The End Time, technically since the moment Jesus ascended and the angels told the onlookers He’d be back (Acts 1:11), and especially since Israel was created in 1948, are ramping up like the birth pangs we’re told will come. God is making Himself more evident in the world and will do so until the rapture and then things will go forward on warp speed.
Though God is speaking to us not only through the Spirit but through the events listed in the end time discourse, and are loud and clear to us Christians. But for most lost people, they are part of the background din satan successfully weaves into “normal life” so that the mind remains blinded. That was why it was all the more extraordinary that super-atheist and billionaire Ted Turner thinks that the BP Oil Spill could be a message from God. Is the Spirit speaking to Mr Turner? And if He is, is the message being received correctly?…
Turner has been openly hostile to Christianity in the past, once famously saying “Christianity is a religion for losers,” and as reported here, “Seeing CNN employees wearing ashes on their forehead on Ash Wednesday, he remarked, “What are you, a bunch of Jesus freaks? You ought to be working for Fox.” He is so viscerally uncomfortable with the Christian faith that he blamed his divorce from his third wife, Jane Fonda, partly on her decision to become a practicing Christian.” He joked that he has been “born again seven times, so one of them is bound to take.”
This week in an interview with CNN, he said that the BP Oil spill may be God trying to tell us something. Now, for a super-hostile atheist to liken earth’s events to the divine hand of God is a great glimmer of light to the blinded mind. But oftentimes, it is not enough.
What Turner said was, “Could be, He’s sending us a message.” Turner sat down with Harlow recently to discuss the energy policy in the United States. He continued, “I’m not a real religious person, but I’m somewhat religious. And I’m just wondering if God is telling us he doesn’t want us to drill offshore,” he said. “And right before that we had that coal mine disaster in West Virginia where we lost 29 miners,” as well as repeated mining disasters – “seems like there’s one over there every week” – in China. “Maybe the Lord’s tired of having the mountains of West Virginia, the tops knocked off of them so they can get more coal.”
Most people do not make the connection between things that happen in the world and God’s Divine Hand and Plan. The end time is a time where God, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance, rolls out opportunity after opportunity for us to do so. Note that the verse is often misquoted ‘not willing that any should perish but all come to everlasting life…” but this is not correct. The goal is REPENTANCE. The end time is a time for all to see a Holy God pouring out His warnings and to make the connection to self, our sin and rebellion against God. The first step is repenting.
Turner said it could be that God is sending us a message. Yes, He is. But what message? The message is not that He doesn’t want us to drill or mine. It is that He wants us to repent. It’s all too easy for the blinded mind to understand there is a God but never make the connection to sin, self, and Jesus’ work on the cross as the only way to heaven. The end time is a period where we pray that the lost not only acknowledge a Holy God’s warnings to an unbelieving world, but to have them understand that without Jesus we are nothing and worse, we are destined for hell forever.
Before we get over-excited about Turner’s possible conversion remember that even the demons believe in God, and tremble. But they do not repent. If the Spirit is working in Turner, and in others during the end time, who see these things coming to pass and wonder about God, pray for them. But pray that the most important step is taken, that they repent of their own sins. It’s hard to imagine the man who re-wrote God’s Ten Commandments and carries them around in his wallet (and by the way they are all “earth”- oriented, none recognize his personal sin) is the same man who would get down on his kneels acknowledging Jesus and submitting his life to Him, the next step after repentance. Always keep repentance in mind. Acknowledging a God-sent message is not enough, and satan strives to misquote God’s messages to us at every turn.
In an ironic statement, when Turner created CNN, he said, “we won’t be signing off until the world ends. We’ll be on, and we will cover the end of the world, live, and that will be our last event–and when the end of the world comes, we’ll play ‘Nearer my God to Thee’ before we sign off.” He is likely right. During the Tribulation when the Two Witnesses are killed, they lay in the street of Jerusalem for three days and then are miraculously resurrected and ascend to heaven before the astonished eyes of the world. (Rev 11:8-9; 11-12) It may well be true that an intrepid reporter with a CNN microphone will interview the fearful crowd as the Two Witnesses stir from having received the breath of life from God and float up to heaven upon His command to “Come up Hither!” I hope that by then Mr Turner is a participant in Jesus’s Kingdom and not just a scoffing observer. For Christians are not “losers,” but are winners. “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.” (1 Cor 9:24)