A Glimpse Into the Future

What does the future hold?

That question looms large in the minds and hearts of people around the world. Some ask it out loud and debate, predict, or philosophize about it. Others ponder it silently in the innermost recesses of their hearts. Still others resolutely push it aside and stifle all thoughts of what the future might bring. Whatever the case, the question refuses to be ignored.

Scripture Provides the Answer

Jesus Christ will take His earthly throne as King of kings and Lord of lords, and the kingdoms of this world will all become “the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ” (Revelation 11:15). However, according to Biblical prophecy, He must first come to catch away those who have made spiritual preparation for that event—those known in Scripture as the “Bride of Christ” or the “Church.” This occurrence, the Rapture of the Church, is the next great event to take place in God’s plan for the ages.

The Holy Spirit is in the world today, dwelling in the hearts of believers, and He is holding back a terrible tide of destruction that will come upon the world when the Bride has been taken away. (See 2 Thessalonians 2:7-8.) God’s wrath will then be poured out upon those who have rejected Him, in a period of time referred to in Scripture as the Great Tribulation—a literal time of terror and torment like has never been known.

How do we know that these cataclysmic events are just ahead?

Signposts

Scriptural prophecies clearly indicate that the culmination of God’s dealings with the people of this earth will soon occur. When Jesus’ disciples asked Him what signs would precede His coming and the end of the world, He responded with a comprehensive list. (See Matthew, chapter 24.) He said there would be:

• Wars and rumors of wars. Warfare has long been part of human existence, but the sheer annihilative potential of current weaponry and the possibility of conflict on a global scale, has made our day a unique and dangerous time unprecedented in history. Today, nine countries possess nuclear weapons,[1] and military engagements are constant. Since the end of World War II, there have been 280 armed conflicts involving one or more governments.[2]

• Famines. In 2016, an estimated 815 million people worldwide were suffering from hunger and malnourishment.[3] In addition to drought, other contributing factors of worldwide hunger include economic collapse, the displacement of people as a result of warfare, an increasing world population, and diminishing natural resources. In 2017, the chief economist for the United Nations World Food Programme said that twenty million people were in danger of dying from starvation in the next six months due to four different famines. [4]

• Pestilences. As of 2012, there were 219 virus species known to affect humans, and every year new strains of viruses are being discovered.[5] The past few decades have witnessed the emergence of “new” infectious diseases such as Ebola, HIV/AIDS, SARS, and the Zika virus. In addition, there is the growing problem of antimicrobial-resistant strains of “old” diseases such as influenza, malaria, and tuberculosis. According to the World Health Organization, about 490,000 people contracted a drug-resistant strain of tuberculosis in 2016.[6]

• Earthquakes. Approximately 500,000 earthquakes are detected in the world each year, though only around 100,000 are felt because many occur in remote areas or have small magnitudes.[7] In 2017 there were 13,095 earthquakes worldwide measuring 4.0 or greater.[8] In recent years, new technologies, such as processes related to oil and gas extraction, have increased the risk of earthquakes occurring in parts of the world where they were never before experienced.[9]

• Persecution and killing of followers of Jesus. Open Doors USA, which tracks persecuted Christians worldwide, stated that around the globe, oppression against Christians has increased with 215 million Christians experiencing high to extreme persecution in 2017.[10] A resolution passed by the United States House of Representatives condemning human rights abuses against Christians listed recent persecutions from around the globe, stating: “The Christian population in the Middle East has significantly decreased over the past few decades as a result of persecution, displacement, and genocide . . . such persecution ranges from social harassment and discrimination to physical violence, imprisonment, torture, enslavement, rape, and death.”[11]

• False prophets deceiving many. Since the time of Christ, numerous individuals have amassed followers by falsely claiming to be God’s messenger, including Mohammad in the seventh century, Nostradamus in the sixteenth, and more recently, Joseph Smith, Sun Myung Moon, and David Koresh to name a few.

• Widespread iniquity. This past century has seen an increasing tolerance for sins relating to the devaluing of human life and sexual immorality. In 2013, 61 percent of the world’s population was living in a country where abortion was legal on demand or for social and economic reasons,[12] and from 2010 to 2014 an estimated 56 million abortions were performed annually, constituting 25 percent of pregnancies worldwide.[13] Euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide are also gaining acceptance; one or the other is now legal in nine countries.[14] There is a growing movement to embrace “alternative lifestyles” as natural and healthy, and same-sex marriages are now recognized in twenty-six countries.[15]

• Declining love for truth.  As of 2017, over 11 percent of the world’s population did not claim any allegiance to a religion, and 45 percent adhered to Buddhism, Hinduism, or Islam.[16] Even many churches which at one time preached the fundamentals of Christianity—the new birth and a life without sin—have changed their doctrine, “having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof” (2 Timothy 3:5).

• The Gospel preached worldwide. Several interdenominational groups are currently working toward the goal of reaching every part of the world with the Gospel message. By 2001, the film entitled JESUS had been shown in every country of the world in over 1,000 languages.[17] Today, in addition to audio and video recordings and printed materials, the internet is taking the Gospel to places where it has never before been heard. One website, Bible.is, has posted the Bible online in 1,293 languages.[18] The Wycliffe Global Alliance reports that one or both of the Old and New Testaments are now available in 2,200 different languages, and organizations are currently working on 2,584 translations. They estimate translations are still needed in 1,636 languages.[19]

History in Advance

In addition to the end-time events detailed by Jesus, numerous other prophecies in the Word of God deal with the last days.

• Perilous times. Paul wrote that perilous times would come in the last days and evil men would become worse and worse (2 Timothy 3:1,13). We live in a day of inexplicable outbreaks of violence—riots, mass murder, and random shootings. In 2016, there were 469 suicide bombings in twenty-eight countries,[20] and in 2017 there were eight mass shootings in the United States alone, resulting in 117 deaths.[21]

• Automobile traffic. Nahum prophesied that in the end time, “chariots shall rage in the streets, they shall justle one against another in the broad ways: they shall seem like torches, they shall run like the lightnings” (Nahum 2:4). Automobiles throng our six- and eight-lane freeways; it is estimated that more than 1.2 billion are traveling the world’s roads today.[22] Each year motor vehicle crashes result in nearly 1.3 million fatalities and up to 50 million injuries globally, and are the leading cause of death among young people ages 15 to 29.[23]

• Widespread travel. Daniel prophesied that “many shall run to and fro” in the time of the end (Daniel 12:4). Air travel continues to increase worldwide, with about 4.1 billion people traveling by air in 2017.[24]

• Knowledge increased. Daniel also foretold that knowledge would be increased in the last days (Daniel 12:4). Modern computers have capabilities that would have been unfathomable a few decades ago, and technology is continually advancing. The Internet allows instant access to vast quantities of information, and engineering feats are performed that stagger the imagination.

Signs in the Nation of Israel

Perhaps the greatest sign of the end of the Church Age is found in recent happenings concerning the nation of Israel. Jesus said, “Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it [the coming of Christ] is near, even at the doors” (Matthew 24:32-33). Scripture teaches that this fig tree represents the Jewish nation. (See Jeremiah 24:5-10; Hosea 9:10; Luke 13:6-9.)

God said that because of their disobedience, the Jewish people would be scattered among all nations. During the thirty or more centuries of their perilous existence, the Jews have been on the verge of annihilation many times, yet they have always regained their footing. They have been miraculously preserved for a special purpose in connection with the future fulfillment of God’s plan.

• The Promised Land inhabited by Jews.  In 1948, a portion of the land promised by God to the Jewish people was restored to them in a United Nations vote, and they were declared a nation for the first time since 597 B.C. when they were conquered by the Babylonians. The new nation was named Israel. Today Jewish emigrants are moving to Israel from every country in the world just as the Bible foretold in Jeremiah 16:14-15.

• Jerusalem a burdensome stone. Zechariah prophesied, “In that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people” (Zechariah 12:3). Jerusalem has increasingly become a source of world contention as it is the location of holy sites significant to three major religions. Arab states captured a portion of the city in 1948 and barred Jews from entering. In the Six-Day War of 1967, Israel once again assumed full control of Jerusalem and renamed it their capital. On December 7, 2017, the United States became the first country to recognize it as such, and on May 14, 2018, moved its embassy there amidst violent Arab protests and international criticism.[25]

• Return of rainfall. When the Jews were scattered after the crucifixion of Jesus, the region became desolate, unproductive, and barren. For nearly 2000 years, rainfall was minimal. The Prophet Joel indicated that the rains would return when the Day of the Lord was at hand (Joel 2:1,23). At the turn of the twentieth century, rain began to fall in Palestine (modern-day Israel) and vegetation began to grow. From 1961 to 1990, the annual rainfall increased by roughly 30 percent.[26]

• Restoration of a pure language. The prophet Zephaniah foretold that the nation of Israel would have a pure language during the end times (Zephaniah 3:8-9). In 1982, Hebrew was declared the official and national language of Israel—a language which had been considered dead.

• Preparation to rebuild the Temple. Daniel 9:26-27 indicates that during the Tribulation period, the Temple sanctuary will be in use. Currently, in Jerusalem, several organizations are preparing to rebuild this sacred structure. The Temple Institute has recreated seventy artifacts needed to furnish the Temple and perform the sacred rites, including the golden menorah, the jeweled breastplate of the High Priest, and the musical instruments to be used by the Levitical choir. In addition, the Nezer HaKodesh Institute for Kohanic Studies was established in 2016 to train men from the tribe of Levi in performing the priestly duties of the Temple.[27]

• Availability of a red heifer. Numbers 19:1-10 indicates that a red heifer is necessary for the ceremonial purification of the Temple and the priests who serve in it. For over 2000 years, there has been no acceptable red heifer, though a handful have been located and then disqualified. Since 2015, rabbis of the Temple Institute have been coordinating an effort to breed a red heifer in Israel using the imported embryos of red Angus cattle.[28]

• Restoration of the shekel. According to Ezekiel 45:12-13,16, the shekel will be used as the offering to the Messiah at the Temple during the Millennium. In 1980, the shekel was restored as the official currency of Israel.

• Military victories. The overwhelming victories of Israel over the vastly superior armies of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan in 1948, 1967, and 1973 amazed the world. According to Zechariah 12:6, these victories are a prelude to the revelation of Christ at the end of the Great Tribulation.

• Jewish unbelief. In spite of the powerful evidence to Jews today that Jesus Christ is the promised Messiah, according to Romans 11:25, their continued unbelief is a sign of the nearness of the Lord’s Second Coming.

We are seeing a foreshadow of what is yet to take place in this nation which will be at the center of end-time events. The fig tree of Biblical prophecy is budding and putting forth leaves. The Jewish people, however, are not yet turning to God, nor crying for their Messiah as Zechariah prophesied they will do (Zechariah 12:10).

The Time of the Latter Rain

Another indication that we are living in the last days is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the Latter Rain foretold in Joel 2:23 and James 5:7. In the early 1900s, God gave a sign to an unbelieving world by pouring out the baptism of the Holy Ghost on a group of sanctified believers, just as it was given in the “early rain” on the Day of Pentecost. Since then, a widespread preaching of the Gospel by those endued with power from on High has resulted in the salvation of many souls, the sanctification of believers, the empowering of witnesses, and the healing of many from incurable diseases. Clearly, the Holy Spirit is in the world and is preparing a Bride for Jesus.

Without a doubt, the stage has been set. We are seeing the fulfillment of the prophesied events which are to herald the Rapture of the Church. Jesus could come back for His followers at any moment!

The Rapture of the Church

This event will occur when Jesus calls His followers (both Gentile and Jewish believers) with a trumpet blast, and they will be removed from the earth and transported to be with Him in the heavens. The Rapture will take place suddenly, unexpectedly, and lightning-fast—in the “twinkling of an eye,” according to Scripture. Jesus will descend from Heaven “with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God” (1 Thessalonians 4:16). The word rapture means, “being carried away in body or spirit,” and this is literally what will happen. Those who have died as Christians will arise from their graves to meet Him in the clouds. Then those who are alive, and who have prepared themselves for His coming, will be changed in a moment and will join Christ and the resurrected dead in the air. (See 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; 1 Corinthians 15:20-38.)

The Marriage Supper of the Lamb

The Christians who gather with Christ at the Rapture of the Church will take part in the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, described in Revelation 19:7-9. Jesus Christ is the Bridegroom, and He will serve the saints. (See Luke 12:37.)

There, rewards will be given for faithful service. Those who have labored for God’s glory will hear the words, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord” (Matthew 25:21). Some will be given authority over ten cities, others over five. (See Luke 19:12-19.) Among the rewards to the overcomer will be “to eat of the tree of life,” to wear “white raiment,” and to be given the “morning star.” Jesus said, “I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels,” and, “to him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” (See Revelation chapters 2 and 3.)

The Great Tribulation

While the Marriage Supper of the Lamb is taking place above, the terrible outpouring of God’s wrath will occur on earth because of mankind’s rejection of God’s love and mercy. This period of time, known as the Great Tribulation, is described in the Book of Revelation. The Tribulation will last seven years. It will begin with a covenant made between Israel and a world leader, identified in Scripture as the Antichrist, and it will end with the physical return of Jesus Christ to set up His kingdom on earth. In between these events, those on earth will experience seven years of fear and terror, of darkness and torment. Daniel, prophesying of this, said, “There shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book” (Daniel 12:1). Jesus spoke of the same time, “Then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:21).

The Antichrist

The dominant figure of the Tribulation will be the Antichrist, the “man of sin,” who will be revealed after the Bride has been taken out of the world. Initially, he will expand his empire through diplomatic ventures and subtle “peace” diplomacy. Only later will his true nature be revealed. His ascent to power will be rapid, and authority will be given to him from Satan. The Apostle John wrote of this man that “power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations” (Revelation 13:7). He will be a phenomenally persuasive and brilliant man, and also extremely wicked and diabolical. Scripture alludes to him as “the son of perdition” and also the “beast.” All who dwell upon the earth, whose names are not written in the Book of Life, will worship him. (See Revelation 13:8.)

As the Antichrist gains control of the world during the Tribulation period, those who follow him will receive an identifying mark. The mark or seal of the beast will be placed in the right hand or forehead of all his followers, and those who do not have the mark will not be allowed to buy or sell. “The mark of the beast” will be literal, and those who receive it will seal their own eternal damnation, for the Word says, “If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb” (Revelation 14:9-10).

The Antichrist will come into power through flatteries, the promise of peace, and a certain measure of prosperity. He will change his tactics during the Tribulation, however, and will become the most cruel and despotic ruler this world has ever seen. (See Revelation 13:1-18.)

The Jews during the Tribulation

For the past two thousand years, both Jews and Gentiles have had an opportunity to enter in and accept God’s grace, but after the Bride is taken away in the Rapture, and the Tribulation sets in, God will turn back to the Jews alone. (See Romans 11:25-27.) Because God will again deal with the Jews as His chosen people, the Tribulation is also known as the time of Jacob’s Trouble. During this time, the Jews will suffer in a greater measure than they ever have.

The Antichrist will deceive the Jewish people. He will make a treaty with them during the first part of his reign; among other things, this treaty will allow them to resume the ancient sacrificial system of temple worship. In the middle of his seven-year rule, however, he will ruthlessly break his covenant, ending the sacrifices and substituting the worldwide worship of himself and his image. (See Daniel 9:27.) This action will reveal to the Jews his demonic nature. When that covenant is broken, tribulation such as has never been known before will be poured out upon the Jews. A third of them will survive (Zechariah 13:9), and they will cry for their Messiah to come and deliver them.

Terrible Upheaval on Earth

During the Tribulation, God’s judgment will be poured out upon the earth in the form of horrendous environmental catastrophes. The following are some of the cataclysmic events which will take place during that period.

A storm of hail and fire mingled with blood will destroy one-third of all vegetation on the earth. (Revelation 8:7)

A meteor will hit the earth, causing the sea to become like blood. This will kill one-third of all creatures in the sea, and destroy one-third of the world’s shipping. (Revelation 8:8-9)

A star named Wormwood will fall from the sky and poison one-third of all fresh water. This will kill many people. (Revelation 8:10-11)

The sun, moon, and stars will be darkened by one-third, and both the day and night will not be lit for one-third of their time. (Revelation 8:12)

• Locust-like beings will be released from underground. Their attacks will be very painful and will last five months. (Revelation 9:3-10)

An army of 200 million horsemen on horse-like creatures will kill one-third of the earth’s
remaining population. (Revelation 9:15-19)

Two beings, referred to in Scripture as “witnesses,” will preach the truth of Jesus Christ for three and a half years and will be killed by the Antichrist at the midpoint of the seven-year tribulation. After three days, they will be resurrected and will ascend to Heaven in a cloud. (Revelation 11:3-12)

People who have taken the mark of the Antichrist will develop a dreadful sore on their bodies within a short time. (Revelation 13:16-18; 16:2)

The oceans will chemically change and become like congealed blood. Everything in the sea will die. (Revelation 16:3)

The fresh waters will become like blood. (Revelation 16:4)

The sun’s rays will scorch the people on earth with tremendous heat. (Revelation 16:8-9)

Great darkness will come upon the earth, and terrible pain will afflict its inhabitants. (Revelation 16:10-11)

The kings of the world will gather their armies to battle against God at Armageddon. The River Euphrates will dry up, whereby the “kings of the East” will march toward Palestine in preparation for this battle. (Revelation 16:12)

A tremendous earthquake will take place unlike any other—so devastating that all the mountains and islands will disappear. (Revelation 16:18-20)

A hailstorm, with hailstones weighing close to 100 pounds, will cause men to blaspheme God. (Revelation 16:21)

The End of the Tribulation

At the close of the Tribulation, all the armies of the Antichrist and of his henchman, the false prophet, will gather in Israel to war against God, in an effort to usurp the Kingdom that Christ will set up on earth. (See Revelation 16:13-14,16.) In their rage, they will especially ravage Jerusalem and destroy a great part of Israel’s population. (See Revelation 16:14-16; Zechariah 12:3.) At this point, the heavens will open and Christ will return to this earth in power and great glory with the heavenly host. He will execute judgment on the ungodly and set up His Millennial kingdom. (See Revelation 19:11-16.) The armies that follow Him upon white horses are the raptured saints.

Christ’s feet will touch the Mount of Olives, and then, in a bloody encounter which will eclipse every other war known on earth, He will wreak vengeance and judgment upon His enemies. Concentrated in a place called Armageddon (possibly the Valley of Megiddo), the resulting carnage will cover a two-hundred-mile expanse. The birds will feast upon the dead bodies of the slain. During the battle, the Antichrist and the false prophet will be cast alive into the lake of fire. (See Revelation 19:20-21.) The armies of the Antichrist will be slain with the sword from Christ’s mouth.

The surviving Jews will accept their Messiah, whom they have so long rejected. “They shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son” (Zechariah 12:10).

Christ’s Millennial Reign

Following the Battle of Armageddon and the close of the seven-year Tribulation, the Millennium, or thousand-year literal reign of Christ and His saints, will begin. Jesus will be crowned King of kings and Lord of lords, and will judge the nations. (See Matthew 25:31-32.) This will be a time of peace and blessing, in which the people of earth will enjoy a “Garden of Eden” existence. The curse, which came upon the earth when Adam and Eve disobeyed God, will be lifted from creation, and the glorious and everlasting Kingdom of Christ and His saints will be established in peace. The Millennial Kingdom will have the following characteristics:

Jesus will rule from Jerusalem. The Lord is going to rule the world with the seat of His government in Jerusalem. Christ’s kingdom will never be destroyed. (Zechariah 14:9; Isaiah 24:23; Daniel 2:44)

Saints will reign with Jesus. The armies that follow Jesus from Heaven, after the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, will rule and reign with Him. Among this group will be the prophets, Apostles, and martyrs of ages past, who will also return in glorified bodies to take part in Christ’s government. (Jude 14-15)

Satan will be bound. An angel will come from Heaven and bind Satan for a thousand years, casting him into a bottomless pit. For the first time since the fall, people will dwell in the world without the power of Satan to tempt or torment them. (Revelation 20:1-3)

War will end. Nation will no longer fight against nation, and preparations and equipping for warfare will be over. (Isaiah 2:4)

Sickness and disease will be eliminated. After the curse has been lifted, all who remain and come under the rule and dominion of Christ will be set free from every disease and sickness. (Isaiah 35:5-6)

Mankind will enjoy longevity. Men will live long to enjoy the blessed reign of Jesus. (Isaiah 65:20)

Animal nature will be changed. The venom of the serpent, the sting of the scorpion, the instinct to kill in the wolf and the lion—everything that is savage and brought on by the curse in the animal kingdom will be done away with. (Isaiah 11:6-9)

Vegetation will be luxuriant. In our world today, even vegetation is dwarfed as a result of the curse. Nothing grows as lushly now as it will when Jesus reigns on earth. (Isaiah 55:12-13)

Nations will rebuild. The people who survive the Great Tribulation will rebuild. (Isaiah 65:21)

Annual visits will be made to Jerusalem. Everyone will be required to make a yearly visit to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts. (Zechariah 14:16-19)

Nations will worship God. All nations that remain will be brought into subjection to the Son of God. They will then obey the Word of God. (Micah 4:1-2; Zechariah 8:20-22)

The Jews during the Millennium

During the Millennial Reign, God will renew His covenant with Israel. “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people” (Jeremiah 31:31-33).

Close of the Millennium

At the close of the Millennium, there will be a fresh outburst of evil, when Satan shall be “loosed [for] a little season” (Revelation 20:3). A final rebellion will take place, followed by swift judgment. Satan will go out to deceive the nations in the four quarters of the earth, and will gather them together to battle against God in a conflict known as the Battle of Gog and Magog. The armies will surround the camp of the saints—the city of Jerusalem. At that point, fire will come down from Heaven and destroy them. The devil will be cast into the lake of fire for eternity. (See Revelation 20:7-10.)

The Great White Throne Judgment

Then will come the Great White Throne Judgment. At this time, God will assemble the wicked living and wicked dead to stand before Him who sits on the Throne. The books will be opened, and all present will be judged according to their deeds done in the body. (See Revelation 20:11-12.) Because none of their names will be found written in the Book of Life, all will be cast into the lake of fire. (See Revelation 20:15.) There they will remain throughout eternity.

“Then Cometh the End”

Christ will reign until time has run its course. “Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet” (1 Corinthians 15:24-25).

Scripture tells us that the present heavens and earth will be destroyed by fire at the close of the Millennium. (See 2 Peter 3:12-13; Micah 1:3-4.) After the earth has been destroyed by fire, God will establish the “new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness” (2 Peter 3:13). The heavenly headquarters for the universe—the New Jerusalem—will descend from Heaven. The redeemed will dwell with God forever, and the new heavens and earth will never pass away.

Be Ready!

We are living in tremendous days, the time of the end of the age and the end of the world. Have you made the proper spiritual preparation? Your answer could have awesome and irrevocable consequences. Realize that if you neglect those preparations, you are gambling with the eternal destiny of your never-dying soul!

There are those who say they believe that the end is near, but who speculate that perhaps the Lord will delay His coming a few years longer. We have no guarantee of that. The minutes on God’s clock are ticking by, and the evidence is conclusive:  The culmination of the ages cannot be far in the future.

God wants us to have our eyes on the skies. We do not know the day or the hour of His return for His Bride, but we do know that those who are watching and waiting will be ready when He comes. Those who are looking for the coming of Jesus want to be like Him. There is ample instruction in the Bible about what the Lord expects His follower to be. He shed His Blood to wash away our sins and to make us pure in heart, so there will be no excuse for those who do not prepare themselves for His coming.

The Apostle John’s parting words were: “He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20).

Let’s be ready for that day!

Notes

[1]Hans Kristensen and Robert Norris, “Worldwide deployments of nuclear weapons, 2017,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 73:5 (August 31, 2017): 289-297, https://doi.org/10.1080/00963402.2017.1363995.

[2] Kendra Dupuy, Scott Gates, Havard Mokleiv Nygard, Ida Rudolfsen, Siri Aas Rustad, Havard Strand, and Henrik Urdal, “Trends in Armed Conflict, 1946-2016,” Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO): Conflict Trends Project (February 2017), https://www.prio.org/Publications/Publication/?x=10599.

[3] Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), World Food Program (WFP), and World Health Organization (WHO), The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2017: Building resilience for peace and food security, (Rome: FAO, September 5, 2017), http://www.fao.org/3/a-I7695e.pdf.

[4] Tom Miles, “Four famines mean 20 million may starve in the next six months,” Reuters (February 16, 2017), https://www.reuters.com/article/us-un-famine/four-famines-mean-20-million-may-starve-in-the-next-six-months-idUSKBN15V0ZO.

[5] Mark Woolhouse, Fiona Scott, Zoe Hudson, Richard Howey, and Margo Chase-Topping, “Human viruses: discovery and emergence,” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 367:1604 (September 10, 2012), https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2011.0354.

[6] World Health Organization (WHO), “Antimicrobial Resistance,” News: Fact Sheets (last updated February 15, 2018), http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs194/en.

[7] U.S. Geological Survey, Earthquake Facts, http://earthquake.usgs.gov/learn/facts.php (accessed July 3, 2018).

[8] U.S. Geological Survey, “Search Earthquake Catalog,” Search Parameters: Magnitude = 4.0-10; Date & Time =  2017-01-01 00:00:01 to 2017-12-31 23:59:59; Geographic Region =  World, https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/search (accessed February 13, 2018).

[9] Justin L. Rubinstein and Alireza Babie Mahani, “Myths and Facts on Wastewater Injection, Hydraulic Fracturing, Enhanced Oil Recovery, and Induced Seismicity,” Seismological Research Letters 86:4 (July/August 2015), https://profile.usgs.gov/myscience/upload_folder/ci2015Jun1012005755600Induced_EQs_Review.pdf.

[10] Lindy Lowry, “2015 Million Believers Face Persecution for Their Faith in Christ,” Open Doors USA (January 10, 2018), https://www.opendoorsusa.org/christian-persecution/stories/215-million-believers-persecution-for-their-faith-in-christ.

[11] Condemning the Persecution of Christians around the World, H.R. Res. 407, 115th Cong (2017), https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/hres407.

[12] United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, “Abortion Policies and Reproductive Health around the World,” United Nations publication, Sales No. E.14.XIII (2014):11, http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/population/publications/pdf/policy/AbortionPoliciesReproductiveHealth.pdf.

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[19] Wycliffe Global Alliance, “2017 Bible Translation Statistics FAQ: Going Deeper,” (November 2017), http://resources.wycliffe.net/statistics/Wycliffe%20Global%20Alliance%20Statistics%202017%20FAQs_EN.pdf.

[20] Yoram Schweitzer, Aviad Mendelboim, and Yotam Rosner, “Suicide Attacks in 2016: The Highest Number of Fatalities,” The Institute for National Security Studies, No. 887 (January 5, 2017), http://www.inss.org.il/publication/suicide-attacks-2016-highest-number-fatalities.

[21] Bonnie Berkowitz, Denise Lu, and Chris Alcantara, “The Terrible Numbers that Grow with Each Mass Shooting,” The Washington Post (last updated June 29, 2018), https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2018/national/mass-shootings-in-america.

[22] International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (OICA), “World Vehicles in Use by Country and Type, 2005-2015, All Vehicles,” http://www.oica.net/wp-content/uploads//Total_in-use-All-Vehicles.pdf (accessed July 2, 2018).

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[24]International Air Transport Association (IATA), “Annual Review 2017,” (June 2, 2017), http://www.iata.org/publications/pages/annual-review.aspx.

[25] Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz, “Trump to End Jerusalem’s 70-Year Exile with Historic Recognition of Capital, Embassy Move,” Breaking Israel News, (December 6, 2017), https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/98959/president-trump-end-jerusalems-70-year-exile-recognition-capital-embassy-move.

[26] T. Ben-Gai, A. Bitan, A. Manes, and P. Alpert, “Long-Term Changes in Annual Rainfall Patterns in Southern Israel,” Theoretical and Applied Climatology 49, no. 2 (June 1994): 59-67, https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00868190.

[27] Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz, “School to Train Levite Priests for Third Temple Service to Open in Jerusalem,” Breaking Israel News, (August 4, 2016), https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/73287/school-year-begins-for-third-temple-priests/#4rZjAO0mUk21Fg1C.97.

[28] Rabbi Chaim Richman, “The Red Heifer: Fact & Fiction,” The Temple Institute, https://www.templeinstitute.org/red-heifer-fact-and-fiction.htm, (accessed July 2, 2018).

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