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Ever wonder why, in the face of evil, pain, and suffering that God does not return now?  Why does he seemingly delay the Rapture and Resurrection, and hence his later Second Coming?

Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #133 of Discerning What Is Best, a podcast applying unchanging biblical principles in a rapidly changing world, and a Christian worldview to current issues and everyday life.

I recently wrote a blog for the ministry with which I serve, SAT-7 USA, called “Living in the Worst of Times.” The title is borrowed from Charles Dickens’s introduction to his 1859 novel, A Tale of Two Cities, in which he famously wrote:

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way.”  

Dickens tells us about a time of chaos, conflicts, and despair, as well as some happiness and progress, but mostly contrast and futility, two steps forward, three steps back.

If you were to think about our current time you could draw your own conclusion. Is this the best of times, or is it the worst of times? 

I confess that several social developments have occurred in the past few years that I never expected, and not only that, which surprised, maybe shocked, even discouraged me.

It does not take rocket-science intellect to note things like US government overreach in response to the pandemic, i.e., the willingness of political leaders and bureaucrats to take unconstitutional actions, and the willingness of much of the public to accept it.

In 2020, following the tragic death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis, a summer of lawlessness broke out in cities across the country. Then came the nonsensical “defund the police” movement.

Maybe this was predictable, but what discouraged me was the “soft on crime” approach of governors, mayors, and district attorneys, because supposedly the looters deserved to steal and destroy because they were poor or minorities or because discrimination exists.

This refusal to enforce the law continues in California, Portland, Chicago, New York, and many other cities, even as police are at times told to stand down.

More recently we’ve witnessed the President of the US intentionally refuse to enforce the law and therefore has allowed millions of illegal migrants to flow across the southern border, unvetted and unknown. Yes, some are indeed actual asylum-seeking families. But many others are not refugees, but like in Europe, fake refugees, mostly younger men of military age seeking handouts – which again amazingly, so-called sanctuary cities are providing, supported by American taxpayers:  cell phones, cash, food vouchers, free rooms, free healthcare. 

More mind bending is the President recently saying he’s done everything he can do to stem the tide, forgive me, an outright lie that any attorney can demonstrate. It’s willful dereliction of duty and degradation of American society in the interest of perceived political power.

Last example, and this one really did shock me: Even though I spent my early years in higher education, and even though I have followed the philosophic and moral freefall in public universities and the neo-Marxist ideology promoted in those universities, I still was caught off-guard by the widespread antisemitism, pro-Hamas rallies, and blatant hatred of Jews expressed by American university students in the streets and on campuses – and they had the audacity to yell their antisemitic attitudes not just at a people group half a world away but at fellow students, professors, and others who are Americans, but also Jewish. It’s still happening.

One additional amazing thing is how many of these students or others in the street have no idea what they are protesting or why. Some do, of course, but many are clueless, simply following the maddening crowd.

This made me think of two Scripture passages that detail city riots protesting the Apostle Paul’s ministry:

In Acts 19, “the assembly was in confusion: Some were shouting one thing, some another. Most of the people did not even know why they were there” Acts 19:32.

Then again in Acts 21, “Some in the crowd shouted one thing and some another, and since the commander could not get at the truth because of the uproar, he ordered that Paul be taken into the barracks” Acts 21:34.

Nearly 3,000 years ago, King Solomon summarized this human issue in a principle, saying, “What has been, will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun” Ecc. 1:9.

This kind of mass hysteria has been evident in cities across the globe. Some say they are protesting for human rights, some because the US or Israel are supposedly “colonialist” or “settler” states – and these people, in particular, don’t know their history. 

It’s not unlike the “person in the street” interviews you’ve seen wherein young adults cannot name the country the US fought to win its independence, or whether the North or South won the Civil War, or who is the current Vice President, or even that Hamas radicals butchered innocent Israelis of all ages, and perpetrated even worse, graphic and gross crimes against humanity that I’ll spare you from listing here.

Despite the fact that some Hamas terrorists wore GoPro cameras filming their atrocities, video now released to the public, some protesters deny 10/7 ever happened.

These protesters try to stop traffic on major highways, attempt to shut down LAX, or block vehicle tunnels, risking their lives perhaps in some instances, and certainly not engaging in legal peaceful assembly, yet many don’t know why they are there.

Is this mass hysteria as I mentioned? Maybe. Is this the product of indoctrination, i.e., certainly not critical thinking and not liberal learning, but more like the misled Muslim men we see chanting in the streets not only in Tehran but now in Berlin or London or Paris?

During Jesus’ earthly ministry, he witnessed something like this. In Matthew 9, it says, “Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” Matt. 9:35-36.

Americans, or if you wish Westerners in general, despite the vast religious, educational, and political blessings of Western civilization, are today harassed and helpless. We’ve created our own “worst of times.”

Our culture is looking for answers everywhere except in the old, over-sized Bible that nearly every American family maintained during the 1800s and much of the 1900s.

Our culture has been on a 60-year bender rejecting or redefining the religious and philosophic roots that made it possible for Western civilization and specifically the United States to flourish in the first place.

“In God We Trust”?  No.  God is dead, or at least inconsequential until it’s time to hope “the man upstairs” decides we’ve done enough good things to get into heaven.

Sin is medicalized, redefined as disease, or maybe described in media as “He struggled with his demons,” but either way, set aside is any need to own our moral choices, to take responsibility, and then to seek help outside ourselves in the person of God himself. No, we are told to “trust your heart” and “seek your own truth.”

We’re told to blame the environment, our upbringing, our race or ethnicity or our biological sex – these are the source of our problems, not us and not our heart. The solution is psychology and therapist, not theology and pastor, much less the love and accountability of a nuclear family.

In our contempt for truth, we embrace mendacity, not moral right and wrong. 

Crime has decreased only because we now define certain formerly illegal acts as acceptable. Police are turned into social workers. As my friend says, “We’re told to follow the science, political science that is.”

It is not a stretch, not an exaggeration, to describe our culture as “harassed and helpless,” and it will remain hopeless if we continue to jettison Judeo-Christian values, the Church, and most importantly the Gospel of Christ.

So, with all that, why doesn’t Jesus return now?

2 Peter gives us the answer:

“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” 2 Peter 3:8-9.

God created freedom of religion, freedom of choice. God waits, allowing more helpless and harassed to hear the Word of Truth and come to Christ. 


Well, we’ll see you again soon. This podcast is about Discerning What Is Best. If you find this thought-provoking and helpful, follow us on your favorite podcast platform. Download an episode for your friends. For more Christian commentary, check my website, r-e-x-m as in Martin, that’s  

And remember, it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm.

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2024   

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