The Apostle Paul prophesied that in the end times — during the season of the Lord’s return — we would be confronted with perilous times, when people would love themselves, love money, and love pleasure. He was echoing the words of Jesus who had proclaimed that society would be as immoral and violent when He returns as it was in the days of Noah. Have those perilous times finally arrived?
Dr. David Reagan and I asked this question on our television program Christ in Prophecy of Eric Barger, the founder of an apologetics ministry called Take a Stand!. In the first segment, Eric addressed religious persecution ratcheting up in our day. Now he will address religious persecution that’s right at our door.
Persecution at the Door
Dr. Reagan: Eric, you produced a wonderful video called “Perilous Times.” Give us some points from it.
Eric Barger: In the video I go down a list of events which prove Christians are living in the prophesied perilous end times. For example, I talk about a court case in Canada and several others happening here in the US. Another court case takes place in Ireland where a pastor there was put on trial because in his 45 minute message, for just 30 seconds, he spoke about Islam in a negative way. Fortunately, he was exonerated. But, we are seeing all of these kinds of court cases against religious freedom going on in our day.
By going through that list I’m just trying to say to the Church, “Don’t be asleep at the switch!” The Church is sleeping through these times, not recognizing the signs of the end times, as you well know. We see these persecutions happening all around us, but people don’t want to hear about all this “negative stuff,” and so Bible prophecy is construed as negative from our pulpits. Recognizing how bad it’s gotten out there for Christians is just too upsetting, so we don’t want to deal with it, and so our preachers don’t address prophecy.
When persecution finally comes to roost at our front doors, and we are restricted from sharing the Gospel, well then, what will we doing with the Great Commission Christ gave us to do while He is away? We were left here to share the Gospel message. If we don’t go out and do that, then we are in trouble with God. We are also in spiritual trouble. We need to share that message boldly and freely while we still have the freedom to do so.
As Christians we have got to wake up and make some decisions about whether we are just going to let this satanic movement against Christian freedoms happen unabated, or whether we are going to stand up against this movement that’s bent on trying to stop us from sharing the Gospel openly here in our own country.
Three Anti-Christian Movements
Dr. Reagan: Eric, what are some specific movements that concern you which make the case that we are living in the prophesied perilous times as 2 Timothy 3 describes?
Eric Barger: I believe there are three main anti-Christian movements that Christians are going to continue fighting between now and the time when the Lord comes. Number one would be the LGBT community. This movement is dead set against Christians openly speaking out from the Scriptures against homosexuality.
Dr. Reagan: The letters of their acronym get longer and longer. I just can’t keep up with all the new letters. So, I just call it the “sexual perversion movement” to cover all the segments.
Eric Barger: I stopped short of all the rest of the letters past LGBT. That’s one movement.
The second movement fighting to keep Christians from speaking out about other religions, well really only their own, is Islam. A bill by the United Nations Security Council was passed back in 2011 which allowed the various countries of the world permission to stop anyone from speaking ill of anybody else’s faith. Well, goodbye to apologetics at that point! Good-bye to polemics, totally! Christian, the UN does not want you to be able to say that Christianity is the only way to God. That was Resolution 1615, I believe.
Bear in mind that the resolution was issued by the UN, and that didn’t pass here in the US because our Senate alone makes laws for our own country. It’s not law here now, but, especially during the Obama administration, they also tried to get such a restrictive law through the courts.
Dr. Reagan: That reminds me of a sign I saw recently. A person on a college campus held up a sign that read, “No free speech! That hurts feelings.”
Nathan Jones: Well, somebody’s going to get hurt on one side or the other.
Dr. Reagan: Everybody is concerned about every body’s feelings, except the Christian’s feelings.
Eric Barger: That’s right! We are an easy target because of our passivity, they think. We are the target for sure. Our First Amendment is the single most powerful wall that’s held such religious restrictions back in our country. We still have free speech, even though, of course, today it’s become the loudest one who can shout somebody else down is the winner.
Nathan Jones: Such shouting break down civil discourse and throws society into anarchy.
Eric Barger: Without polite discourse there isn’t true discourse anymore. That is exactly where I was going to go with that. Lawlessness!
The third movement that I believe Christians face that seeks to remove Christianity from our nation is those who support abortion. The abortion issue really hasn’t been settled in any way. This issue remains a hot button issue.
So, homosexuality, Islam, and abortion are the three hot point movements that are battling Christianity over religious freedom, and we are going to continue to deal with them more and more. Each work very hard to erode free speech in order to protect and expand their unbiblical agendas.
In my ministry, I am often found speaking out against the cults, the occultic, and other false world religions. All religions can be wrong, but they can’t all be right. Jesus is the only way to Heaven, and so Christianity is the only way to go. The minute you express the truth of Christianity and the exclusiveness of the Gospel, you’re speaking hate speech according to these three movements. That’s what we’re facing. That’s the reality of Christianity in our society today.
All of this hostility to the Gospel just tells me that Jesus Christ is coming soon. This increase in evil shows me the bright hour that we’re in. What a great opportunity we have as Christians to stand up and proclaim Christ and see a harvest of those who will actually listen to the truth.
Dr. Reagan: That reminds me of the great statement by Pastor Adrian Rogers who said, “The world is growing gloriously dark.” You have to understand Bible prophecy to understand what he meant by that. Jesus said He’s going to come back at a time when immorality is as bad as it was in the days of Noah. So, that’s the good side — the silver lining — of all this anti-Christian hatred. These movements are actually a fulfillment of Bible prophecy.
Eric Barger: It is indeed a fulfillment of Bible prophecy. Just look around us today at all the events the Bible prophesied would happen as we approached Christ’s return. I mean, we just passed Israel’s 70th anniversary. That’s huge! All these events taking place today tell me where we are at along the prophetic timeline. For instance, look at the technology we already have today that will be available to the Antichrist that will help him track the people of the world. That tech was never available until this day. We are seeing all these signs of the end times coming in line. They all mean perilous times for us now.
Despite the peril, that doesn’t mean we should be fearful. God hasn’t given us the spirit of fear. We are to go forward understanding we’re here on a mission.
Sure, most of the Church is just happy to say, “I’ve got a nice place I can go to every Sunday morning and feel I’ve got friends who are little bit nicer than the other people in the world.” They just don’t understand that we’re here to make an impact. They cannot live in fear.
Dr. Reagan: It’s amazing just how quiet the Church has gotten concerning the issues raging in our society. Most pastors are afraid they are going to step on some toes. They are going to make somebody mad. As cultural pundit Donald Wildmon says, “We have 300,000 silent pulpits of people not speaking out.”
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I personally talked to Don Wildmon one time about his tremendous efforts to bring some civility to television and movies. He revealed, “David, my worst critics are pastors.” He said, “I get letters from them all the time condemning me saying, ‘Hey! It’s worse than it was 20 years ago. You are just knocking your head against the wall. You’re not making any progress. Why don’t you just quit? You’re not winning.'” Do you know what he always writes back? Don replies, “God didn’t call me to win. He called me to stand. We’re not going to win until Jesus Christ returns.” I like that.
Eric Barger: Me, too! A lot of the pulpits have turned to the user-friendly, feel-good types of messages because they are more interested in attracting people and putting warm bodies in the seats, rather than making a difference for Christ. We must fight what is evil and see souls won.
In the third segment of our interview with Eric Barger on perilous times, Eric describes some apostasies in the Church which demonstrate that we are indeed living in the prophesied era of evil.