A friend on a private forum asked me if I thought he should flee. He was not serious, but I thought it worth a look. The passage he had in mind is in Rev 18:
(Warning to Escape Babylon’s Judgment)
4 Then I heard another voice from heaven say: “‘Come out of her, my people,’ so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues; 5 for her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes.”
Does this mean that one should sell everything, move to a remote area, and wait for the apocalypse? Some say yes. While the answer for me is no, there is some historical information that favors a yes.
Jesus said this in Mat 24:
15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.”
And this in Luke 21:
20 “When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. 21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city.”
Historically this was fulfilled in the years leading up to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. Suddenly the Romans armies surrounded the city, trapping everyone, Christian and non-Christian alike, in the city. Just as suddenly, they left. The revolutionary Zealots rejoiced, for God had delivered them! Christians had a different opinion. They left immediately and journeyed to Pella across the Jordan River. Jesus' command not to take possessions was good advice because of the political situation. In addition to the need for haste, it would have been viewed as "unpatriotic" to leave Jerusalem at the height of her victory and God-ordained deliverance. So loading up a wagon would have been dangerous. Instead, Jesus was advising haste and secrecy. Most Christians obeyed and left quickly. Very soon the Roman armies returned, Jerusalem was put under siege, and the people inside the city starved—some even ate their own children. This echoes Rev 6:
5 When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. 6 Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, “Two pounds of wheat for a day’s wages, and six pounds of barley for a day’s wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!”
When the city fell, any survivors were enslaved. The number of slaves was so large that the price of slaves dropped to bargain levels for years.
One should not interpret this the way one church did in the early 1970s. They were absolutely convinced that they too would flee to Jordan. Not flee from the troubled Judea, but flee from America to Jordan. They never explained why Jordan would allow 144,000 people to suddenly arrive there, although the leader of the church had many meetings with various dignitaries in the Middle East. Nor did they explain the logistics. One prominent minister suggested that DC-9s would be used. A fleet of these had all been recently grounded because of metal fatigue which had resulted in 9-inch cracks in the wings. He suggested that the church could buy the fleet at rock-bottom prices, and God would provide 10-inch angels to make the planes safe. The same kind of foolishness is advocated by some religious leaders today. Flee from the wrath to come!
In my next blog post I will explain why I did the exact opposite of what these pundits recommend, and moved from rural Missouri to a community 3 hours from Los Angeles