By far the most discussed coming event of the Last Days is this one referred to by most as the Rapture of the Church. Not only is it a popular subject but also is one on which many people have opposing views. As someone that takes scripture in a very literal sense, I believe in what is called a pre-tribulation rapture.
The loudest argument I have encountered by those that do not believe as I do involves a disbelief that certain people will be able to escape the coming days of wrath foretold in the Bible for planet earth and her inhabitants. However, the Bible has clearly described past historical events through which people chosen by God escaped judgment that fell upon others. Possibly those who choose not to think this way are the same ones that claim a God of love would not judge people in such a harsh manner.
The message of the rapture as the apostle Paul explained it was to allow those who had decided to be followers of Jesus Christ to escape this period of judgment because of their identification with the Lord. I think what most individuals fail to realize is that this is the only qualification people will have in order to participate in such a unique event.
Those involved in the rapture will not be there because they belong to certain religious organizations. It does not make any difference if they have been loyal Baptists, Presbyterians, Catholics, Pentecostals, members of the Church of Christ, Jews, Mormons, Muslims, Hindus or any other group you wish to mention. It is possible that those who do participate in the Rapture will come from most of those groups just as it is probable that many who are left behind will also come from these same organizations.
Whether or not you escape the time of judgment called the Tribulation depends on whether or not you have accepted the invitation of Jesus Christ to receive the gift of salvation that He purchased for you on the cross of Calvary just over 2000 years ago outside the walls of the ancient city of Jerusalem. Once the rapture has occurred those who miss out on it will have to find some way to survive until the end of the Last Days. Becoming a believer in Jesus Christ in those days will not guarantee your survival of the terrible events to come but it will secure you a place in the coming kingdom of the Messiah.
The Rapture is only one of many events we can expect to happen before Jesus Christ does come to set up His kingdom in the Holy City of Jerusalem. Of all these events it is the only one that can happen at any time and does not require something else to take place in order for its occurrence.
SIGNPOSTS of the Last Days was written to describe many of the key events that are going to take place before the coming day when Jesus Christ returns to the Mount of Olives. Where possible they have been presented in the possible order of their appearance on the world stage. If you are not a believer in Jesus Christ or if you have friends who are not, this work will be helpful for them should their believing friends and family members should some day mysteriously disappear.
President Barack Obama has been quoted as saying he “thinks Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu doesn’t know what’s good for his country.” This has been considered as a possible “purposeful leak” to influence upcoming elections in Israel.
Should this possible lack of support of Israel continue by the United States, it becomes easier to see that the coming conflict predicted in Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39 is much closer to reality. The Old Testament prophet provides a picture of Israel as being totally alone when invaded by a confederacy of nations from the north.
The only effort by possible allies of God’s chosen people is a cautiously worded diplomatic protest timidly asking the question of the invaders, “Why have you come?” It is predicted events by the Bible such as this one that allow Christians to recognize that time is moving on toward the day of the return of Jesus Christ to planet earth.
“SIGNPOSTS of the Last Days” discusses some of the more prominent of these signs to help the reader understand exactly what the Bible has said concerning them. It is coming ever increasingly closer that we should be looking “up for our redemption draws near.”
Many people have been asking me if I think that President Obama could be the “man of sin” described on the pages of scripture. This is not an unusual attempt to label a current well known figure as the future world dictator. It may shock many of those who like to think this as a possibility to know that some felt Ronald Reagan could have been the man. The only thing I can say for certain is that many historical figures suspected of having the qualifications to be the one called the desolator all passed from the scene without actually being the suspect.
There are definitely things about the current president of the United States that makes you wonder if he indeed is the anti-Christ. One in particular is the constant debate about his origin and the calls by opponents for him to prove it beyond any doubt. The Bible seems to indicate that just such a question may exist regarding the beast of Revelation and Daniel. This coming prince will rise to power in a way that will surprise those who watch it happen. This again is another question hurled against Mr. Obama concerning his qualifications to have been elected to the highest office in our land.
However, it is also clear in the Bible that the enemy of Christ will be a part of what some call a “Revived Roman Empire.” This would indicate that the ruler would be geographically a part of the European Continent. It must be said that Mr. Obama does have a large following of supporters there and in his early days as President made some comments one could interpret as directives for the rest of the world as if he had those powers.
The rise to power of the coming dictator will catch the world somewhat off guard as rulers of the prophesied power structure actually surrender their power to him. This could open the door for someone who was born in an extension of the former Roman Empire to be welcomed as a ruler even though he did not arrive by traditional means. Our President has made something of a career in doing just that.
In SIGNPOSTS of the Last Days, I make the point that all of this is a mute point for followers of Christ in today’s world in my opinion. A comment made by Paul stating that anti-Christ would not be revealed until “he that restrains is taken out of the way” indicates that something will occur before he is actually made known. In other words, there is a force in the world existing since the day of the apostle that prevents the man of sin from being able to step forth on the world stage in such a way that he will be knowable to all. I state it this way because other information about him in the Bible indicates that many in the world will be deceived to the point that they do not recognize his evil agenda even though they can see it.
As one who has confidence in the coming rapture of the Church, it is my belief that Paul is telling us that anti-Christ will not achieve this state of recognition as long as the true Church of the Lord Jesus Christ dwells in bodily presence on planet earth. I believe that it also goes along with this thought that Christ followers living just before his revelation will not necessarily be able to identify him even though Jesus does tell us that we will be able to see the signs of the time that make us know it is very near.
Those of us who have chosen to follow Jesus Christ would do very well to invest our concern over people that we can impact in our lives today who have not made a similar choice as we. We are called by this very same Jesus to spread His gospel to a lost and dying world in order that many more be able to avoid the wrath that is to come. The final chapter of SIGNPOSTS specifically tells us how really critical it is for us to be concerned with our calling.
Most students of Bible prophecy consider the next likely event on the prophetic calendar to be the coming invasion of Israel from the northern confederation led by Russia and Iran. The rapture of the Church could precede or follow this event by some period of time.
Recent news of the rise of the Sunni alliance in the Mid-East predicts this could weaken Iran and the ‘Shiite crescent.’ Current uprisings, wars and economics have been credited with altering the regions landscape making it possible for a new axis to emerge led by a Sunni alliance of Egypt, Qatar, and Turkey. This group of nations led the way in helping solve the current crisis between Israel and Gaza. In doing so, they have reportedly attracted Hamas away from the fold composed of Iran, Syria and Hezbollah. This could serve to isolate Iran making it harder for the enemies of Israel to build military strength closer to the border of Israel.
While, on the surface, this seems to stall the prospect of an invasion including Iran as Ezekiel predicts we must realize that from the mouth of the prophet we are told other nations are surprised by the attack that is taking place. With the present fears of a nuclear armed Iran, it is not a stretch of imagination to see an attack that is fostered by hate and miscalculation. In addition, the destruction of the attacking forces described by Ezekiel cause one to think that inexperience of the attacking army in possibly untried weapons could cause their own aggression to back fire upon them much as ancient enemies of Israel experienced thousands of years ago.
The important thing for those watching prophecy is to realize that God has allowed the confederation predicted in the two chapters of Ezekiel in consideration to enter into early stages of creation. This confederation is the focus of an early chapter in “SIGNPOSTS of the Last Days. God, indeed, is the Blessed Controller of All Things.
In the first chapter of SIGNPOSTS of the Last Days we talked about God having a plan for the ages including seven different time periods in which He would provide the way to have a relationship with Him. We have summarized the first five and focused on the sixth as we related different ways in which mankind has failed to live in a way qualifying us to spend eternity with Him. Though we have called this work Signposts of the Last Days, we have concentrated on the final days of the sixth age we are calling the Age of Grace or the Church Age. We chose the “last days” because of references in the New Testament telling us specifically that these are the last days. However, in the history of the world being written, the Bible indicates these are the last days before Jesus Christ reenters history and establishes the permanent throne of the Messiah in the city of the king, Jerusalem.
Bad Behavior has blocked 3 access attempts in the last 7 days.