Tragically, today’s evangelicals are so pigeonholed by their preconceived ideas about biblical prophecy that they can’t see its fulfillment right in front of their eyes. While they look elsewhere for what they presume will be a scripturally predicted end-time scenario, what the Bible really predicts is unfolding lickety-split right under their noses.
The sin that got Lucifer thrown out of Heaven, resulting in the fall of angels, and the sin that got Adam and Eve thrown out of the Garden of Eden, resulting in the fall of man, was the same sin. It was the attempted usurpation of the place of God. Lucifer attempted to usurp God’s throne in Heaven and Adam and Eve attempted to usurp God’s rule on earth (Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:12-19; Genesis 3). It is this beastly sin of self-deification, of making ourselves the final arbiters of good and evil, that has caused all of humanity’s problems, as well as produced before our very eyes the biblically predicted perilous times of the last days.
Sometime subsequent to man’s fall in the Garden, all mankind got together to build a monument to themselves in the land of Shinar. The monument became know as the Tower of Babel, due to the fact that God thwarted the tower builders’ attempt to glorify themselves rather than Him by confusing their languages (Genesis 11:1-9). Unable to communicate with their babbling voices, the tower builders were forced to abandon their tower building project; that is, their attempt to glorify themselves by their own governance.
Long after the Tower of Babel ended in babel and was reduced to rubble, another monument was erected to man’s glory in the same vicinity (Daniel 3). Nebuchadnezzar, the king of the world’s first great Gentile world power, Babylon, erected an image to his glorious kingdom, which was at that time not only the most glorious kingdom on earth, but the most glorious kingdom the world had ever known. Interestingly, the Bible predicts that end-time Babylon, the world’s final and ultimate superpower, which will be the most glorious earthly kingdom of all time, will also erect a monument (image) to itself (Revelation 13). Once erected, it too will insists, as Nebuchadnezzar did in ancient Babylon, that everyone bow to its glory.
Have you noticed the big story in the news right now? Surprisingly, it’s not the coronavirus pandemic or the economic crisis created by it, but the desecration of American monuments. America, which is not only the greatest world power of all time, but also the world’s only remaining superpower, is up in arms over its monuments. Whereas some Americans want to destroy monuments honoring our heritage and historical heroes, other Americans want them defended, as monuments to our glorious past, which account for our present-day glory. One can’t help but wonder if these images are not more like idols in the eyes of many modern-day Americans, who see them as either rivals to their own false gods or symbols of a glorified state to whom everyone should bow in homage.
This past Friday evening, in a special 4th of July speech, at the site of one of America’s most famous monuments, Mount Rushmore, President Donald Trump pledged, by “the authority vested in [him] as President of the United States,” and by a presidential “executive order,” to erect in “a vast outdoor park” a new monument to our nation, “the National Guard of American heroes.” This monument to “American greatness,” according to our president, will stand for centuries to come as an inspiration to all men.
While today’s evangelicals heartily applaud our president’s 4th of July speech, and see nothing untoward in his promised erection of a new monument to American greatest. I can’t help but see something eerily similar here to the land of Shinar’s Tower of Babel and Nebuchadnezzar’s golden image. Furthermore, I can’t help but wonder about the biblically predicted monument to be erected by the world’s ultimate and end-time superpower, an image that will be erected for its glory, not God’s.