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:
Though only a small child at the time, I remember the sight of a large old farmhouse with a peculiar small room on top of it with windows on all sides. The farmer told my dad that the previous owner of the homestead had the lookout post built on the pinnacle of the roof so he could watch for the return of the Lord.
While we admire this man’s confidence in Jesus’ promise to return for us, is this really what Jesus meant by watching for His appearing? Although our English word for “watch” fits such passive behavior as looking out a window, the word in the original implies much more than that.
What does Jesus tell us to do in light of His imminent return? What do His instructions tell us about our expectation of His appearing?
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.
You and many others who have chosen to read this commentary are likely in agreement. We find ourselves at a time in which the future is indeed murky. The very fact makes it a time of uneasiness–of profound uncertainty.
With so many existential threats (factors portending possible, even probable, future disruption for our lives), many look to the 2020 presidential election with a shadow of oppressiveness clouding their thoughts.
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.
When it comes to the book of Revelation, many divorce the opening chapters from the remainder of the book. They do so by regarding the opening chapters as “The Revelation of Jesus Christ” (1:1), but not the remainder of the apocalypse.
Jesus’ words to the seven churches, for example, represent not only Jesus’ message to a sampling of current congregations, they also reveal the future of the church. This article provides a few examples of how we can connect the dots from the introduction to the remainder of the book of Revelation.
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.
Believers who do not know how to defend the message of the book of Revelation can become easy prey for those who seek to rob them of its message of comfort and hope.
Why do I make such a seemingly outrageous clam?
It’s because even some pastors of Bible-believing churches relegate much of the book of Revelation to allegory.
I know “courageous hope” sounds like an oxymoron. After all, does it really require courage to hope for a sunny day, a successful job interview, or a speedy recovery from an illness?
Biblical hope, however, differs radically from what typically comes to our minds when we hear the word “hope.” For those of us in Christ, Jesus’ resurrection provides absolute confidence that His promises for our tomorrows will not fail.
Although our desire for the weather to cooperate with our plans may not happen, we can trust the words of Jesus regarding our future.
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.
What did the early church believe about the rapture? Is there evidence that some believed Jesus would take His church out of the world before a time of tribulation?
Of course, we must base our beliefs on the words of Scripture, which is our only sure guide. But because the our belief is relentlessly mocked is something that cannot be true because no one in the early church believed it, I provide evidence to the contrary.
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?
According to the Center for Disease Control, the life expectancy in the United States has declined for the third year in a row. The last time this happened was a century ago, 1915-1918, when our country entered World War I and 675,000 Americans died because of the Spanish Flu.
This time it’s not war or a flu pandemic contributing to the decline in life expectancy, it’s hopelessness. The key contributors to the current decline are drug overdoses (at least 90,000 in 2018), suicides (45,000 in 2017), and alcohol abuse. Researchers Anne Case and Angus Deaton have dubbed these as "deaths of despair.”
In my last post, I began listing reasons why we should regard the rapture as a separate event from the Second Coming. Much confusion exists today over this mater.
Because so many today fail to make the distinction between the two events, or fail to even believe in a rapture, it’s important to understand why it is different than the Second Coming.
My hope of forever also keeps my perspective balanced between now and forever by reminding me that eternal realities are so much more valuable than the fleeting things of this life. That, however, was a lesson I learned the hard way!
It took the Lord working through much pain and chaos in my life to change my earthbound outlook on life and through that to put me on the path of healing in my battle with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).
Note: This is a repost for those new to my blog!
A recent news story about a thief in Rochelle Park, NJ caught my attention. In the process of robbing a home, he woke up the couple who lived there. Not wanting to get caught, he climbed back out of the window through which he had entered the house and fled from the scene.
Here’s where the story gets interesting. He had previously arranged with a car service to meet him in the neighborhood to unwittingly provide his way of escape. However, in his haste he climbed into the backseat of a police car parked a block away from the home he had attempted to rob.