Originally Posted by NateR
In Amos 5:18-24, GOD warns believers against desiring judgment day:
Basically, GOD seems to be saying, "You have no idea how bad it's going to be, so be careful what you wish for." The second portion makes it clear that GOD is referring to believers, or the church. The people who think they are going to be safe from judgment will be judged first.
If we follow the pattern of the Old Testament, we see that judgment comes to believers first, by the hand of unbelievers. GOD uses the unbelieving nations/people to destroy His followers for their sins. Then GOD passes His judgment on those same non-believers and their destruction is worse than what the believers experienced.
1 Peter 4:17 states that judgment begins at the house of GOD, which is the Church.
So I believe the Church will continue to lose ground in this world until it is no longer just unpopular to be a Christian, but life-threatening. From the outside looking in, it will appear that the world is winning its final victory against Christianity and exterminating all of His believers from the Earth; but GOD will be orchestrating it all as part of our judgment. Then, once that's complete, GOD will pass His final judgment upon the unbelievers. The Bible says that the suffering across the world will be so great during that time that people will be begging to die, but GOD will not allow them to die:
The warning about GOD's judgment is so serious that Jesus even mentioned it while He was walking up to Golgotha to be crucified:
Which seems to be a reference to Isaiah 13:16, in which GOD describes the Day of the LORD:
Jesus was saying that GOD's judgment will be so severe that the women who have no children to mourn will be considered the fortunate ones.
So again, we should be careful what we wish for.
nate, you and i don't differ on much, but this might be a rare time we get to debate one another.
i read all of amos 5 and as far as I can tell it is clear that the whole nation of israel was apostate, and I do believe that was a literal prophecy for Israel, I don't think that is prophecy for the bride of Christ. In fact the closing verses are telling them of the false gods they sought after, and the opening verses are admonishing them to earnestly seek after God.
I also would point out that after the judgment the nation of israel was always right with God, and no part of me can be happier as a part of an apostate nation rather than a part of a nation that is right with God.
Also the revalation 9 passage is clearly talking of a latter half of tribulation.
I am a pretribber. What are you, if you are not a pretribber then i know exactly where we may be differing. I know you can't be a post miller by the mere fact that you acknowledge that the church is going to get worse, not better. In fact I don't know that we are terribly far apart.
i peter 4 has many references to how we should be joyful about suffering for Christs sake. That if we are righteous, suffering and being judged should not bother us. It goes so far in vs 6 to say we won't be judged in the flesh with men, but in the spirit with God.
I don't see praying and seeking Christ's return as any different than seeking judgment. I would that Christ would return today, or at least before we are judged, but I cannot, as someone who has gained such a disdain for sin and evil, enjoy living in such a heathen country as we have declined into, and if Christ will not return right now, I can't help but hope for judgment on the sin of this country. Maybe not for the final judgment, that I believe is the tribulation, but something that would knock the liberal, pagan, homosexual, self loving majority back in line with the bible, and that includes the bulk of the church. that very well may include me, all i know, is that i do earnestly want America and the Church to be Right.
a revival or awakening would be great, but in all reality, i don't know how that will happen short of some kind of judgment.