corinthians 13:9, 12).
New World Order
The bed-rock of Bible prophecy, the foundation on which all our futures is built, is the coming ‘new world order’. It is certain. It is ‘in the bag’. It is the imposed direct rule of the Creator, the Kingdom and Family of God, over all mankind.
In coming days ‘…in a moment, in a glance of an eye, at the last trumpet; for a trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall all be changed’ (I Corinthians 15: 52). For, ‘…the Lord Himself shall come down from Heaven with a commanding shout of an archangel’s voice, and with God’s trumpet’ (I Thessalonians 4: 16).
That return of Christ as ‘…King of kings and Lord of lords’ (Revelation 19:16) will herald an unprecedented thousand years of peace and prosperity for all mankind. Making his return a necessity, however, the institutions that underpin civilization will crumble to dust. Destructive forces, a ‘day of darkness and not light’ will engulf us.
We must each heed the warning signs and become spiritually prepared.
Our Place in the World
As Christians our views on polity are in general at odds with the spirit of the times. Let’s heed Paul’s admonition: ’…I urge first of all that petitions, prayers, requests, and thanksgiving be made on behalf of all people, on behalf of kings and all those who are in authority [Gk. preeminence], in order that we may live a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable before God our Saviour’ (I Timothy 2:1-3).
In other words, don’t panic. Our lives are in God’s safe hands and it is for us to pray—not that our leaders will bring in Utopia—they don’t know how— but for those who control the levers of power that they will so order conditions that we can, until Christ does return, live peaceably and godly. We live in peace, we live in conflict. In either state we are sustained by our loving and caring heavenly Father. Ω
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