Signs of the Times
And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken (Luke 21:25-26) But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man (Luke 21:34-36). We’re no doubt living in the time just prior to the rapture and the second coming of Christ. In view of current events, we are encouraged by Jesus to stay alert, watchful, and ready for the coming of the Lord. World events have been slowly lining up with the scenario that the Bible indicates will come to pass prior to the return of Christ. The Bible clearly reveals that God will begin to deal with the Jewish race again prior to the return of Christ, after they have been set aside because of unbelief for almost 2 millennia. The Bible indicates that prior to the return of Christ Israel would return to the land promised to them by God after having been dispersed from the land for 2000 years. The Israelites began returning to Palestine from all over the world at the beginning of the 20th century, and became a nation again in May of 1948, the first time since A.D.70! Israel regained control of Jerusalem for the first time since the 1st century A.D. in 1967. Since Israel has been back in their land, the desert has indeed blossomed as a rose, and has become one of the most powerful nations in the Middle East. With the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, communism released its hold on nations previously closed to the gospel, and the former Soviet Union and Europe opened up to gospel evangelism. As the Bible foretold, the nations of Europe have begun to enter into a financial, political, and military union together under the auspices of the European Union, and are close to ratifying a European constitution that has been in the works for years. The prophet Daniel revealed that there would be a revival of the power of the fallen Roman empire. No doubt that this European Union is a fulfillment of Daniel’s words. Daniel also revealed that a world ruler we call the Anti-Christ will arise from this revived Roman Empire and will find a way to solve the Israeli –Palestinian conflict. He will enter into an agreement of peace with Israel and her neighbors, and will seemingly set the world stage for an era of peace. No doubt that the Roadmap to Peace that is being encouraged by our government is part of the puzzle being put in place for this peace agreement to come into play. It’s just a matter of time. At the same time, Russia and Iran, along with other nations are beginning to work together in a military, political, and financial alliance that will culminate in the war of Ezekiel 38 and 39, where nations headed by Russia attack Israel and seek to wipe her off of the face of the earth. The attack backfires as God supernaturally defeats these nations and fights on Israel’s behalf. Added to all this are natural disasters, increased seismic activity, unparalleled weather phenomenon, and an increase in deadly and infectious diseases worldwide that have been predicted by Jesus during the time just prior to the return of Christ. We are living in a generation that is facing world conditions that are rapidly deteriorating, and will culminate in a world-wide time of suffering the Bible calls the “tribulation” that will be the most devastating time period the world has ever know. According the Bible, during this time period wars, famine, and natural disasters will reign supreme as God judges the unbelief of humanity. Over 1/3 of mankind will die (that’s over 2 billion people), 1/3 of the green vegetation will perish, and 1/3 of the oceans of the world will become polluted. Jesus said that unless this time period was shortened, no person would be able to survive. In the light of all of this, we have the promise of God to protect and care for us as believers. Just as God provided an ark for Noah and His family, a basket for Moses as a baby, protection from the lions jaw for Daniel, deliverance from the flame for the three Hebrew men in a furnace, and food for the hungry prophet Elijah by the beak of a bird, so the Lord will care for and provide for His people as we enter this dangerous time period. Jesus told us to lift up our heads, and to be joyful, because our redemption was drawing near. We have a mandate to boldly take the gospel to the world before Jesus returns. We have not been appointed to experience God’s wrath as believers, but we have been appointed to obtain mercy through our Lord Jesus Christ! We are to live in the expectation of the rapture of the church, and of the providential care of God regardless of what occurs. Let’s prepare ourselves and be ready every day to meet our King!