One need only to tune in the nightly TV news, read the local newspaper, or surf the internet, to realize that this old world cannot continue on the course in which we are headed. In parallel to these current events, comes the Holy Scripture predictions of the "end times" events.
A time (7 yeard Tribution period) when God's Spirit will be poured out. (Joel 2:28-32) And a time when God's retribution will be turned loose on all mankind, for.(Matthew 24:21-22) (Daniel 12:1)
Famine and death will increase greatly
There will be earthquakes that cause every mountain and every island to be moved out of its place.
Hail and fire, mingled with blood, will be cast onto the earth until one-third of all trees and all its grass is burned up.
One-third of the sea will turn to blood
Demon creatures will torment men and will cause pain that is so terrible that men seek to die, but will be able to.
The antichrist will have complete rule.
The Jews will be sought after to be destroyed.
No one will be able to buy, or sell, with a mark of the beast on them.
Grievous sores will fall on men.
All the sea will be turn to blood.
Men will be scorched with great heat of the sun.
- Hail, weighing 100 lbs will fall to earth..
HALLELUJAH ! We will be with the Lord in the air. (Rapture) So, hang on to your hats, and keep looking up. (Revelation 1:3) For your redemption is close at hand.(Luke 21:28)
Contrary to some self-made soothsayers predictions, no one not even God's own Son knows when God will pull the plug on mankind and civilization as we now know it.( Matthew 24:36) However, scripture tells us to keep looking up. For there is a special crown given all believers who patiently await the appearance of Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 4:8)
One thing we do know, however, is that Jesus' return will be unexpected ( 2 Peter 3:1-18) and sudden ( 1 Thess 5:1-9). And His return could occur at any time now. Just look around at the selfish demographics of our current world(2 Cor 11:13-15 ). Today, evil abounds around every corner, from our government, to our materialistic life style. ( 2 Timothy 3:1-5)
And oh yes, don't forget the moderate life style of our churches. ( 2 Cor 4:4) What about the church ? What part does the church play in the end time? I am very worried, even now, concerning the church. And I say this name (church) loosely. I can surely see how the church could be taken by Satan's deception, as the church is not as it was in the beginning. The true "full gospel" ( 1 Cor 15:1-4) seems to be drifting away, in today's pulpits. A well known pastor once made the statement that when the rapture occurred, most churches would not even realize it. That's very sad.
Yes, the church is and will come under the fire of the unbelieving world, in the last days. ( 1 Cor 2:14) However, the church will always survive. ( Matthew 16:18) The Bible gives a vivid picture of the church in the last days. It is an apostate or counterfeit Christianity found in (Revelation Chapters 13-18) . Here, we find a merger of all religions under one great head in chapter 13.
There will be two Devil-inspired men, (The Antichrist) and (The False Prophet of the one world church), who will take over the rule of the earth after the rapture of the Church. The beast of (Revelation 13:1-10) is the Antichrist. Notice that this whole chapter deals with the worship of this man by the people.
The Apostle Paul uses similar language and issues a similar warning in referring to the last days. By echoing Christ's warning about apostasy, Paul provides an added insight. The Great lie reveals that the spiritual deception to which Christ referred, though it will of course involve rank unbelievers following the false anti-christs and false prophets, will and has infected the professing church. It will involve a great "falling away," or apostasy. (2 Thess 2:3)
We followers of Christ (Philippians 1:21) may needs go underground or meet in secret within homes, similar to the early Jewish church ( Acts 2:41-47), but the church will be here, as Jesus promised, until the "Rapture". And according to the fast moving world chain of events, this may happen any day.
I feel very strongly that we Christians don't have much time to wait. There is much prophecy that will take place between the rapture, the 7 year tribulation, the 1000 year reign of Christ on this earth and the new heaven and new earth. However, no prophecy needs to happen before the rapture.
Along about the first of November each year, we start seeing signs that Christmas must be near, as the decorations and tree trimming start showing up. We know by these displays, that Christmas is near but we also know that we must get over Thanksgiving before Christmas can happen.
A similar allegory to this scenario is that we know the rapture precedes the second coming of Christ by 7 years. Thanksgiving points to Christmas as the rapture does the second coming. By this, I am referring to the rapture (catching away) of the church and the second coming of Jesus.
The Bible gives us at many general signs of Christ's return, at the end of the seven year period. Some of which are: ( Luke 21:28) (Revelation 22:12 ) ( Revelation 21:6 ) ( Revelation 22:20 )
Some additional second coming signs to watch are the reunification of Europe, the coming of the antichrist, the rise of a one world government and religion, the rebuilding of the third temple in Jerusalem, the invasion of Israel from the north, and finally the great battle of Armageddon.
One subtitle hint of when God stops time, as we know it, is found in ( Romans 11:25). Many Bible scholars interrupt this passage to mean when the last Gentile is saved, according to God's plan, then the Rapture will occur. In fact, one preacher made the statement that every time he hears of a Gentile being saved, he shouts " Hallelujah" and starts looking to the sky.
In fact , Dr Charles Ryrie makes this comment as a footnote, to this verse of scripture, in his study Bible. The fullness of the Gentiles, i.e., the full number of Gentiles who will be saved (Acts 15:14). After this, God will turn again to the Jews and will save "all Israel" at the Lords return.
This particular theory is not widely published in the various prophecy circles, but should be one to consider. You see, if you want to hasten the rapture, then you should be active in your witnessing. For that next gentile, that you win to Christ, may be the one to hasten the rapture.
The rapture actually takes place in (Rev 4:1) This voice that John hears in verse 1 is either the voice of Jesus Himself, or the voice of Jesus' own personal messenger. It makes no difference; the message itself is from Jesus. When the Lord calls us to meet Him in the air, when the church is caught away. Then, the remaining passages of the book Revelation, is predicted for the times after the rapture.
(It is not within the scope of this message to give a comprehensive detailed synopsis into the remaining coming events, after the Rapture.)
One important scripture fact to remember is that the false church, headed up by the antichrist and the false prophet, cannot happen until the Holy Spirit is taken out of the world at the rapture. This gives us a bit of a break. ( 2 Thess 2:7) So, let us take advantage of this short time left, and be a "one person" evangelist to our friends and family. (Mk.16:15) (Mat.28:19) (Lk.8:39) ( Mk.5:19) (Mat.11:5) ( Isa.61:1) (Acts 26:22)
Author's Post Script:
Given our world's evil situation, I cannot help but wonder about our countries future, as relating with the end times. And along with this thinking comes thoughts of the anti-christ. What culture will he be ? What demographic area will he come from ? Could this man of sin be from the middle-east ? Could he be a well-known religious figure ? Could he come out of the European Union ? Could he be from the United Nations or even from our US government ? No one known, of course. Just a little speculation on my part. One thing for certain, he will be possessed by Satan.
I personally feel he is alive today and just waiting in the wings, to be overcome by the Devil. You see, this old world just cannot keep going like it's going. Something's got to give.
Here are some scriptures to read on what God says about the Antichrist.
- (Daniel 7:8) says that the Antichrist will have a mouth speaking great things.
- (Daniel 7:25) states the Antichrist will seek to change times and laws.
- (Daniel 8:25) says the Antichrist will rise to power as a man of peace.
- (Daniel 9:27) states the Antichrist will confirm a covenant (sign a peace treaty) for seven years of peace in the Middle East
- (Revelation 13:16-18) says the Antichrist will head up a one-world economy that will track all buying and selling using a mark in the hand or forehead.
HOWEVER, AS CHRISTIANS , WE SHOULD NOT FEAR. ( 2 TIMOTHY 1:7)
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