It has been said that every generation since Jesus died on the cross has been sure of Christ’s return during their lifetime.” It may very well be true that each generation anticipated Jesus’ return. However, anticipation and hope alone aren’t what will facilitate Jesus’ soon return. According to the prophetic Scriptures, Jesus would only return after certain events unfolded.
In centuries past, those who diligently studied Scriptures should have understood that the signs (the events) which were to precede Christ’s return weren’t in place yet. It would have been a mistake to anticipate Jesus’ return during any other generation than this one, our current generation.
Past generations of Christians may have believed their own generation to be the one in which Jesus was to return, but by so doing they had to twist Scripture. The signs that the prophets of the Old Testament spoke of and the signs Jesus Christ spoke of, as well as many of the writers of the New Testament, pointed to His Second Advent as being fulfilled at a much later date than when they wrote those prophecies.
“But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end” (Daniel 12:4).
Basically the book was sealed until the time of the end. This generation is seeing those signs come to pass. The knowledge to understand the prophecies has been delivered to the faithful by way of God’s Holy Spirit.
Until 1948 most Bible teachers were searching for alternative interpretations of the Scriptures that contained the signs of the last days. Why? Because many saw no possibility of Israel ever being a nation re-established and living in the land God promised them.
During WWII when so many Jews were slaughtered during the Holocaust, besides being a horrible tragedy and a very significant blight on the humanity of mankind, it must have been terribly disappointing for prophecy buffs of that time. Six million Jews had just been horribly eliminated from the face of this earth so how could God’s chosen people ever be expected to become a nation once again?
Today we can look at Scriptures which foretold of Israel being back in their God-given land and see that prophecy was fulfilled exactly as God said. Israel is a well established nation powerful, self-governed, with an entrenched foothold in the land God gave them. But for those Christian denominations who hold to the erroneous doctrine of replacement theology, this absolutely proven prophecy is looked upon as a non-event. That’s just blindness.
“For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land” (Ezekiel 36:24).
“Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land” (Ezekiel 37:21).
“And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea” (Isaiah 11:11).
This verse tells us there will be a re-gathering and return of the Jews back to the land God established specifically for the Jewish people. Clearly God’s end time plans were predicated on Israel returning to their promised land.
Those individuals in past generations who diligently studied their Bibles knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that until Israel was an established nation once again and dwelling in the land God promised them there could be no Second Advent.
The Bible is clear as to the signs we are to look for and yet many refuse to seek a clear understanding. Jesus is our sign giver. The Old Testament prophets, through the inspiration of God wrote down earth’s future history and God preserved those words for all the future generations.
Along with Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Jeremiah, we have all the Minor Prophets who, even though they are referred to as minor, contributed major prophetic insight into the last day’s events.
“And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God” (Amos 9:14-15).
This is just one of the numerous end time prophecies that are recorded in the books of the so called Minor Prophets. Actually minor only means shorter in length, not subordinate at all in regard to importance.
Prophecy has been placed in the Bible by God to bring us to a deeper understanding of just what the future history of the world holds. Not only do we discern that God’s word is true, but from prophecy, both fulfilled and not yet fulfilled, we recognize the End Times are yet to come. Yes, we are living in the end times and have been since Jesus died on that cross, but our current generation is the generation that is living in the very last days of the end times.
Even though we can’t help being concerned about Israel and the fact that they are surrounded by their enemies—enemies bent on their total destruction—God has promised Israel that she will never again be pulled out of their land. God’s mighty hand is covering Israel and that’s a fact we witness every day. Their enemies will never be successful in their attempts to wipe Israel off the map.
It should come as no surprise that even though the Hamas terrorists lob rocket after rocket into Israel year in and year out, the destruction of property and the taking of innocent Israelis lives is quite minimal. The taking of an innocent life is tragic under any circumstance.
But the very fact that Hamas has launched literally thousands of rockets into the land where God’s people dwell with hardly any effect should give all people pause. We must come to the conclusion that God’s people are divinely protected and established where God wants them.
The Old Testament contains many prophecies which foretold of Jesus’ First Advent. They were recorded many, many years before His birth. These prophecies were missed by the Scribes and Pharisees. For instance in the book of Genesis we were given the first words concerning the Coming of Christ. Speaking to the serpent, God said:
“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shall bruise His heel” (Genesis 3:15).
Note that the Coming One was to be of the woman’s seed, which described the miraculous virgin birth of our Lord. This was written down thousands of years before He was born.
In order to deny the undeniable prophecies recorded in Scripture, we must wrongly allegorize at least one third of the Bible. On the other hand, if we take the Bible seriously and allow the Word of God to speak to us we can come to an informed and correct conclusion of what will transpire as we move ever closer to Christ’s return and before that, the snatching away of His Church.
We Christians have, for the most part, no problem believing in the virgin birth or the fact that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, which was all foretold of in the Old Testament. However, when it comes down to understanding prophecy that is directly pointing to the end of days here on earth and Jesus’ Second Advent that’s just too weak, too hard to grasp, it’s all allegories, those scriptures have nothing to do with our future.
Here’s a news flash for those who think that way: God authenticates His Word by giving us history lessons in advance. Fulfilled prophecy is obvious and yet dismissed by many Christian as inconsequential.
The Bible is replete with prophecies both fulfilled and yet to be fulfilled, all establishing the undeniable fact that there will be a Rapture of Christ’s church and that the saints (believers) will return with our Lord in His glory at the end of the Tribulation.
“Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years” (Revelation 20:6).
Why is it so difficult for some to gain an understanding of the end times through prophecy? Because many Christians today refuse to study their Bibles at all, let alone Bible prophecy. They are completely reliant on their pastors, many of whom don’t believe in biblical prophecy. Therefore they parrot what they hear and neglect Bible prophecy all together.
The apostle Paul spoke of future events. Paul didn’t know when the events he taught about would occur anymore than we do today. But over the past two-thousand years we can see many prophetic signs that have been fulfilled, and this generation is witnessing the speedy culmination of prophetic signs exploding on the scene.
“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass” (Revelation 1:1).
This may very well be the verse that has tripped up generations of believers in the past. Just reading the English version of the above verse gives us the impression these things referred to here by Jesus would shortly, or soon, come to pass. By carefully analyzing the original language, we can more clearly understand this verse and what it actually is saying. It’s the English word “shortly” that’s the culprit.
Translated from the Greek word tachos, its intent isn’t to infer something happening very soon, but is to show quickness or speed. Our English word tachometer is derived from this Greek word. Jesus is going to open the eyes of His servants who study His Word to understand the signs of the end times. And when these signs begin to come about they will happen rapidly and speedily. Precisely what we see happening today.
Jesus Christ will return soon for His Church and that’s something the enemy doesn’t want people to believe, let alone dwell on. Satan knows the Rapture will happen and if he can keep the focus of the Church on the worldly things which entrap God’s people and re-direct their thoughts and efforts, then Christians will spend much less time, if any at all, thinking about or promoting our heavenly destination. Our enemy would like to see the Church become just another secular social club totally devoid of God’s truth, especially prophecy.
There are many alternative views floating around for Christians to choose from. Many of which disparage Bible prophecy. Amillennialism, Preterism, Kingdom Now or Dominionism are just some of these views and are difficult to understand. When we allow others to influence us with their interpretations instead of searching the Scriptures for ourselves we may find ourselves following a view that is basically unscriptural.
Many believers put little, if any, reliance in the Rapture view even though Paul taught that Christ’s Church would be raptured before the Wrath of God was to come on this Christ-rejecting world.
Many Christians have been listening to false teachers who’ve exchanged God’s Word for a lie for years.
“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:13).
This manipulation of the saints by deceitful workers has moved Christians into a pattern of resorting back to worldly ideas and concepts. About 90 percent of all professing Christians no longer hold a Christian worldview. They look, sound, and act just like the earth dwellers (non-believers) of this planet, opposed to true, born-again believers, who are just sojourners here. That leaves only a remnant of Christians with a genuine Christian worldview.
Prophecy is being fulfilled right in front of our eyes; signs are coming to pass. The end of all time is upon us. Secular scientists also speculate the end of planet earth will come, but not for another billion years or so. God says that event will be much sooner; in fact Bible prophecy tells us it’s at the door.
Still, one question remains. When we take God’s Word seriously and truthfully where does that leave the unbeliever? Unbelievers are already condemned. So they will only be affected by the Rapture in an adverse way.
When the “catching up” happens they will be left on planet Earth scratching their heads in bewilderment at the instantaneous disappearance of millions. Will any of your family or friends be stuck in that mode of bewilderment?