I saw a meme on Facebook that stated, “You can’t trust apocalyptic religion to find real world solutions. Their identity is based around the world ending.” Usually when I come across posts like these, I pray for the author, and move on. This one I must respond to, as well.
First, it is agreed that there are some apocalyptic religions that do not offer real world solutions. However, that is not true of biblical Christianity on a number of counts. Biblical Christianity’s identity is not based around the world ending, but around Jesus Christ returning to it. His return will inaugurate a 1000-year period of time in which the world will operate in the way that God intended it to from the very beginning of time. During that time, the world will not know of war because the Prince of Peace will sit upon a throne ruling it. During that time, criminal activity will not thrive because the Righteous Judge (2 Timothy 4:8) will enforce the law of godly living. It is during that time that the curse that came upon the world due to Adam’s sin in the Garden of Eden will be lifted, and the prosperity of the ground will provide so that hunger will be a thing of the past (Isaiah 35:1-2). Upon this our identity is based.
However, a consequence of the 2nd advent of Christ is that the armies of the world will seek to prevent His apocalypse. The 2nd advent of Christ comes after a 7-year period of time known by various names, but most commonly, the Tribulation Period. It is a time that begins after Christians have been removed from the earth and the Antichrist has come to world power. It is a time of intense turmoil, both as a natural consequence of man’s depravity as well as supernatural judgments from God. It is a time when men will seek death and not be able to find it (Revelation 6:15-17). It will be a time of war and destruction greater than the world has ever known (Matthew 24:21). It will be a time of such great lack that one will work for a whole day just to earn enough money to buy a meal, nothing more (Revelation 6:6). I cannot understand the lunacy of living in such an increasingly calamitous time and then thinking that if they keep on going, they will finally figure things out and make the world a great place in which to live. And so, they will seek to fight against the return of Christ. Their attempts will be futile and they will all perish (Revelation 19:11-21).
The second false concept of the meme deals with the trustworthiness of biblical prophecy. I find it amazing that we can order our lives for the week ahead, based upon the weather forecasts of meteorologists, who only deal in percentages of probability. Yet, people diminish the pinpoint accuracy of biblical predictions of even the distant future. For example, a prophecy was given by Daniel around 500 BC concerning the presentation of the Messiah to the nation of Israel. According to the research of Sir Robert Anderson, the prophecy was fulfilled precisely on the very day Daniel predicted. The fact is, there is not one prophecy of Scripture that has not been fulfilled exactly as it was given.
Third, future prophecies do not negate immediate benefits to the world’s problems. All of the world’s problems ultimately originate from the sinful heart of mankind. While there may be some temporary relief from measures external to man, unless there is a radical change of heart, no permanent change can take place. When a person receives Jesus Christ as Savior, they are given a new heart (Ezekiel 36:26). Unfortunately, all too many today would, like those during the tribulation period, rather maintain the status quo in this crazy world apart from the salvation offered by God. The meme should really read, “You can’t trust man’s ‘wisdom’ to solve the world’s problems, because in 6000 years he still hasn’t made things better.”