Thursday, December 30, 2010

The End Times

"And still the rockets scream. Still the innocent dies. Still the hatred boils." (Once an Arafat Man)

Yesterday-Today I read two really interesting books; while the subject matter isn't exactly the same, it's within the same sphere. And that would be the Middle East, in the End Times. I normally don't like to think about this, mainly because there are so many different opinions, and I'm not sure which to trust. That, and this topic scares me. I think the End Times isn't something that people want to talk about, but it's something we need to hear. And what I gleaned from the two books was a sense of how the current Middle Eastern crisis is related to the End Times.

Now, this is a contentious issue, and most views seem pretty polarised to me, so I'm gonna say right write now (and maybe later too), that all the views expressed are my personal own, and I'm not attempting to force them on anyone. If you don't like it, please don't read it. But I am a Christian and I'm going to rejoice at God's goodness and faithfulness (:

-Random Interlude- I'm taking the liberty to be be random here because the rest of the review is gonna be pretty serious, and I do have things to say that doesn't make a coherent whole with everything else. Alright, lemme see.... Well, when I was typing the title, I accidentally typed "Endo" by mistake (This is due to the EE research I did just before this), I was going to start with a joke about studying too much, but I decided to use the quote since this topic shouldn't be treated lightly, in my opinion. And speaking of quotes, I've noticed an awkward tendency for me to start essay (for school) with a quote. This probably shows my lack of originality in crafting the English language, and the fact that I really can't think of any better way to start an essay. Now, back to the matter at hand....

The first book I read was Once An Arafat Man by Tass Saada with Dean Merrill, and tells the amazing story of how an Islamic Terrorist found Christ and turned his life completely around. And, if you haven't noticed by now, where the starting quote comes from. It's an engrossing read and gives hope to Christians by showing (not just telling) that there is a Christian revival in the Middle East. But what really struck me was the message that the Ishmaelites are also the descendants of Abraham and have been blessed by God. He talked about how the feelings against the Jews was (to him) a reaction to the rejection they felt by Abraham when he sent them away. Now, while it's hard to support the terrorist activities taking place, this has helped me understand the need to pray for the Jews AND the Ishmaelites.

Now, while the first book is a memoir, the second book is filled with more facts. Epicentre is written by Joel C Rosenberg, who has apparently written "prophetic" books (which I now really really really want to read). While most non-fiction books on current affairs will become outdated in a few years, (e.g. one book I read on using Sun Tzu's Art of War in business cited Japan as going to overtake the US), and especially about the Middle East, where the situation is in flux, this book is relevant, probably it's main sources are taken from the timeless and eternal book, the Bible. While there is a lot of reference to current affairs and interviews with key players in the Middle East, what the book does is to piece all the separate pieces of information into a coherent whole, and make an educated guess about how prophecy from Ezekiel could be fulfilled. If I were to even try and summarise the book, it would still take too long, so again, I recommend that everyone reads it. And thank God, from the book, I learnt that yearly, 6 million Muslims convert to Christianity. (I am sorry if that sentence offends anyone, but that is my personal feelings about the subject matter).

I know there are lots of books around about the End Times, and many of them are going to have different views on how the end times happen, but it seems that one thing they are all in agreement is is that: The End Times are near, if not already here. While that scares me (I really want a peaceful life), I hope that anyone who reads it pauses to reflect on their life: If and When the End Times come, what's going to happen to you? Are you too focused on this life to think of the next's?

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