“The Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I stretch out My hand on Egypt and bring out the sons of Israel from their midst.”
I read this verse this morning and it got me to thinking, “I wonder if this is also a parallel for how things will be in the last days?” I know that the parallel given in The Bible is that of the time of Noah, but this just sounded like the way things have been getting in the United States. It’s not that I have a persecution complex—no one has jailed me for being a Christian or even tried—but there is a general sense of people just growing weary of Christians.
I can’t really blame the non-believer for getting weary of Christians. “Christian culture” is hitting fever pitch. There are Christian t-shirts and music and movies and TV shows and bookstores and bumper stickers and baby onesies and the list goes on … and on and on and on. What’s worse is that the ones who most often bedeck themselves and their homes and their vehicles with “Christian” paraphernalia are the worst examples of what a Christian is in the Biblical sense. The guy who blew past me in traffic (like I was standing still) had a “Christian” fish on his car. The lady tailgating him had a “Christian” plate frame. The guy berating the cashier at the fast food place is sporting some kind of “Christian” shirt. Examples of this are so abundant that I don’t even have to think hard about it. There’s a culture within Christianity of people who want to decorate themselves and everything they own in “Christian” stuff, but refuse to attend to the weightier things of holy living and loving their neighbor. Notice it is a culture. Not every Christian who digs on Christian everything is living a lifestyle that makes the non-believer look like a saint, but those people exist and in alarmingly large numbers.
There are also Christians running around picketing things. There were those who claim to be Christians bombing abortion clinics — I haven’t seen that in the news recently, thank God. There are so-called “Christian” groups in Africa killing Muslims. God never once told me to judge my neighbor. He told me to love my neighbor; in the Old Testament and the New.
The most recent thing to cause warning klaxons to sound in “Christian” circles is a movie. I will not give its title, because I don’t want it to get any more free publicity (yes, you read that right). Here’s my two cents on films: If the film is clean and decent and teaches lessons that I want to learn or would like my daughter to learn then the film is okay. If the film is based on The Bible (or any other book, for that matter) then I assume Hollyweird will get it somehow horribly, egregiously wrong. When Hollyweird gets it right, I can be pleasantly surprised and when they get it wrong I shrug and figure that I expected as much. Back to the subject at hand: “Christians” have been railing against this film on various and sundry grounds. And they’ve been very public and very vocal in their railing. Non-believers are sitting around wondering why we’re surprised that Hollyweird got a book adaptation wrong when some of their favorite novels have been shredded by the movie machine. The only thing these folks really convince anyone of is that you just can’t please “Christians”.
What does all this boil down to? I wonder if these “Christians” that are making life unpleasant for everyone (and not by living a holy life in the midst of corruption) are biasing society against Christianity in general. This film issue has some people thinking, myself included, “You just can’t please “Christians”, can you?” Pharaoh was thinking, “Man, these Israelites are entitled and lazy.” I wonder if society isn’t getting a similar opinion of “Christians”.
What does all of this have to do with the verse for today? Quite a bit. There is money to be made on all this “Christian” paraphernalia and our consumerist society loves to make money on everyone they can. So society, while it may grow to hate “Christians”, is in favor of bilking “Christians” out of every dollar it can. By contrast, we are, due to elements within our midst, becoming loathsome to our society. When God finally extracts His people from the world, everyone will be surprised by who is taken and who is not. And not a few will finally realize the truth of what was said by those taken. Just as there were Egyptians who converted due to how God extracted Israel from Egypt, there will likely be those who become Christians when God takes Christians out of the world.