2023, World Economic Forum In Davos
The recent 2023, World Economic Forum gathered in Davos, Switzerland, exemplifies the threatening of humanity that leads most inside and outside of the Church to the default position that one must be living in the Last Days, or that the end of all things is near. Davos focused on the world’s doom and immanent collapse associated with wars, unsubstantiated man-made climate disasters, the myth of overpopulation, energy price chaos, inflation, epidemics of hunger and disease, political instability, and widening economic inequity. They propose a New World Order as the only means of warding off these calamities. Christians and non-Christians alike allow panic to grip their hearts based on their hearing these types of messages. They succumb to these false views of the present and the future because they have no biblical foundation in Christ’s Lordship and the growing nature of His Kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy filling the earth today. The two world wars of the twentieth century and the evil associated with them marked the beginning of a time when many churches abandoned their teaching of that hope of seeing God’s Kingdom expand throughout the earth, thus reserving the rule of God’s domain to heaven alone. Due to unbelief in the victory of the Gospel message, Last Days adherents tend to grow in greater faith in the power of the devil and evil men and their organizations taking over the earth than in faith in the greater power of the resurrected and reigning Christ. That error focuses on a world falling apart until the End.
Not knowing history or a biblical theology regarding the End, many erroneously believe we are now living in the Last Days, the Antichrist is coming, those not saved will be marked in some way with the Mark of the Beast, and they will either go through a Great Tribulation or partake of the “Rapture of the Church.” Thinking that they are in a particular dispensation of time versus seeing themselves as part of a timeline of continuity spreading from the Old Testament through the New Testament through now, they err. They forget that all of the enemies of God (e.g., Pharaoh of Egypt, Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, Cyrus of Persia, Antiochus Epiphanes of Greece, and Caesar Nero of Rome) and all of their kingdoms are now but dust and have been all but forgotten, and that these powers were much more powerful in the world in their times than that of Hitler, Stalin, or al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden ever were or ever could be in ours. Believing these errors, many Christians regard bringing heaven to this world as a cynical pipe dream, saying that those who preach the Gospel of God’s victorious Kingdom is likened unto polishing the brass on a sinking ship. It is erroneous to think that the earth has been permanently placed in Satan’s hand and is doomed until Jesus reigns over it at His Second Coming. The rapture, a contemporary teaching of dispensational churches who believe in a secret snatching away of the Church prior to a Great Tribulation to come, is a hope of escape to many who fear a current apocalypse. Yet, the Lord never promised to take the Church out of this world’s calamities and tribulation. Instead, Jesus Christ has been reigning since the first century when He said that all authority on heaven and earth were His and that His disciples were to go into the nations, discipling them and teaching them to observe all His commandments. No comfort, in this writer’s opinion, can be gained from the doctrine of the rapture prior to, during, or after a supposedly future Great Tribulation. As a matter of fact, at present these doctrines about the timing of the Great Tribulation in regard to the rapture introduce further fights and contention among believers already fearful of the end. These pessimistic and recent teachings were introduced to the world by religious sects like the Millerites of the early 1800s, who taught during chaotic world events of that time that Jesus’ return was imminent. Note that! In 1800 years of Church history, no such doctrines existed. Merely 200 years old, and they now grip our minds as if they are Absolute Truth. Jesus’ words about conditions at the time of His coming were right and true, but, we are missing the point if we think He was talking about events of any time in history other than that very first century in which He lived, as we will attempt to prove here. The current escapist teaching of the rapture has done well to infiltrate most Christian fundamentalists and modern evangelical churches, especially after the doctrine was formally documented within the Dake’s Study and Schofield Reference bibles. Prior to this time, the Church had never embraced such a teaching as part of its doctrine of last things. Today, the doctrine of the rapture and the imminent return of Jesus Christ are standard teachings within the dispensational school of eschatology in many church denominations and even now in some mainline churches. This instruction causes stumbling regarding the true nature of Christ’s Lordship and the power of His Kingdom, which is now filling the earth victoriously as the prophets of old and Jesus and His apostles made clear. As was mentioned, the most powerful kingdoms and rulers that the world has ever known are no more, and the Church and Her words of Christ the King have been covering the earth successfully for two millennia and will continue to do so. Believing that a rapture is immanent, that we’re living in the Last Days with the end of time being near, and that the Great Tribulation is upon us, negates the truth that Jesus Christ began His actual reign when He stated that all authority in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth was His. These beliefs also deny belief in Jesus’ words that the time of His coming and the coming of His Kingdom in power was at hand at the time of His ministry on earth and that He was coming quickly upon the first century world. If this were not the case, Jesus’ message to His first century audience would have been irrelevant. Finally, it should be noted that these contemporary belief systems do not think it plausible that every word Jesus spoke about tribulation and the desolation of Jerusalem came to pass in A.D. 70. The events delineated in Matthew, Chapters 23-24, came to pass word-for-word in A.D. 70, affirming Jesus’ prophecies against unbelieving Jerusalem and her then corrupt rulers. All of these things did come to pass during the lifespan of that first century terminal generation that would see the end of the Great Tribulation in A.D. 66-70.