Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them. Their bodies will lie in the street of the great city, which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. For three and a half days men from every people, tribe, language and nation will gaze on their bodies and refuse them burial. The inhabitants of the earth will gloat over them and will celebrate by sending each other gifts, because these two prophets had tormented those who live on the earth. (Revelation 11:7-10 NIV)
As I read this for the first time, I was stunned that people could be so perverse as to rejoice over the death of these two men; that they would send gifts (presumably with the gaiety and glee of our current Christmas time tradition) to celebrate the death of these individuals. My immediate thought was what kind of generation would we have to be to be able to respond in this way? Though it wasn’t that long ago, in 1998, the thought of that kind of mindset among our culture seemed like a far away reality.
So as one fast forwards into the present 21st Century, I believe I am beginning to see in the people of today, the temperament and hostility to all things Godly that must be a worldwide mindset for the above scripture to come true.
The United States
Though the United States routinely ascribes itself to be “a Christian nation”, fully one half of our electorate is at best suspicious and at worst openly hostile to any references to God in the public square. We actually live now (and have been so for over 40 years) where our kids cannot pray collectively in our public schools. Most Americans spend their evening hours absorbed in the anti-God fantasies that are manufactured in Hollywood, and if not, we are absorbed in the sordid lifestyles of the celebrities of the world. Generally speaking, as a group, what does the current generation below the age of 30 have to offer to their children in the way of morals or a love for God? Theirs is a perversely narcissistic culture of tattoos, body revealing clothing and instant gratification living. Theirs will definitely be a lifestyle that will come under heavy judgment by any true Witnesses of God.
In Europe, the picture is far worse. Read the following excerpt from cnsnews.com
Meanwhile, research studies show that church attendance in Britain is dropping precipitously, as well as across the whole of Western Europe. According to Christian Research, a British think tank, only 6.3 percent of the British population in 2005 attended Christian services on a weekly basis. The group also projects that around 4,000 churches will close over the next 15 years, being sold off or rehabilitated for other uses. Reflecting a trend around Europe, British churches in the past decade have been transformed into restaurants, cafes, art galleries, mosques, and in one notable instance, a training school for circus acrobats in Bristol. Cnsnews.comEurope is fast becoming an aethiest or agnostic continent, and this is possibly only transitory as it ultimately is on the way to becoming a majority Muslim continent. It is common knowledge that Europe’s replacement birthrate is at it’s lowest point in human history, as the natural by-product of an anti-God culture replete with high abortion rates and an increase in the acceptance of homosexuality naturally results in less people being born. This phenomena almost becomes irreversible in the absence of some large-scale social change in the thought patterns of the citizenry. Meanwhile as Muslims emigrate in large numbers to European countries, their birth rate far outpaces the “old” culture, simply because their religion by definition suppresses such “progressive” modern notions such as abortion and homosexuality. So, the existing European culture is probably already prepared with the mindset that would rejoice in the death of any of God’s true Prophets who will no doubt condemn their liberal and anything goes lifestyle.
The Middle East
This region is already predisposed to be haters of anything that promote the worship of Jesus Christ. The Jews of Israel by and large do not accept that Jesus is the Messiah (yet), and the Muslims and Arabs both are wedded to their replacement Jesus in the so-called prophet Mohammed. The Muslims obviously would not be very welcoming of prophets from God who will be preaching the Deity of Jesus Christ.
This region has replacement gods by the dozens: from India to China.
Though largely Catholic, one wonders how embracing this region would be of prophets who would certainly be condemning of the sensuality and religious ritualism that appears to be very present throughout the countries of this region.
Consider the current world culture’s response to the following reality:
And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth." These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. If anyone tries to harm them, fire comes from their mouths and devours their enemies. This is how anyone who wants to harm them must die. These men have power to shut up the sky so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying; and they have power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want. (Revelation 11:3-6 NIV)
The fact is that this reality is coming. God will be sending these two Witnesses to tell the earth plainly about it’s corruption. The liberal TV networks and the anti-God talking heads will not be able to ignore them or marginalize them. They will have to listen to them and hear their words of judgment toward a sick and perverse generation. While these Prophets are here, there will be no Hollywood blockbusters for people to indulge their escapism. There will be no National Football League diversion to consume our Sundays. The Arab/Israeli conflict will be a sideshow. The Muslim suicide bombers will have a minor diversion. The building of the next Sony Play Station from Japan will be an afterthought. The god-like worship of a human being in the Pope will probably be a fleeting memory. God will use these men to take center stage! And the Bible says that the peoples of this world “will celebrate by sending each other gifts…” when they are finally killed!
But this will not be the end of the story:
But after the three and a half days a breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and terror struck those who saw them. Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, "Come up here." And they went up to heaven in a cloud, while their enemies looked on. At that very hour there was a severe earthquake and a tenth of the city collapsed. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the survivors were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven. The second woe has passed; the third woe is coming soon. (Revelation 11:11-14 NIV)