by Mike Ratliff
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:1-3 ESV)
These are incredible times. Before I left on my trip to Oklahoma, I watched a special on the National Geographic HD channel about the recent earthquakes and following tsunamis in Japan. There was an actual video of the approaching tsunamis coming into the bay of one of the cities that had the highest barrier built to protect it from them. However. The people on the highest points were screaming that they could tell that the waves were much taller than the walls meant to keep them out. There were four waves, one after the other, that simply washed over the barriers and inundated through the city devastating everything and killing thousands. In places, the waves made it over 5 miles inland. Repeatedly, the people were wailing, “Everything is gone, everything is gone!”
The night before we left for our trip, the tornados came and ravaged through the south, wiping out everything in their paths and killing hundreds. What I found so surreal was that in some of the interviews I saw on television with some survivors was eerily the same as what I heard in that documentary about the Japan Tsunami disaster. I heard repeatedly, “Everything is gone, everything is gone!”
About that same time, instead of keeping up with the news, I was listening to a sermon by John MacArthur titled The Grim Reality of the Last Days. In that sermon, John MacArthur preached something I had never heard before, which compared the eschatology of Islam with that of the Book of Revelation from our Bible. The main character in Islam’s eschatology is called the Mahdi. Also, according their eschatology, Allah sends Jesus back to Earth to serve as the Mahdi’s greatest servant to convert the world to Islam. John MacArthur shows in his sermon how all of this lines up with the Antichrist and the False Prophet. Toward the end of their reign on earth, a false prophet comes to earth who opposes them and there is a great war. In Muslim eschatology, they win and this false prophet is overthrown, but as we know in the book of Revelation, This “false prophet” is the real Jesus Christ who will win that war.
My summary pales in comparison to Dr. MacArthur’s fine sermon. I suggest you listen to it. Also, here is another link to a discussion of these things including the Mahdi. Osama Bin Ladin was assassinated yesterday. I can’t help but think that this will only do more to usher in the time of the Mahdi.
I did relax some on my trip, but I also did some meditation and on Sunday, I attended a small country church before making the trip home. I enjoyed the sermon, but I was disturbed in the lack of concern I witnessed all around me for these things in all of the professing believers not only there, but all around me here, at work, et cetera. It is as if these things do not affect them directly, it means nothing to them.
We have studied “unity” here on this blog before and my teaching on that has not changed. However, we have only looked at it from a discernment viewpoint or in the light of separation. In the passage I placed at the top of this post, Ephesians 4:1-3, the word “unity” in v3 translates the noun ἑνότητα, which is the accusative singular of ἑνότης or henotēs, which means “unanimity and agreement.” However, this unity is not according the wisdom of the world applied to Christianized thinking. That is rampant today. This false unity is based upon experience or human reason. The former goes something like, “We’ve all experienced the same thing, so we’re all in this together…” The latter says, “ To accomplish more, we’ll get rid of our doctrinal differences…” The world and our fallen human nature would look at both of those and applaud them as noble, but neither is biblical.
True Biblical unity is this and this alone, “the unanimous agreement concerning the unique revelation of God through Jesus Christ.” Unless we can agree on the person and work of Jesus Christ, there can be no unity. Therefore, those like Brian McLaren who are saying that we must unify with Islam are attempting to unify Christianity with that which is completely non-Christian. This and this alone should show us what a heretic he and anyone else who espouses the same thing are.
The Islamic world is very excited about the time of the Mahdi. The Visible church has become “visible,” but that is about it. The real church is still in place, of course, protected by God. However, when the Mahdi and this false Jesus come to make the world Muslim by showing the world that that Christianity was wrong about Christ, those who are Christian in name only, will not be able to stand against that. Only those of us who are truly in Christ will have the supernatural ability through the power of the Holy Spirit to withstand that. Come soon Lord Jesus!
Soli Deo Gloria!