To say the world is the same today as in years past – that we don’t live in unique times – is just not true. More than any other generation, ours has reason to expect the Second Coming. Jesus and the prophets said to look for specific signs heralding the end times. For over 1,800 years, you couldn’t find one of the signs they said to look for. Today, in one form or another, you can find all of them. Here are just a few examples:
We live in the last days of human history as we know it before the start of the tribulation.
We do not know the day or the hour when Jesus will come for His church or when day God’s fierce wrath will begin. The prophetic signs we see all around us, however, tell us these things are getting ever so close.
I shared this list a couple months ago through my newsletter. As events continue to point toward the soon return of Jesus, I decided to update the list and make it available to more who may be interested. I have also changed the order a bit.
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.
Scripture tells us the last days will marked by those who mock our hope in Jesus’ imminent return. The apostle Peter reveals that in the last days scoffers will appear ridiculing such hope with this question, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation” (2 Pet. 3:3-4).
How can we recognize these modern day scoffers? Below I list five ways they make themselves known:
The opposition to Jesus’ future reign on earth remains intense. Although premillennialism grew dramatically during the twentieth century, many Bible-believing teachers and pastors have reverted to Augustine’s platonic view of reality that denies biblical teaching regarding the millennium.
What has caused this reversal in recent decades? I believe the roots of today’s passionate opposition to premillennialism lie in Satan’s continuing hatred of anything to do with Jesus’ future reign.
During the past year, I have written many articles defending my belief in premillennialism, which is the belief that Jesus will return to earth after a literal seven year tribulation, destroy the armies arrayed against Jerusalem, and rule the world for a thousand years seated on the throne of David.
At this point you may be asking, “What difference does it make?” After all, many pastors who deny these things preach the Gospel and expound the Word with great conviction. Does it really matter if they deny Israel’s place in future biblical prophecy or regard the book of Revelation as having little relevance for us today apart from the final two chapters? Yes, it absolutely matters.
While most Christians agree on the fulfillment of prophecy relating to Jesus’ first coming, such harmony quickly disappears when one turns to prophecies related to His return to earth.
As one who has spent much time in the midst of the fray, I can attest to the pressing need to defend all that we hold dear. Attacks against our beliefs in the rapture, a literal tribulation, the second coming, Jesus’ reign seated on the throne of David, and the eternal state not only come from outside the church, they also emanate from Bible-believing pastors, writer, and teachers.
Today, many Bible-believing pastors ascribe to replacement theology, which asserts that God has replaced Israel with the church. They preach that Israel no longer has a place in God’s prophetic program for the future.
Is this true? No! This doctrine contradicts the clear teaching of Scripture in so many places! In Romans 11:1-2, Paul leaves no doubt as to the continuing place of Israel in prophecy, “I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. . . .”
Does the study of prophecy add value to the lives of believers they could not receive apart from it? Is it worth the effort talk about our future hope despite the controversy that rages over it today?
Yes, absolutely! The Lord provided us with prophecies regarding Israel, the rapture, and Second Coming throughout Scripture; the last book speaks almost exclusives on future things.
Here are five key reasons for talking about our future hope
In a previous post, I wrote about the vital place Israel has in prophecy. As we continue on this theme by looking at the scriptural foundation for this, it’s important to keep in mind why Israel’s place in prophecy matters to our hope of Jesus imminent return to take us to His Father’s house (John 14:2-3).:
With this understanding of why Israel’s future restoration to a glorious kingdom is vital for us, we will look at the disciples’ expectation regarding Israel moments before Jesus’ ascended to heaven. This, I believe, will open the door to understanding Israel’s future place in God’s prophetic program.
Those who have followed my blog know I often write about Israel’s continued place in God’s prophetic program.
Why do I do this? Why not just write about the signs and our immanent hope in Jesus’ return as I often do? Why defend Israel’s place in God’s prophetic program?
It’s precisely because our expectation of Jesus’ soon return is so important that I defend Israel’s future role in prophecy.
So many today believe that God rejected Israel as a nation after the Jewish people rejected Jesus. Others believe God never intended for there to be a difference between Israel and the church and thus believe that God’s covenants with the Patriarchs no longer matter in prophecy.
In this video, I show why the disciples’ question in Acts 1:6 as well as the Lord’s response points to a still future restoration of a kingdom to Israel.
We live in a day when the prophecies of Ezekiel 36-39 are coming to life before our eyes. The Lord miraculously brought Israel into existence in 1948 and the nation is flourishing, just as God said they would many years ago.
Yet, many Bible-believing preachers and writers today reject the idea that Israel has a place in future biblical prophecy. In support of their assertion, they list numerous writers, popular pastors, and many schools who agree with them regarding Israel.
Am I a vestige from the past because I believe in Israel’s future millennial glory and that a literal seven-year tribulation lies at our doorstep as I write?
It’s becoming increasingly popular in Bible-believing churches to believe that God rejected the nation of Israel after the first century Jews rejected Jesus. Those who hold this view believe that the Lord has replaced Israel with the church. As a result, the church now inherits the kingdom promises of the Old Testament in a “spiritual” sense.
This teaching often goes by the name of “replacement theology” or “amillennialism.” I have many problems with such teaching starting the words of Paul in Romans 11:2, “God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew.” I am not sure how some get around Paul’s clear assertion in this text that God has not rejected Israel, but many do.
Although Israel miraculously emerged as a nation seventy years ago fulfilling many biblical prophecies, many today still reject the idea that God will keep His promises to restore a kingdom to His people. Those who hold to this this position, often referred to as amillennialists, see no future for Israel in God’s prophetic program.
It has long been my contention that in their quest to negate God’s promises to Israel, amillennialists glorify the church rather than Jesus. They make God’s future kingdom all about what the church does by making life better in our current world. Can you see how over time this might open the door to socialism as a way to accomplish this?
The above picture of the orange grove reflects life in modern day Israel. As you can see, the trees can hardly contain the abundant harvest of oranges.
This is a far different scene from what Mark Twain saw when he visited the land in 1867. In his book The Innocents Abroad, he described it as “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.”
I recently read an article by Bert Farias on the Charisma News website entitled The Corruption of American Christianity: The Evil Agenda to Destroy America. In it, the writer shows how Marxist and Communist ideologies have gained a foothold in many churches and denominations throughout the United States.
Through a mixture of truth and error, the promoters of this leftist agenda not only sabotage the Gospel, but also the scriptural purpose of the church.
But why do some Christians fall for such errors while others immediately see their subversive intent? Why do so many elevate a purely social agenda above the Gospel?
Through all the ups and downs of my life, these words from Lamentations 3:22-25 have remained dear to my heart, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. . . . The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.”
The Hebrew word for “steadfast love” is chesed. You might see it translated “lovingkindness” or just “kindness” in other versions. It’s difficult for one English word or phrase to capture its total meaning in the original. In Scripture,
What do these things signify? The imminent conflict has the potential to light the fuse that leads to the fulfilling of the Gog and Magog prophecy of Ezekiel 38-39. We know that Russia, Iran, and Turkey are already closely aligned just as Ezekiel prophesied 2,500 years ago; all three countries have significant forces in Syria. It would not take much for them to combine forces and invade Israel precisely as the prophet said they will do.
On December 6, 2017 President Donald Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on behalf of the United States. In addition, he announced his intention to move our nation’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This all has huge prophetic significance.
We ARE living in the days leading up to the tribulation and thus to Jesus’ return for His church before the start of that time. So many things point to this. If there ever was a time to watch for our redemption (see Luke 21:28), it is now.
Since Jerusalem is so much in the news now, let me begin to explain why this is so based on a prophecy regarding this city.