Most of us have seen it at some point in our lives. The daytime sky becomes dark ahead of an approaching strong storm; the blackness of the clouds makes it seem like night outside our window as our smartphones buzz with weather warnings. This happened outside my window as I was writing this post.
In Jesus’ day, people did not have our technology to warn of approaching storms. Instead, they learned to recognize signs in the sky that told them what to expect for the weather.
On two separate occasions, Jesus scolded the Jews for being adept at interpreting signs in the sky while missing the signs that their Messiah was with them. In Luke 12:56 He said, “You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?”
Just as with Christ’s first visit to earth, Scripture provides us with many signs of His Second Coming. Foremost among them today is Israel’s restoration as a nation and the numerous indications that the tribulation is rapidly approaching.
In terms of watching for signs of the tribulation, the sky grows darker by the day.
About three hundred years ago, Isaac Newton predicted Israel would again become a nation ahead of a time of great tribulation on the earth. He based this observation on his extensive study of the books of Daniel and Revelation. Newton saw in Scripture many of the things that we see today.
If anything indicates we live in the last days before Jesus’ return, it’s the fulfillment of biblical prophecy in regard to the restoration of Israel as a nation and the regathering of many Jews back to their homeland.
In Isaiah 66:8, the prophet said that someday Israel would be reborn in “one day.” On May 14, 1948 this prophecy came to fruition as the nation sprang to life. Since that time, God’s blessing on Israel has been readily apparent as well as His sovereign protection of her.
The prophet Isaiah said that someday Israel would “fill the world with fruit” (27:6). Today, Israel exports a billion dollars’ worth of fruit. The Lord has surely made the once desolate land like the “garden of Eden” just as the prophet Ezekiel said would happen in the last days (36:33-35).
Prophecies relating to the end times are coming to life before our eyes!
Scripture describes the tribulation as a time of lawlessness under the one world government of the antichrist who will receive strong support, even worship, from the one world religion of the day. In addition, the antichrist will persecute both Jews and Christians; he will kill a great number of them during the second half of the tribulation.
Do we see signs of these things today? Absolutely!! We see signs of the coming one world government and religion everywhere we look. Once the Lord takes us, His church, to heaven, these things will rapidly appear on the earth.
When I toured the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC, I understood for the first time that the holocaust required a great number of Germans to go along with Hitler’s attempt to exterminate the Jewish people. The same will be true during the tribulation; a great number of soldiers and many people will cooperate with the antichrist’s agenda to kill both Christians and Jews.
Do we see evidence of this today? Unfortunately the answer is yes. Anti-Semitism has grown exponentially throughout the world during past twenty years. In the United States, we see it on college campuses, in Congress, on the streets of New York, and even in many churches. This hatred has already overflowed into violence and continues to get worse.
As for Christians, we represent the most persecuted group in the entire world. Some estimates go as high as 90,000 martyrs per year. In America, the hatred toward those who uphold biblical values intensifies with each passing day. Someday, the hatred of the left toward Bible-believing Christians will turn deadly in the United States. Unless Jesus comes for us beforehand, we should expect violent persecution against Bible-believing saints in the future.
Twenty-five years ago, I could not imagine how the world would go along with the murderous agenda of the antichrist. Now, it’s not only clear that it could happen, it appears to be well on the way.
Do You Know the Savior?
What does this all mean? People need Jesus; do you know the Savior?
If you have already put your trust in Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, the appearance of ominous clouds in the horizon points to your coming deliverance from this world. Jesus is returning soon to take us to the place he’s preparing for us; the Bible assures us that this will happen before the tribulation.
Whether we die before this time or remain alive till He comes for us, the words of 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 contain the comforting promise that we will soon be forever with our Lord.
If you have not yet placed your faith in Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection, please know the time is growing ever so short for you to make that decision. The time of great tribulation on the earth is rapidly approaching. It’s already on our doorstep.
Jesus said this in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Jesus is the only way of salvation; there is no other path to eternal life. All other paths lead to death and eternal punishment.
Romans 3:23 tells us that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” We all need a Savior. Because we all sin, every human being needed someone to take their punishment for their sins. This is where Jesus comes to the rescue of those who trust Him. Romans 5:8 says, “But God shows His love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
The most familiar verse in the Bible also tells us of our hope in Christ. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Please understand that this is not about being moral or obtaining favor with God through good works. Religion will fail you every time.
Salvation is only found in Jesus. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Eph. 2:8-9). A changed life results from the Lord’s work in us; it comes after Jesus saves us and gives us a new heart.
If you have never taken this step this step of faith, please do so before it is too late. If you have any questions, please contact me through e-mail or through the “Connect” button on my website.
If you already know the Lord as your Savior, it’s time to pray for those who do not yet know Him. Perhaps the Lord will give you an opportunity to share your hope with those who do not yet know the joy of walking with the Savior.
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