In the Line of Fire, by Michael Brown

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Confronting a Dangerous End-Time Mentality

If you don't mind my asking, please tell me where Jesus said that from the year 2016 until His return, things will only get worse. Would you be kind enough to provide the chapter and verse?
If you don't mind my asking, please tell me where Jesus said that from the year 2016 until His return, things will only get worse. Would you be kind enough to provide the chapter and verse? (Flickr/Creative Commons)

I hear it all the time, and as quickly as I hear it, I reject it.

It is a paralyzing, destructive mentality, and it is unbiblical—plain and simple.

I'm talking about the mindset that says, "Jesus told us everything will get worse, so why bother trying to bring about change?"

Can you imagine what church history would like if Paul and Peter felt that way in the first century or if Wesley and Wilberforce felt that way in the 18th and 19th centuries?

Why fight against infanticide in the early church? Jesus said things will only get worse.

Why fight against slavery in Great Britain and America? Jesus said things will only get worse.

Why fight against apartheid in South Africa? Jesus said things will only get worse.

Why even oppose the Nazis? Jesus said things will only get worse.

Do you see how paralyzing this mentality can be?

In response to my video message challenging the Charlotte City Council to vote against an extreme, LGBT activist bill—it was dubbed "the bathroom bill"—someone posted this on my YouTube channel:

"I admire your spirit Dr Brown ... but you know this is fighting the Hand of God.  Can you possibly win?  Can you possibly even HOPE to win?  He said that these days will come.  So how is it that you, a man who serves that same God, fights against Him?  He says it WILL happen, and you try to STOP it.  Is that not fighting against God?  No.  Instead, praise Him because His Word IS Truth, and preach ENDURANCE and LONG SUFFERING and HOPE.  Those are better messages.  Trying to stop the Word of God, however, ... is futile."

With all respect to the person who posted the comment, this is absolute rubbish.

Fighting the Hand of God? Fighting against God? Trying to stop the Word of God? Nonsense!

Oh yes, I fully affirm the need to "preach ENDURANCE and LONG SUFFERING and HOPE," and those themes go hand and hand with our actions in Charlotte.

But the idea that we are fighting against the inevitable collapse of society in our day—even fighting against God—is an idea to be resisted and rejected.

If you don't mind my asking, please tell me where Jesus said that from the year 2016 until His return, things will only get worse. Would you be kind enough to provide the chapter and verse?

You might reply, "In Matthew 24, Jesus predicted mass deception and mass apostasy," but it appears you still miss the point.

Aside from asking which portions of Matthew 24 referred more directly to the events leading up to 70 A.D.—in other words, to events that took place almost 2,000 years ago—the obvious question is: How do you know that His words apply to today rather than to 100 years from today? Who gave you the insight that we were in the closing years of the era and that all we could expect was gloom and doom?

If Jonathan Edwards had believed this in the 1700s, he never would have called the churches together to pray for awakening.

The same could be said for every revival in history: If the believers in each generation thought that the apostasy and darkness and moral corruption they were witnessing indicated that Jesus was coming any minute and that positive change was impossible, they never would have sought God for revival and the world would be in massively worse shape today.

I came to faith in 1971 when Hal Lindsey's Late Great Planet Earth was all the rage, and we knew that any day now, Jesus was coming back. The signs of the times were all there!

I was 16 at that time. Next month, I turn 61. And Jesus still has not returned.

What makes you so sure that you have figured it all out and that we should simply capitulate and cave in? What makes you so sure that it's time to throw in the towel and let the devil and the world take over? Is this even a remotely biblical mentality?

You might say, "But things have never been as bad as they are today."

I suggest you study history more carefully before coming to that conclusion, but even if you're right, that's what other generations have said about their days as well, and the Lord moved mightily with great outpouring and harvest.

Who's to say He hasn't saved the best for last?

The fact is that a truly biblical mentality is a victorious, faith-filled, overcoming mentality, a mentality of hope and triumph and expectation.

Jesus is risen, and Jesus is Lord!

That's all I need to know.

And Jesus told us that: 1) All authority is heaven and Earth is His; 2) in His name and authority, we are to go and make disciples of the nations; and 3) He is with us always, even to the end of the age (Matt. 28:18-20).

Where, then, is there room for discouragement? Where, then, is there room for a "throw in the towel" mentality?

And if we are successful in making disciples, won't that mean that positive change will come?

The biblical mentality is expressed by John, who told us that "the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining" (1 John 2:8).

Or in the words of Paul, "The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us take off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light" (Rom. 13:12).

That is how we must live, and that is the attitude we must have as we stand for what is right, regardless of how dire things look and regardless of cost or consequence.

And that means that, until our dying day—or until Jesus returns, whichever comes first—the salt must stay salty and the light must stay bright (Matt. 5:13-16).

How else could a disciple possibly live?

(Click here for my four-minute video commentary on this subject.)

Dr. Michael Brown (www.askdrbrown.org) is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program. His latest book is The Grace Controversy. Connect with him on Facebook or Twitter.

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