Stranger Than Fiction

Have you noticed? In the last few weeks, the language used in the public discussion about impending war in Iraq, along with the mounting problems in North Korea and other places, became increasingly tense and apocalyptic in tone. How many times did you hear Armageddon used to describe the type of war that could develop?

The release of the next book in the Left Behind series, ironically called Armageddon, is scheduled for release on April 8. What a better time than now to take advantage of uncertainty and fear by telling people the truth about Armageddon and God's eternal plan. One of the best ways to deal with misunderstandings about the book will be for people to read it themselves.

As portrayed in the Left Behind series, Armageddon is not a global conflagration gone totally out of control. It is, instead, the gathering of the armies of Satan in a place called Armageddon at the north end of Israel. It occurs at the end of the seven-year Tribulation. For those who hold to the pre-tribulation, pre-millennial view of the End Times depicted in the Left Behind Series, that period cannot begin until after the Rapture has occurred. Also, and most importantly, while millions will be gathered for combat at Armageddon, God will be in control, Satan will be defeated, and Christ will return in his Glorious Appearing. Then, he will rule on earth for the thousand-year period called the Millennium. There is eternal hope and it is found in Jesus Christ.

History is unpredictable and Jesus said that even he did not know the exact moment when God would begin to close the curtain of history. During World War II we saw the enormous evil of the Holocaust. For many, it seemed the world could not get any darker. With a large part of the world involved in conflict, it certainly must have seemed to be Armageddon to many then. Yet, out of the ashes of World War II grew the greatest missionary movement in history, supported in large part by a new wave of technology that has continued to accelerate with satellites, video, computers and the internet all making the Gospel available to more people than ever before.

When the Soviet Union collapsed, two situations emerged, both with biblical implications: On one hand, the foundation of a larger, unified Europe was laid. At the same time, opportunities opened to Gospel witness that astounded veteran missionaries. Estonia, Kosovo, Russia … the ripple of opening doors could be heard across the former Soviet Union, helping to shape the "New" Europe. Many of those countries are now among the "coalition of the willing" in the liberation of Iraq.

So, we urge you to help clarify the true meaning of Armageddon and use the book as an opportunity to tell others about God's plan for history and how his grace alone makes the Glorious Hope available to them.

And please pray for our soldiers and everyone involved with the war…