Terrorism – A Sign of the End?
The Bible indicates that terrorism is a sign of the end of the world. Notice how Paul associates man's need for "peace and safety" with the Great Tribulation. He wrote, "While people are saying, 'Peace and safety [are man's greatest needs],' destruction [from God] will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape." (1 Thessalonians 5:3, insertions mine)
As I write this report, certain cities in the United States have been put on high alert for a possible attack, and scores of police officers are standing guard at financial targets in New York City, Washington D.C., Newark, New Jersey and other locations throughout the country.
Three years ago, who would have thought that the United States would someday have a national security problem within its own borders? Prior to September 11, 2001, Americans did not worry about peace and safety at home. When the Twin Towers fell to the ground on Tuesday morning, September 11, 2001, our sense of security also fell. The United Sates is not immune to the same type of terrorism that other nations are facing. Terrorism is growing and the whole world is becoming less secure.
Ethnic hatred is escalating and unimaginable atrocities are taking place almost every day. Does God notice this violence? Of course, He does. Nothing escapes His all-seeing eyes and every person will be held accountable for their actions. (2 Corinthians 5:10) So, why does Paul associate the Great Tribulation (sudden destruction) with people saying, "peace and safety?"
The answer is quite simple. When the time comes that hatred and hostilities are so great that mankind cannot live in peace and safety, God's wrath will break out and overwhelming destruction on a global scale will suddenly change the attitudes of mankind.
Currently, the United States is engaged in warfare in Afghanistan and Iraq. The U.S. has discovered that terrorism is very difficult if not impossible to control. Car bombs, truck bombs, roadside explosion devices, rocket propelled grenades and assault weapons are terrible, but they are nothing compared to the destruction that a chemical, biological or nuclear attack could produce. We know there are people willing to "martyr" themselves to kill as many Americans as possible. This zeal is particularly bothersome because the U.S. is a country without borders.
News reports regularly indicate that thousands of people sneak into the U.S. each month and there is not anything the country can do to stop it. History indicates that the Roman Empire fell, in part, because of uncontrolled immigration and it appears that history is being repeated. The bottom line is that we have no way to determine how many terror cells are coming into our country each day and each cell secretly prepares to destroy a portion of our nation. Government officials freely admit that it is only a matter of time until another significant terrorist act occurs in this country. Will terrorism ever go away? Not a chance. Here is why:
Terrorism is a tool which God uses to destroy a nation when it becomes decadent and degenerate. Of course, God is generous, loving, forgiving and patient. However, God's patience with violence and degenerate behavior has a limit. (Remember Noah's flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, Pharaoh, Jericho and Jerusalem?)
When the limits of His patience are reached, God raises up a destroyer. Nebuchadnezzar was sent to destroy Jerusalem. The Persian king, Cyrus, was sent to destroy Babylon. Alexander the Great was sent to destroy the Medes and Persians, and the Romans were raised up to destroy the sexually immoral Grecians. The Romans became decadent and they were destroyed from within by ten ethnic nations. There is a clear cut policy here: God's patience with violent and degenerate behavior is limited. When a world, civilization, nation or city fills up its cup of iniquity, God takes it down.
Consider this: God established Israel as a nation at the Exodus. By working closely with one nation, and giving us His point of view through numerous Old Testament prophets, we can see how God deals with all nations. God is no respecter of persons! Israel's glory (under David and Solomon) and Israel's destruction (under Zedekiah) are mirrors revealing how God deals with all nations. (Ezekiel 14:12-21)
God does not have to publish a book explaining His actions. We only need to read the Old Testament to see how and why God removed nations in the past. This concept should not be hard to understand for God does not change.
Moses understood God's policies toward nations and he warned Israel just before his death: "[If you rebel against the Lord your God . . .] All these curses will come upon you. They will pursue you and overtake you until you are destroyed, because you did not obey the Lord your God and observe the commands and decrees he gave you.
They will be a sign and a wonder to you and your descendants forever. The Lord will bring a nation against you from far away, from the ends of the earth, like an eagle swooping down, a nation whose language you will not understand, a fierce-looking nation without respect for the old or pity for the young. They will devour the young of your livestock and the crops of your land until you are destroyed. They will leave you no grain, new wine or oil, nor any calves of your herds or lambs of your flocks until you are ruined.
They will lay siege to all the cities throughout your land until the high fortified walls in which you trust fall down. They will besiege all the cities throughout the land the Lord your God is giving you. You will live in constant suspense, filled with dread both night and day, never sure of your life. In the morning you will say, 'If only it were evening!' and in the evening, 'If only it were morning!' because of the terror that will fill your hearts and the sights that your eyes will see." (Selected verses from Deuteronomy 28:45-67, insertion and bolds mine)
There is a reason why we have become a target for terrorists. His name is God. Because we have become decadent and immoral, our nation's cup of sin has reached the full mark. God is heartsick with the behavior of Americans (and the rest of the world, too). The end is near for all nations. God will soon send overwhelming destruction because mankind can't live together in peace and safety.