The Oklahoma City bombing disaster has resulted in a lot of attention being paid to extremist right-wing organizations. With this, there has been a disturbing trend to associate these groups with Christians, especially fundamentalist Christians who look for the imminent return of Jesus Christ as we are instructed to in Titus 2:11-13.
Certainly when you learn that the bomber suspects were involved with a citizen's militia in Michigan and the commander of this outfit is also a Baptist preacher, you see TV news reports of camouflaged militiamen wearing crosses on their collars, and you read about antigovernment groups with names such as the "Christian Patriots", one may draw the conclusion that Christians are the real culprits. Indeed history has shown us there have been many groups that have committed despicable acts in the name of Christ such as the Ku Klux Klan and the Roman Catholic Church during the Spanish Inquisition.
Jesus warned that there would be impostors who work to discredit the body of Christ, "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves." (Matthew 7:15) He went on to say in verses 7:21-23, "Not everyone who says to Me, `Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, `Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And then I will declare to them, `I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'"
People need to discern the difference from these false Christians and true born-again believers in the Son of God. Jesus said, "you will know them by their fruits" (Matthew 7:16). Those who advocate violent resistance as a means to change our government or even protesting by not paying taxes are acting contrary to the teaching of the Holy Bible and opposing an institution established by God, see Romans 13:1-7. The Bible teaches that it is the will of God for us to submit to our government (1 Peter 2:13-17) and we should pray for those in authority over us "that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life" (1 Timothy 2:1-2). True Christians are model citizens, not anarchists.
Many radical right-wing groups have latched on to some of the "end-times" events described in the Bible and act in fear that the Antichrist is about to come to power and lure them in to taking the "mark of the beast" (Revelation 13:16-17). They have concocted conspiracy theories based on the shakiest of rumors such as pre-positioned UN forces are ready to take over the United States and immunizations of babies serve as a pretense to inject them with computer chip IDs. There in fact is a conspiracy but not one that can be resisted through human means. "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places." (Ephesians 6:12)
Current events in the world certainly show how the stage is being set for the Great Tribulation that precedes the return of Christ (Revelation chapters 6-18). The discrediting of Bible- believing Christians by associating them with radical groups is prophetic in itself. This shows how easily the world will justify persecution of those who become true Christians during the Great Tribulation (Revelation 13:7).
Those who fear the coming events in the Great Tribulation have been deceived by false doctrine. The apostle Paul addressed a related situation in his second epistle to the Church at Thessalonica. In this case, the Thessalonians thought they were in the Great Tribulation due to the persecution they were enduring. Paul said that the Church will be taken out of the world before the Tribulation (2 Thess 2:3) and reinforced this by saying the Holy Spirit who indwells the Church will be taken out of the world with the Church prior to the revealing of the Antichrist (2 Thess 2:7- 8).
Christians who take God's Word literally have faith that they will be delivered from the terrible events during the Great Tribulation. The spiritually bankrupt presume to save themselves rather than trust in the Savior. "Survivalists" who prepare to weather the Tribulation through self-sufficiency by arming themselves to the teeth and hoarding supplies don't realize they are practicing idolatry - worshipping a creation (self) instead of the Creator.
God gives us the sort of government we deserve. No amount of political activism will change this. Those who think they can make this country righteous or solve the world's problems through politics have made government their idol. Instead, Christians need to be about our Father's business devoting our resources to fulfilling the Great Commission Jesus commanded us in Matthew 28:19-20.
America is in need of a spiritual revival to reverse the increasing ungodliness here. How can this happen? We can not change others by ourselves, we can not even change ourselves without God's help. But starting with ourselves is where revival begins. If we are serious about seeing revival in this country, we should pray and repent of our own sins: "if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." (2 Chronicles 7:14)