We are living in prophetic times. There is “something in the air,” and many people feel the change that’s coming. Biblical prophecy is being fulfilled very quickly, and that’s exactly what Scripture says will happen. It will be slow for a long time, but then the events will happen faster and with more intensity. There are many who deny it or just don’t believe that we are nearing the end.
We always think that monumental events are meant for another time and another place. That thought can encourage a denial of Biblical truth and a feeling that everything is just as it always was. That feeling is, in fact, fulfillment of prophecy. Peter said that there would be scoffers in the latter days who think things are just “business as usual.”
“This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: that ye 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 there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after 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 the creation” (2 Peter 3:1-4).
The truth is, things are very different than any other time in history. Those who scoff just aren’t aware of the signs of the times.
There are scoffers who haven’t seen the significance of Israel being re-established as a nation in the land given to them by God. Yes, there are scoffers who would have us believe that the Jewish people who have gathered there aren’t truly Jewish. People go out of their way to live in denial and scoff at prophecy. Many events that have taken place since then prove the scoffers wrong. The prophet Isaiah makes it clear that there would be a second gathering of Israel. The first was after the Babylonian captivity, but the second would be at the end of the age.
“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. And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth” (Isaiah 11:11-12).
Ezekiel spoke of this event when he prophesied about the dry bones coming together and gaining life (Ezekiel chapter 37). The Jewish people are gathering again as a nation, and the Holy Spirit is beginning to be recognized; they are spiritually coming to life. Many of them are looking for their Messiah, but sadly, they are looking for the wrong one; but that’s another commentary. They will not be uprooted from their land again.
“And I will bring 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).
God said this so it must be the truth. So, if you are one of the scoffers, do some research into prophecy. You’ll find that the various end-time prophecies are unfolding today. The more we believe Scripture, the more amazing it is that God chose to record what will happen so we can know where we are in history. Oh, and by the way, the Jewish people are still God’s chosen people and have not been replaced by Christians. They will face horrendous times, but will finally turn to Jesus and recognize Him as their true Messiah. Christians already recognize Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. He is the Messiah.
The Old Testament prophets were given many prophecies regarding the time in which we live, and if you scoff at them, then maybe you’ll believe some New Testament facts. Jesus tells us to be aware of the days in which we live. We cannot know exactly when the Rapture will happen, but if we are to be totally ignorant of its approach, Jesus wouldn’t have told us what signs to look for. Even the disciples were curious and asked Jesus about the end of time. At the time, these men questioned Jesus about the end, they had no idea about the Rapture. That would be revealed later, but they knew that there would be an end of the age. The signs which Jesus gave were pretty generic, but they would grow stronger as the end nears. He warned about false prophets deceiving people during the end.
“And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them” (Luke 21:8).
These false prophets have been around for centuries. In John’s first letter, he mentioned them.
“And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world” (1 John 4:3).
The deception will grow stronger as we approach the end. The antichrist spirit has deceived many and will continue to deceive many more before the end. Instead of listening to the liberal mainstream news for answers (they are filled with the spirit of antichrist), turn to Scripture. You’ll learn much more, and His word is reliable and unchanging.
After the Rapture, deception will grow stronger until that man of sin (who we quite often refer to as the Antichrist) will deceive the entire world population. He will elevate himself above all things and demand to be worshipped as god. He will require everyone to take a mark, and we are seeing the precursor to that today. Take comfort in the fact that this evil man won’t be revealed until Jesus calls Christians Home in the Rapture. Take heed, though. John said that that spirit was in the world during his day, and we can be sure it is continuing today and growing stronger as we approach the end.
The signs which Jesus pointed to are recorded in Matthew, Mark, and Luke; and each account needs to be studied carefully so we can be able to witness to others and warn the lost that they need to follow Jesus now. Remember, these accounts are speaking of a time that will come to a head after the Rapture. These signs begin mildly but grow in intensity as the end of days draws closer. Have you ever taken a road trip with the intention of ending up in a small city? Usually the road signs tell you the distance to a larger city beyond your destination. As the signs point to the large city getting close, you know that your destination is even closer. Jesus gave the signs to look for as the end of time approaches; and as we see these signs growing stronger, we know the Rapture is even closer.
“Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven” (Luke 21:10-11).
These things have always happened, but not with quite the intensity of today. Almost every nation is at odds with other nations, and civil strife within nations is intensifying. The most prophetic fighting is aimed at Israel, another sign of the times. That was prophesied by Zechariah.
“Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round abut, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it” (Zechariah 12:2-3).
There is no earthly reason for the anger towards Israel. There is a spiritual reason, though. Satan is still trying to win against God Almighty. God won the war at the cross, but Satan is still full of pride and thinks he’ll win. Peace treaties will never bring peace in this spiritual battle. Peace will come when Jesus Christ reigns.
Jesus told of many more signs to look for, and He wants us to be aware of what’s coming.
“But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things” (Mark 13:23).
Scoffers might believe that we aren’t to study prophecy or that God doesn’t want us to know about the future, but they’re wrong. Scripture is filled with prophecy. By not studying it, you have to throw out most of Scripture! Why would God fill Scripture with prophecy then not want us to study it? He even tells us to pay attention… “take heed.” Every word in the Bible is God breathed. Prophecy is God’s way of warning us of what’s coming. If we are forewarned with God’s truth, we can examine our lives and our motives. Do you love Jesus? If so, are you living a life that pleases Him?
The Rapture is a very real event that will happen prior to the beginning of the Tribulation. Christians won’t face God’s wrath and will be called Home prior to that final seven-year period of time. If you happen to be a “pew warmer” who only sits in a pew on Sunday morning out of habit, or a “Christian in name only” who never truly accepted Christ for salvation, then you need to make some changes. The truth is, mouthing words doesn’t bring redemption, nor does religious ceremony. If you didn’t mean those words you said when you asked Jesus to forgive you, then you haven’t truly accepted Him. God knows of every secret sin you’re hiding, and every sin can be forgiven, but you must truly repent and ask Him to forgive you.
The signs of the times are intensifying. The end is drawing near…very, very near. God doesn’t want you to choose to spend eternity in Hell. He paid the price of your redemption, but you need to accept His gift.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:16-17).
He loves everyone, but unless you truly accept His free gift of salvation for yourself, you will be left to face horrendous judgments. Don’t scoff. Don’t delay. Don’t be deceived. Study Scripture and see that time is running out. There’s nothing more important than turning to Jesus today and asking Him to forgive your sin.
The signs are intensifying. The end is near.
“And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh” (Luke 21:28).
Stop scoffing and start believing.
God bless you all,
Ron and Nathele Graham’s previous commentaries archived at https://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is “theopneustos”— God breathed.
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