The midnight of world history is quickly approaching. Our generation has heard the hoof beats of the four horses of apocalypse for some time. It was once a distant thunder. But, that thunder now grows louder by the hour. Middle East war looms despite the talk of peace that seems impossible to achieve. More and more the world community puts the blame on Israel for the lack of progress toward making earth a safer place.
Middle East oil looms as the ever-growing factor that draws the world’s attention to the region. Religious hatred is the fuse to the Mid-East bomb that could be lit at any moment. The Bible says there will come from the Middle East a certain sort of peace. But, it will be a peace that destroys many people. What a strange peace that will be.
The one the Bible says will approve and guarantee the peace with “many” will appear to be the rider on the white horse. He will be the one for whom everyone has been looking. The “many” with whom he covenants to guarantee a seven-year treaty of peace will be the same “many” he will three-and-a-half years later try his dead-level best to completely destroy. He will seek, like Hitler, to murder every Jew in the world. He will attack Israel with viciousness unmatched by any in history.
All the armies of the world will gather at Armageddon. Those troops will turn from fighting each other and join forces to try to stop Christ from returning from heaven to earth. The sun will have gone dark, while at the same time heating up many times hotter than normal. Men will be “scorched” or “burned” by the heat. Antichrist will direct military fire at the returning King of kings. This will indeed be mankind’s midnight hour!
The Doomsday Clock of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists agrees with true Bible prophecy watchers. Mideast midnight is approaching. But this fact shouldn’t worry the Christian who truly seeks to understand God’s truth. God’s truth includes the “whole word” of the Lord, not just parts of the Bible. As we’ve mentioned before in many books and commentaries, fully 28 percent of the Bible contains prophecy. About one-half of that prophetic word has already come to pass. About one-half remains to be fulfilled. In other words, 14 percent of prophecy in the Bible will yet come to pass.
God can’t lie. And therein is contained a wonderful prospect. Earthly war will soon pass into history. Peace will fill the whole earth! Jesus Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords will break through the blackness of the Mideast midnight hour. He will speak, and the raging godless human forces of earth will instantly be defeated. A new era will begin. The time of fallen human history will be vanquished, and King Jesus’ millennial reign will begin.
So, Bible prophecy ultimately presents a picture not of gloom and doom, but of glorious, joyous peace. These times in which we live are deceptive. That is, we are lulled into believing that everything is great. Christians in many places around the world are in great trials. They are murdered by the hundreds and tortured by the thousands, according to Voice of the Martyrs and other organizations who keep watch on Satan’s war against the saints. However, Christians in America today are, for the most part, as caught up in this false feeling of security as are those who do not know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
Most who name Jesus as their Lord today hear little about the coming time of tremendous tribulation for Jews and Christians (people saved during the tribulation) during the last seven years of human history. Many pastors and teachers, for one reason or another, refuse to teach these all-important truths from God’s Word. Usually, the reason this is because the pastors and teachers aren’t taught these things in the seminaries they attend.
God the Holy Spirit gave the Apostle Paul something to say to our generation about that unfaithfulness to God’s Word: “They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths” (2 Tim. 4:4). We have grown comfortable with the “feel-goodisms” and “do-goodisms” coming from our pulpits. We don’t care to hear that horrors might be just around the corner. We want to hear about heaven, but not about hell; about how to love each other, not about how to witness to those who are lost and bound for an eternity apart from God.
This is exactly how the Bible says it will be at the end of the age. It will be earthly business as usual, with little thought for our true purpose as Christians. That purpose is to plant the seed of the Gospel so that God will reap a harvest of souls. Christ said: “You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him” (Lk. 12:40). The Lord was talking to Christians. Certainly, His church as a whole is in a time when looking for His coming in the Rapture isn’t popular.
We are told that He will return to the Mount of Olives after coming in the clouds with power and great glory. But the Bible also tells of an earlier return, not “to” the earth, but “above” the earth, in the air. The Apostle Paul prophesies as recorded in 1 Thessalonians 4:16: “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.”
That will be the “Come up hither” of Revelation 4:1. It will be Jesus Christ’s call to all Christians, both dead and alive, to meet Him in the air. He will take them home to His Father’s house (read John 14:2-4). It will be God the Father’s call to suppertime. Christians will go back to the Father’s house in heaven to enjoy the marriage supper of the lamb.
You don’t want to miss that meal. It will be heavenly!