It is interesting to think about the very last question the disciples asked Jesus just before He ascended into the heavens to reign at the right hand of God the Father, as intercessory Savior on behalf of all true believers on earth.
Acts 1:6-8 tells the story: “Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, ‘Lord, will you at this time restore the nation to Israel’? And He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem and in all Judea and in Samaria, , and to the end of the earth.’”
He had told them earlier, as John 14:17 reports it, speaking of the Holy Spirit, “…for He dwells with you [now] but will be in you”. With that incident at Pentecost, the Lord then launched His new plan wherein blindness, in part,came upon Israel (Romans 11:25) and God set about “taking out of the Gentiles “a people for His name” (Acts 15:14). And here we see the beginning of the dispensation of grace, in which a special category of believers will come into the family of God. These will be all the believers who will experience the rapture, for it will include, first, the dead in Christ,and then we who are alive and remain, to be taken into the clouds to meet the Lord in the air (I Thessalonians 4:16-17). This is the church, the Bride of Christ.
Those disciples, Jews for the most part, were very nation-conscious, for they had been under the rule of the Romans for quite some time, and were looking for a way out, yet the Lord had other plans. We have seen, now, the times and seasons to which Jesus referred, in the restoration of nation status toIsrael and restored them to their land…somewhat…in 1948, just as the prophets have told us, over and over again.
Fast-Forward to Current Events
Do we see a parallel to that picture in the current struggle here in America, in which a strong element of national patriotic spirit has been developing, in the face of rapidly degenerating national sovereignty and economic stamina, that vows to “return the nation to the principles of its founding fathers”? But, does God actually have another plan, as He did in that situation so long ago? Is the age of grace coming to an end? The next era, according to the projections of the Bible, will be the final, 70th week of Daniel’s vision, which starts when those “people for his name” from the Gentiles are “taken out” in the rapture. The era of judgment begins. Is this the time and season for that to fall into place in the sequence of events?
The picture is not pretty, for the signs of the times are no longer isolated flares of meaningful end-time prophecy fulfillments, but they are coming in a rapid-fire, machine-gun-staccato manner. Jesus said, in Luke 21:28, “Now when you see these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near”. Paul writes in I Thessalonians 5:1-2, “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”. Looking at the inter-related events and prophecies, I am not so sure that we do “know perfectly” when the day of the Lord will commence, but it is certain to be close on the horizon.
What Is the Game Plan Now?
Are America’s patriots wasting their time, then? From a Christian standpoint, no, of course not. Believers are commanded to “occupy until He comes” (Luke 19:13), and they are identified as those who “restrain” the forces of evil (II Thessalonians 2:6-7). The Great Commission is still in place, and II Chronicles 7:14 is still a viable, conditional promise, too: “If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and forgive their sin and heal their land”. As it was in the hearts of those early disciples, however, it does appear that the longing for a restoration of our nation to that of the “good old days” likely will not be fulfilled.