Ford is reported to have said, " history is one damn thing after another." For
the non-Christian history is merely a random sequence of meaningless events.
In a nutshell, this is the belief of the professional secular historian. They
may be good at chronicling these alleged random events, but when it comes to
finding the meaning and significance of major events, this is the exclusive
domain of the Bible-believing Christian. When it comes to explaining why the events of September 11, 2001 occurred in
history, the Bible, especially Bible prophecy, provide a framework for making
sense of this tragic mess.
Daniel and The Purpose of History
a time of public and personal crisis we all need a framework in order to make
sense of specific events that occur. This is especially true of monumental
events like the recent round of terrorists attacks here in America. Daniel
faced a similar situation in Babylon when King Nebuchadnezzar was experiencing
a melt down over a puzzling dream and he wanted to know " why." Daniel stepped
forward and said, " there is a God in heaven who
reveals mysteries, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will take
place in the latter days" (Dan. 2:28). Earlier, in a similar vein, Daniel had
declared to Arioch, the captain of the king' s bodyguard, the following about
the Lord: " it is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and
establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men, And knowledge to men of
understanding. It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; He knows
what is in the darkness, And the light dwells with Him" (Dan. 2:21-22). A
large part of the framework that Daniel operated upon included prophetic
details about the future.
Now why would prophecy be an
important part of Daniel' s framework? Because when an individual is going
through a crisis, that appears to be out of control, it is important to know
that someone- God- is really in control. How do we really know that God is in
control? We know God is in control because He has provided a detailed outline
of the future to Daniel, thus demonstrating that He is in control of the crisis
that Daniel was experiencing. Only the God of the Bible is able to provide one
hundred per cent accurate prophetic details about God' s future plan for
Book of Daniel is set-up with a combination of personal stories (true stories)
about Daniel and other Hebrew captives in Babylon and prophetic revelation
about the future.. It is a book that provides needed wisdom for how Israel was
to live faithfully for the Lord outside the Land of Israel, while awaiting
return back to Jerusalem and the Land.. This same wisdom can often be applied
to Christian believers who are living in the world (Babylon) awaiting the
return of Christ. So knowing prophecy is part of the framework that a believer
needs to know to give one the needed confidence and trust in Christ needed to
live boldly for our Lord at any time, but especially during a time of crisis.
day after the destruction of the World Trade Center' s Twin Towers and partial
destruction of the Pentagon, I was a newspaper with huge headlines that
screamed out " Why?" Well, it is certainly not God' s fault. Like all evil
events, this tragic scheme is the result of fallen human depravity. It is due
to man' s sinful depravity striking out against his fellow human beings. The
prophet Jeremiah said, " The heart is more deceitful
than all else and is desperately wicked; who can understand it?" (Jer. 17:9)
Yes, the wickedness of mankind is hard to understand. People have a difficult
time figuring out how our fellow human beings can do monumentally evil deeds to
one another. Yet, it is due to sin in the human heart, not socio-economic reasons
as is so commonly thought. However, there is another factor that works in
conjunction with the sinful human heart.
The mystery of iniquity (kjv) is said to be " already at work"
during the present church age (2 Thess. 2:7). This is a reference to the
satanic influence that works in conjunction with human sin. Within the context
of 2 Thessalonians 2, the mystery of lawlessness during the tribulation is
preparing the way for the entrance of antichrist upon the stage of history,
once the restraint of the Holy Spirit is removed (2 Thess. 2:7-10). This
means, I think, that Satan and fallen sinful human beings are working in tandem
to produce an evil that exceeds what humanity could produce on their own. This
is why we have a conspiracy of evil such as was perpetrated in the events of
September 11, 2001. It is hard to explain, but the only explanation that makes
sense is one that is the result of cooperate evil. An evil that originates in
both the sinful hearts of man and from the spiritual realm of the satanic.
related question that many often ask at a time like this is related to the
previous query. " Why did God allow this to happen?" Many people think that
God should intervene in history to stop great atrocities of man' s inhumanity to
man. Some have ask: " Where was God in Nazi Germany?" " Where was God during
the Vietnam War?" Romans 1 tells us that because of our sin God has given us
over to that which we want- our sin.
just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over
to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with
all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife,
deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent,
arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without
understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and, although they know the
ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they
not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.
we are rebellious toward God and will not submit to Him and His authority,
God' s present judgment or wrath is to give us over to our own sinful desires.
In this present time in history, God, by and large, does not restrain evil.
Since sinful man in his rebellion wants to be free of God and His restraints,
our Lord says, " Fine, see how you like My hands-off policy in regards to your
sin." The Psalmist says, " Surely the wrath of man
shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain" (Psa. 76:10; kjv). It is not God' s fault, but the
result of man' s choice.
One day there is going to come a
time when God will remove evil from mankind. This process is known as the
seven-year tribulation period. Since God' s kingdom will be a righteous one, He
will have to separate good and evil. This is what the judgment of the
tribulation is all about. God will purge out evil and evil doers before He is
able to set up His righteous rule in the thousand year kingdom we know as the
millennium, which will then give rise to the Great White Throne judgment and
then the Eternal State.
present church age is not a time in which Bible prophecy is being fulfilled.
Bible prophecy relates to a time after the rapture (the seven-year tribulation
period). However, this does not mean that God is not preparing the world for
that future time during the present church age- in fact, He is. But this is not
" fulfillment" of Bible prophecy. So while prophecy is not being fulfilled in
our day, it does not follow that we cannot track " general trends" in current
preparation for the coming tribulation, especially since it immediately follows
the rapture. We call this approach " stage-setting." Just as many people set
their clothes out the night before they wear them the following day, so in the
same sense is God currently preparing the world for the certain fulfillment of
prophecy in a future time.
John Walvoord explains:
But if there are no signs for the Rapture itself,
what are the legitimate grounds for believing that the Rapture could be
especially near of this generation?
The answer is not
found in any prophetic events predicted before the Rapture but in understanding
the events that will follow the Rapture. Just as history was prepared for
Christ' s first coming, in a similar way history is preparing for the events
leading up to His Second Coming. . . . If this is the case, it leads to the
inevitable conclusion that the Rapture may be excitingly near.
Bible provides detailed prophecy about the seven-year tribulation. In fact,
Revelation 4- 19 gives a detailed, sequential outline of the major players and
events. Using Revelation as a framework, a Bible student is able to harmonize
the hundreds of other biblical passages that speak of the seven-year
tribulation into a clear model of the next time period for planet earth. With
such a template to guide us, we can see that already God is preparing or
setting the stage of the world in which the great drama of the tribulation will
unfold. In this way this future time casts shadows of expectation in our own
day so that current events provide discernible signs of the times.
are some possible relations between recent events and Bible prophecy? First,
the destruction of the World Trade Center and the ensuing chaos could be a
foretaste of what it will be like after the rapture. There will be some
wreckage due to the fact that some planes will suddenly become pilotless.
People will be grief-stricken, wondering where their loved ones have gone. The
rapture will be different in one way it will be a global event affecting the
entire earth in a single moment.
this gives us a microcosm of what the global judgments of the tribulation will
be like. During this time, a majority of the earth' s population will die. The
earth, sun, moon, and stars will be effected. Every human being on earth will
experience in some way these judgments for themselves. There will be no safe
places to run to, the entire world will come under God' s judgment and it will
have a terrifying impact on those who are left behind.
recent events are leading to another global coalition to fight against
terrorism. This will further prepare the way for the one world government of
the antichrist during the future tribulation.
than likely, Americans will have to give up more of our individual liberties so
that the government can provide safety for its citizens. An increase in
governmental oversight of the individual is also preparatory for the global
economic control that Antichrist will exert in the tribulation (Rev. 13).
these events, it is more likely that Israel, more specifically Jerusalem, will
increasingly be viewed as that " cup that causes reeling to all peoples" and " a
heavy stone for all the peoples" (Zech. 12:2-3). Israel will be blamed in some
way for these events. Even though many will turn against Israel, God will
stand with her and guide her through the events that lay ahead during the
Lord has given His church a wake-up call through these horrible events that
have recently occurred in America. Because of these events, Christians have an
unprecedented opportunity to turn conversations about this disaster towards the
Lord. Believers need to give a biblical perspective and take advantage of this
opportunity to proclaim the gospel to those who need Jesus Christ as the
solution to man' s sin. Evil can be taken care of individually by trusting
Christ as our Savior to forgive our sins and God will judge global evil during
the tribulation. Are you ready? Maranatha!