The Bible is packed with life-changing information that is vital to everyone of us. There is not a single sentence in the Scriptures that we don’t need; if we are willing to dig deep and study it in the proper context, we will discover God’s grand plan with humanity.
While the message of the Bible was designed to touch lives of all times since the very beginning, it also had a specific message for each generation and the world that they lived in. The Word also has something relevant to say about our time.
Looking at our generation we clearly see a world in turmoil, rushing toward its own destruction. The political class, who created this environment, cannot fix it; all their efforts only seem to escalate matters. The world has become a dangerous place!
For students of the Bible this comes as no surprise. What we see around us has been foretold in great detail, many centuries ago. Prophets of old wrote history in advance as God moved to prepare us for a great and awesome day that is fast approaching.
The prophets of the Old Testament, the apostles of the New Testament and Jesus Himself gave us enough signs to recognize the time that we live in as the last days. Big changes are taking place as an era is coming to an end, and we must talk about it. Failing to do so, for any reason whatsoever, would be a disservice to those that we interact with.
The main topic of our day is the fact that Jesus is coming, and that time to prepare for this event is running out. We don’t know the date when He will come, but we can recognize the season by the signs that were given to us.
But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. 1 Thessalonians 5:1-4
Since the beginning of the church Christians expected the Lord to return in their lifetime, probably because there were events that were interpreted as signs of His coming, but these days we see a convergence of signs. Because there has been this talk for so long, many stopped believing that Jesus will come back for His bride, causing some Christians to revert to a secular lifestyle.
…that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Saviour, knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” 2 Peter 3:2-4
The expectation of the Lord’s imminent return works a readiness to meet Him in our lives. As time marches on, and the world deteriorates before our eyes, the desire for Him to expedite His return also grows. Already the Spirit is stirring us to cry out, “Come!”
One of the most important signs of the Lord’s return is Israel. As recent as a hundred years ago, Israel was a desolate, derelict country. Mark Twain, the famous American author, visited there in 1867, and recorded his impressions in his book Innocents Abroad. He described it as a desolate country – devoid of both vegetation and human population:
“….. A desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds… a silent mournful expanse…. a desolation…. we never saw a human being on the whole route…. hardly a tree or shrub anywhere. Even the olive tree and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil, had almost deserted the country.”
This is what happened to the land that flowed with milk and honey after the Jews were scattered abroad following Rome’s destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD. A hundred years ago nobody could see Israel becoming a prosperous country again. Its people were scattered to various countries, spoke different languages and raised their children in different cultures. But God promised to bring restoration to them in the last days, as the prophet said in Ezekiel chapters 36-37. (Please read these chapters)
Jesus said the same thing about Israel in the last days:
“Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender, and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see these things happening, know that it is near–at the doors! Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. Mark 13:28-30
The fig tree is Israel, and it is blossoming. The Jews have returned in great numbers, and still do. Israel was recognized as a nation again in 1948, their land is extremely fertile and production exceeds that of most other nations. Very interesting also is that, after being in other cultures for so long, they speak Hebrew as a nation.
Notice the words of Jesus, “Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.” The state of Israel is now 70 years old, about what we would call a generation.
There is more to come for Israel though. Things are going to be very difficult for them. They will be surrounded by other nations and hated by all. This has already started and will grow out to a siege in time to come. The scene is unfolding, and we are witnesses of it. Anti-Semitism is becoming an accepted norm, so shortly after the world vowed “never again” after the holocaust.
Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it. Zechariah 12:2,3
God will save them in the end, just a remnant of the nation, when they see Jesus as their Messiah, but they will go through very dangerous times, such as the world has never seen before.
During the holocaust a third of the Jews were exterminated; two thirds will be killed in the tribulation period.
And it shall come to pass in all the land,” Says the Lord, “That two-thirds in it shall be cut off and die, but one-third shall be left in it: I will bring the one-third through the fire, will refine them as silver is refined, and test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘This is My people’; and each one will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’ ” Zechariah 13:8,9
Before this happens the Lord will come to fetch His bride:
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. John 14:1-3
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
After the tribulation that will last for 7 years, Jesus will come back to establish His 1000 year reign on the earth. But for now, let us prepare our hearts to be ready when the trumpet calls us home. Talk about it and discuss it with your family. Everything that was prophesied until now came to pass; the rest will just as surely happen as the Bible says.
- Keep yourself informed on Israel and developments in the Middle East. Israel is God’s timepiece; by keeping your eye on it you will know where we are on God’s calendar
- Talk about the time that we live in
- Take a fresh look at your priorities, and see if you need to make some changes
- Nothing is as precious as your relationship with the Lord!
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