BREXIT

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The die is cast. Brexit it will be. The response is swift and there is chaos and confusion. Scotland and Northern Ireland indicate they may choose EU over UK. France may want out. Netherlands may want out. Trading markets drop as the decrease in trade is imminent. Gold shot up. The USD moved 3 cents up against SGD overnight. Singapore has suffered 19 straight months of consumer price decline (May 2016). Brexit can only add to Singapore’s deflationary pressures.

I recall the time when Christians were arguing that when the EU has 10 nations, to correspond to the 10 toes of the image in Daniel 2, the kingdom of the anti-Christ will be established. Where is that argument now? The European Union may fall apart if France leaves. It is unlikely the small nations want to surrender to the only large economy left—Germany.

Brexit affirms the danger of newspaper application to the Bible. It is good that we want the Bible to come alive and apply to our lives. There is a right way to do it, and a wrong way to do it. Most Christians who interpret every incident as proving that Jesus is coming soon, are motivated by the desire to create urgency so we will get our life in order. The desire is good, but the generation of falsehood detracts from truth, and from the real motivation for us to get our life in order because Jesus is coming.

First, I want to affirm the Bible teaches us:

1. The Good News must first go out to the whole world (Matthew 24:14).
2. The “man of lawlessness” must first appear (2 Thessalonians 2). He will set himself up as though he were God.
3. Conclusion: there is hardly any observable point as to the coming of the Lord apart from the man of lawlessness. I believe the political readings supporting the soon return of Christ are more Christian imagination than biblical interpretation.

Second, I want to point you to a positive view of what we should expect until Jesus comes:

1. God will establish an everlasting kingdom in Jesus Christ. “In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands—a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces.” (Daniel 2:44-45)
2. The gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:18)
3. God’s kingdom started with Jesus, and will grow stronger. “He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.” (Matthew 13:31-32)
4. Conclusion: we should expect the Kingdom of God to advance and be victorious, we are not struggling in a losing battle. Jesus secured our victory.

Response to Brexit

Should Brexit lead to the departure of Scotland and Northern Ireland, we may be witnessing the closing chapter of the British Empire on which the sun did not set. The kingdoms of the world come and go. Our true focus is on the kingdom of God. The everlasting kingdom, the kingdom that works towards God’s will being done on earth as it is in heaven. It started with Jesus coming to earth and it will end when Jesus returns with the new heaven and new earth (Revelation 21:1-4), when all of creation will be redeemed (Romans 8:22-23).

On the practical front, we can expect Brexit to have negative economic pressures on our livelihood. We can expect deflationary pressures to get worse in Singapore, and we may be wise to take a defensive posture in most areas. That is part-and-parcel of life on earth and it has impact on how we plan our programs, not on the imminent return of Jesus.

Our economic well-being is not related to the well-being of God’s kingdom. The Jewish Christians suffered a much worse loss of status when Jerusalem was destroyed (AD 70). The Jews rejected Jesus’s warning to stop looking for a new messiah, and they turned to Simon Bar Kochba. It resulted in their further destruction and dispersion under Emperor Hadrian (AD 132). National Israel suffered, but spiritual Israel continued to grow and prosper.

We are Spiritual Israel. We are the Kingdom of God. We will grow and fill the earth until all the kingdoms of the world pass away. We will be here after the United Kingdom becomes the Untied Kingdom. We will be here when Singapore no longer exists as a nation. We will be here when the United States also become untied. We will be here when China, India, Russia are all gone. We are God’s forever kingdom. Seek ye first the kingdom of God.

Pastor Peter Eng

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