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Apoceclipse Now
In Defense of the Faith
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Wendy Wippel

Eclipse mania in the U.S., for the first time in 99 years, most Americans are within striking distance of areas that will witness a total eclipse. What is not, unfortunately, rare is the simultaneous emergence of the doom and gloom prophets eager to proclaim that this eclipse, for sure, is a sign of the apocalypse. A sure sign of an imminent onset of the Tribulation.

Ann Graham Lotz; "The celebratory nature regarding the eclipse brings to my mind the Babylonian King Belshazzar who threw a drunken feast the night the Medes and Persians crept under the city gate. While Belshazzar and his friends partied, they were oblivious to the impending danger.  Belshazzar wound up dead the next day, and the Babylonian empire was destroyed.”

Lotz added, “While no one can know for sure if judgment is coming on America, it does seem God is signaling us about something…"

Rachel Baxter, owner of the Z3 website, says, “I know without doubt that the eclipse of August 21st that cuts across America is incredibly significant. Jewish tradition holds that a total solar eclipse is a sign of judgment and a warning to the gentiles. America is the greatest gentile nation in history and we are facing judgment".

Mark Blitz, in an interview with World Net Daily, called the eclipse a sure sign of judgement. Bob 'O Dell, because the total eclipse would encompass the North pole, said the eclipse is "likely a general message (of Judgement) from God to the entire world". Oh. Never Mind. Strike that.

Those two were the last eclipse. Only a partial one that could be seen only in Northern Europe.

And that’s the problem. Every time there is an eclipse  Or other unusual arrangements of heavenly bodies, or seeming coincidences with respect to meaningful dates in Christianity or Judaism and heavenly bodies, a chorus of condemnation and catastrophe is generally unleashed. Against sinners in general. Against Jews. And against the body of Christ, as punishment for sin. 

Unleashed by Christians themselves, who should know better, for two reasons.

First because we are all- Jews  Christians, and sinners (basically just a collection of the first two categories are all still sinners).

Some of us are cleansed by His blood.

The second reason? 

The Scriptures used the phrase “signs in the heavens” three times. And none of them have anything to do with impending judgment of sinners.

None of them.

Jeremiah 10:2-3: This is what the Lord says: “Do not learn the ways of the nations or be terrified by signs in the heavens, though the nations are terrified by them.."

Basically a condemnation of astrology.

Daniel 6:27  "He rescues and he saves; he performs signs and wonders in the heavens."

A statement of God’s care and benevolence.

John 14:15-26: I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:  And also on the servants and on the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.  and I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the LORD come. And it shall come to pass, that whoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD has said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.

A promise of salvation and deliverance to all Jews and Gentiles who call on the name of the Lord.

Please understand that I am not saying that God does not use the heavenly lights—the moon, the stars, and the planets to speak to us. He does. The magi followed an unusual star or conjunction of some sort right to the newborn Messiah’s manger. The sky is a palette on which God speaks to man.

But there is little justification (none, in my view), for speaking judgement on anybody because of what is really a very common event.

Impending, as it is on our own turf not withstanding.

Here’s the bigger issue. You may remember that there was an eclpse that occurred in conjunction with a pretty big event in the life of the Messiah.

The last event in his life, actually. His death.

The book of Matthew records that while Jesus was on the cross, there was an eclipse;

Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour.  About the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lima[h] sabachthani?” That is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”[i]

That eclipse was a heavenly event that marked the biggest turning point in all of history.  One that offered eternal life, not death. Life. Not death. One that poured out the love of the God of Heaven to all that would receive Him.

To those who believed in His name.

I guess that’s my problem with the doomslinging faithful. The goal of our instruction is love.

“Now the goal of our instruction is love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith." 1 Timothy 1:5

What if the Christian world spent more time sharing forgiveness to a fallen world then we do standing in judgement?

Will we ever have a chance to find out?

About Wendy Wippel

Last week: One Hump or Two?

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