A Falling Away

Most evangelical Christians seem to believe the end of the age is upon us, that Christ’s second coming is just around the corner. I’ve found this common in bible-believing circles since the late 70’s … I’ve seldom met an earnest believer that felt otherwise. Evidently, Christians have been feeling this way ever since Christ departed, nearly two millennia ago.

Yet Paul begs us not to expect Messiah’s return prematurely. (2Th 2:1-2) Have we been overlooking something basic? Perhaps a little gullible in our exuberance?

LightedCastleGod’s told us there’ll be a vast change in humanity prior to His return, a wickedness like nothing we’ve ever seen … what He describes as “a falling away.” (2Th 2:3) A city He calls Babylon the Great will rise to supreme dominance in world affairs, the cornerstone of global economic and political power, as well as the epicenter of a new global occult religion. These kinds of things don’t generally happen overnight; as of now, she’s nowhere in sight.

Yes, the world’s wicked (1Jn 5:19) and bad things happen: economies grow and collapse, global powers rise and fall, deadly new diseases appear, social norms drift and natural disasters disrupt it all … and it’s always been this way. (Mk 13:7-8)

Let’s be sane in the midst of this turmoil, no longer giving occasion to the world to mock God’s people by claiming Christ’s return is near. Let’s walk in wisdom, in hope, delighting in the goodness of God, knowing He’s sovereign and faithful, joying in Him and edifying one another.

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One thought on “A Falling Away”

  1. The key verse that brought this concept to my attention is Re 18:23b: “for thy merchants were the great men of the earth.”

    Merchant is translated from the Greek emporos, meaning a traveler in ships, a trader in wholesale goods, one who buys low and sells high. This word isn’t describing the original producer of goods, but one who adds value by transporting goods to a market where they have more value to others than in the region of origin.

    The merchants, or retailers of Babylon the Great evidently do their trading with each other in this city and then take the commodities across the world to sell them. Babylon has thus become the epi-center of world commerce, and those empowered to trade there are considered the great men of the earth, the most influential men on the planet.

    If we took a sample of the most influential men on Earth today, those ranking in the top ten wouldn’t be the retailers of a particular city. Not even close.

    What would need to change to make this happen? That a particular city (in all likelihood Rome) would rise to such prominence in world economic infrastructure that her merchants would be esteemed the most influential and powerful men on Earth?

    This must be the state of the global economy well before Christ returns. So, until we see this beginning to transpire, we should acknowledge that the end is yet a good way off.

    How long Babylon the Great will exist before Christ returns is anyone’s guess, but I venture to say that measuring in months or years is optimistic in relation to how economies typically evolve; they are complex, intricate and fragile, expanding and adapting over time due to many factors as people interact and scrape out opportunities to advance themselves. The sense I get from the text, from how irreplaceable this city and all of her entanglements seems to be, indicated by how devastated everyone is in her destruction, is that she’s been around long while and cannot be easily replaced. Given this, I think it’s likely better to measure her rise to power, and her reign over the kings of the earth, in decades, if not centuries.

    Your thoughts are welcome!

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