Nero and His Kind: Fear Them Not

Sometimes you, my readers, put things so eloquently that I find it best just to step aside and let you speak.

Some of you–I daresay just about all of us, from time to time–look at world events today and fear the future. I can’t imagine what it would be like, not to. The servants of Satan are running wild. Who can stop them, short of Christ’s return? We cannot help thinking the Last Days are just around the corner, if they haven’t started already, and that there’s going to be an awful lot of collateral damage–to say the least.

Isaiah, speaking for the Lord, wrote, “Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?” (Isaiah 2:22)

He might have been thinking of Nero, Emperor of Rome, who persecuted Christians viciously, put on airs like no Roman before him had ever dared to do, and wound up miserably put to death by his own subjects. Here we have him as played by Peter Ustinov in Quo Vadis (1951)–coward, bully, and self-proclaimed poet whose lines don’t even scan and are peppered with the wrong words. Let this Nero stand for all the persons whom we’re afraid of today: he is a more than adequate representative.

Yes, he did a lot of damage. He killed a lot of people. As our friend Watchman pointed out the other day, God works within the confines of free will. And I believe that God intervenes in history. If He didn’t, we would have no history.

But in the long run, Nero was an idiot, Nero was a fool, he had nowhere near the power and might he thought he had, it proved a fairly simple matter for a small number of people to murder him–and he’s gone, but Jesus Christ still reigns.

And shall reign forever, and ever–King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and a priest after the order of Melchizedek.

12 comments on “Nero and His Kind: Fear Them Not

  1. Look at current events. Political figures are being disgraced before our very eyes. To call some of these people fools would be to insult fools. This goes beyond, to the point of being intentionally stupid.

    Yesterday’s news was jarring. All bets were off, we had conflict on three fronts, Aphganistan, Syria and North Korea. While today (so far) is quiescent, none of these problems have gone away. I’m not going to lie; it’s frightening.

    Yesterday I spoke with a beloved relative whom is preparing for disaster by stockpiling food and water. While I admire his prudence, I doubt that those preparations will matter all that much. If civil order breaks down property lines, locked doors, etc. will instantly be meaningless.

    So what can we use as an example? Remember the Exodus. When the descendants of Israel left ancient Egypt, they were provided for. They left peacefully, but they left with everything not nailed down, because God had waylayed the greatest power on earth and they weren’t about to say “boo” to the Israelites.

    The Israelites had slaved to make Egypt wealthy and now they were able to benefit from their labors, with God’s blessing. When Pharoah decided to pursue them he lost his army, the most powerful on earth, and he lost his life. Archaeology, as an academic pursuit, seems hell-bent on denying The Exodus, but if you remove the imaginary “dark period” from the timeline, the evidence supports a mass emigration of Semitic people from Egypt, circa BC 1450. Thereafter, Egypt’s prosperity plummeted.

    The point of this, however, is the rapidity of the exodus. The Israelites didn’t face weeks, months or years of conflict after getting the go code. They left so fast that they literally didn’t have time to allow their bread to leaven.

    We face a formidable opposition in our day. There are many devout and faithful people, earthwide, but we live among a Godless world that hates its Creator. When the final judgement arrives, it will arrive rapidly. All of the unrest and breakdown of civil rule will not have time to fully develop. We will see miracles that dwarf the parting of the Red Sea.

    Is it daunting? You bet! Daunts the hell outta me. 🙂 But I ask you, what was the death toll among the Israelites that left Egypt? There is no roll of Israelites that died at the hands of the Egyptians. There’s a reason for this. Peter, speaking about the deliverance of Lot, tells us in 2 Peter 2:9 “then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment”.

    I feel anxiety, even as a write this, I’m only human. But I have no doubt whatsoever that God will protect His faithful as he passes judgement against wickedness.

    1. I don’t see why our civil order should break down–unless Democrats work very hard to make it happen–just because we’re taking care of business with ISIS. As for N. Korea, if you ask me, it sounds like China is just about ready to wash its hands of the Kim regime.

      I don’t trust the news media reporting on any of these situations. Their anti-Trump bias is so strong, it will propel them into fiction. I am dead sure they are doing everything they can, on purpose, to undermine his popular support–including deliberate exaggeration of current risks.

      In the long run, we can only stand with Abraham: “Shall not the judge of all the earth do right?”

      You bet He will!

    2. I was thinking more about what will happen when God’s judgment takes effect and the last vetages of mankind’s fallen system lose their authority. A lot of people fear what will happen next, but our Creator knows how to protect His faithful.

      As for Korea, I agree, the Chinese are no longer amused. Were I Mr. Kim, I’d be polishing my resume about now, because I doubt that he’ll keep his present position much longer. 🙂

      But my ultimate pint is that when God speaks His ultimate judgment against wickedness, there will be no time for them to coordinate a response.

  2. The only thing which the children of Israel did to be hurt, was self-inflicted pain and death due to their unbelief and disobedience during the Exodus.
    So long as they kept their promises to the Almighty, things went well for them; but when they began to apostasies, thousands fell and died in the wilderness. This is a real wake-up call to the redeemed of our day. Revelation 14:12 and 12:17 give us the instruction and we are to obey if we want to survive. It is going to get really ugly soon, I believe. We have an ark of safety, and we had best stay near enough to run into it. ,

    1. Good points, Erlene. The one enemy we need to fear is lack of faith. That’s what felled the Israelites, Pharaoh was never even a real threat.

  3. I just got around to watching the video. Where did you get a clip of my band, Lee? 🙂

    That was drastically awful. It reminds me of some of the grittier Country Rock which refuses to die.

  4. I sometimes half-joke that when I start thinking we really are in the final part of the End Times, I tell myself, “Nah, we should be so lucky.”

    As I say, it’s only half a joke. We know we’re supposed to wish in our hearts for the return of Christ, but sometimes the wish turns into a form of escapism, a wish to be rid of the agony of living in a collapsing civilization. Instead we have to stand fast in the face of the onrush of the barbarians, just as Christians have done over and over for two millennia.

    We have Christ’s promise that the gates of Hell will not prevail against his Church. There have been times before when it seemed like the end of the world, or at least the end of Christianity. And yet, the world has gone on, and Christianity has survived and even been renewed — except not in every geographic venue. So let us stand fast, my friends, holding high the saving Cross.

    All God’s stories have happy endings. The trouble is that we’re still living in chapter two — and we don’t know how many more chapters there are before THE END.

    1. That’s all true Phoebe, and I have seen first hand the negative effects of End Times Escapism.

      When Jesus was asked the sign of the Second Coming, it was the fact that ALL of these things happened at once which lets us know when it is imminent. To my grandparents, the Great Depression had to be THE End. To my mother, it was WW II, in my generation the Gulf War of ’91 seemed ominous. (Everybody hated Vietnam, but I didn’t know anyone that thought it would turn into WW III.) The night that Sadaam lobbed SCUDs at Tel Aviv, I truly feared that things could go nuclear.

      Only time will tell if this is the real deal, or not, but I do have the. Sense that the problems seem global at this point. Europe is in turmoil, Syria is in meltdown and untold numbers of ordinary people are suffering the effects. The US is divided unto itself, Venezuela is a basket case and Scandinavia is facing an immigration crisis. Iran is trying to make hay in Syria while Turkey is praying for a power vacuum there. In the Far East, N Korea has made credible threats to nuke Japan. My point is, the strife is not certain confined to one place.

      However, even this is not enough to convince me that we are at the conclusion of matters, but one other factor does, and does so strongly. For much of my life, I believe that God was done with corporate Israel, I was a supercessionist. A few years ago, a friend pointed out that Israel is the only country to ever reconstitute after being put out of existence. Add in the fact that Israel did not exist for 1,878 years and that got my attention.

      I began to take a fresh look at the prophecies of the Hebrew Scriptures and concluded that, while the covenant with Moses was done away with, the Abrahamic Covenant was still in force. In fact, that covenant was stated as being “forever”, which can have only one meaning. The restoration of Israel in the modern era does not equate to the restoration of the Jewish system of worship, but can still have meaning with regard to God’s open-ended promise to Abraham.

      It is the restoration of the sons of Israel to the Promised Land coupled with the fact that all of Jerusalem was returned to Israel in 1967 which convinces me that we are in a time of prophetic significance. Add in the turmoil mentioned in earlier paragraphs above and . . . let’s just say that these events have my full attention. I’m not going to come across like an Adventist that believes to have an inside track to the timeline of God’s plans, because that is unscriptural and bound to be fruitless, but I think that the events around us in the context of a restored Israel is noteworthy, at the very least.

    2. I like to distinguish between tribulation that comes from the world, and tribulation that comes from God. We are not exempt from tribulation that come from this world, as we all know, but I do believe we are exempt from tribulation that comes from God. A couple of notable examples are the Hebrews in the Land of Goshen, Noah, and Lot. I suppose you could call that a form of escapism, because all of them escaped God’s judgment.

      I’m sure there are many times in history when people thought it was the end of the world. There were many who thought this at the turn of the first and second millennia. So I guess the question is, how can we know? There’s always been wars and disasters and such that people may have believed it was the end.

      I think there are a couple of things that distinguishes us from all previous generations. The big one of course is that Israel is reconstituted as a nation, even if it’s not yet in its final form. There are several prophecies that couldn’t be fulfilled if this had not happened. A second is technology and the increase in knowledge, which seems to me to play a significant role in end-time events. And lastly is globalism aka world government, which I believe will ultimately lead to the Anti-Christ and the final world empire.

      Who knows when all this will transpire. I think were close, but how close I don’t know. It’s impossible to put a timeline to it, and I don’t even focus on it much anymore. We are to occupy and be salt and light until he comes, and that’s what I’ve been doing. But i’ll still be watching, hence my name.

    3. Many good points there, Watchman. The pain in the neck that this fallen world has become, that affects all of us to some degree. I have things better than many in this world, but it’s still a world of tears and frustration. God’s judgment, OTOH, is a completely different matter, but we know from prior examples that He will not harm His people when He executes judgment.

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