North Korean leader Kim Jong-un continues to fire off missiles that fail shortly after lifting off. But there are enough successes to portend a time when he can arm them with nuclear devices to kill hundreds of thousands. The ayatollahs and military of Iran continue on course to produce deliverable nuclear weapons to rain upon the hated Israel. Russian president Putin becomes more bellicose by the day, sending his bombers near America’s Alaskan shores. He has fighter jets buzzing American aircraft within twenty feet in some cases.
Syrian dictator Assad continues to inflict genocide in the region, no doubt causing Israel’s military to consider preemptive action to protect the Jewish state.
China, despite some minor, peaceful overtures to President Trump and America, continues to build its military and new bases in waters that are considered international rather than Chinese territorial waters. ISIS and the many Israel-hating terrorist entities continue to plan and carry out murderous assaults around the world.
This is a time that there is a cry for peace and safety, while there seems little peace upon the planet.
Our president is going to the Middle East to have a go at formulating a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians–a thing many diplomats of every stripe have tried but failed to achieve.
Everything in regard to those geopolitical exigencies seem to point to just how near this generation is to the time of Tribulation, the final seven years immediately preceding Christ’s Second Advent. But, those represent only one side of the equation that makes up the signals we are to look for in being watchmen on the wall as Bible prophecy fulfillment draws near.
While the volatility and violence that will be part of end-times indicators are certainly something to consider, Jesus painted a much different picture that will be on the scene when He next catastrophically intervenes into the affairs of fallen mankind.
We know that the Bible–that God’s prophets–never contradict one another. If we search deeply enough and long enough, we will see the interconnectedness and the absolute integrity of prophetic truth. So, how, as God’s Word says, does Paul’s prophecy, “evil men and seducers will [get] worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived,” comport with Jesus’ own words about the moment He will next break in upon this rebellious world?
How does, for example, the Lord’s own declaration make sense? He prophesies that people will be buying, selling, marrying, and building–doing all the things of everyday life. How does that declaration not conflict with the Revelation foretelling twenty-one devastating judgments given to John on Patmos?
That is, how does such a not-unpleasant set of circumstances like Jesus describes using the days of Noah and of Lot not contradict the Olivet Discourse? The Lord’s words there describe conditions so horrific when Christ comes back that no flesh would be saved if He did not return at that moment (Matthew 24: 21).
The only answer to why there are these diametrically different prophetic descriptions–that of business as usual and that of the worst times of human history–is, of course, wrapped up in the apostle Paul’s foretelling.
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:51-52)
The pre-millennial, pre-tribulation view of Christ’s return is the only view that answers the big questions about the apparent contradictions.
God’s next catastrophic intervention into the affairs of rebellious mankind’s evil doings will take place in two phases. The first involves the “mystery” Paul describes in 1 Corinthians 15: 51-55. All born-again believers who have died or are living will in one stunning moment be translated into supernatural bodies and instantly appear with Jesus Christ above planet earth.
Jesus tells that at the time of that event–the Rapture–things will be relatively normal for most living on the earth. As a matter of fact, I believe His words tell that it will be business even better than usual.
I will expand on this greatly in my next book which, God willing, will be available late this year.
The second phase of Christ’s Second Coming will, of course, be that moment when He comes back with all the saints to put an end to man’s most terrible war–Armageddon (Revelation 19:11-12).
At that time, the earth will have been devastated by war and God’s wrath. Again, Jesus said that all flesh would die if He didn’t intervene at that moment.
God’s judgment will begin, Jesus said, the very day He is next “revealed.” That will be at the Rapture, when all the earth will know there has been a tremendous event that made millions simply vanish. Like in Lot’s day, God’ judgment will begin that very day, Jesus says as recorded in Luke 17:26-30. God’s wrath won’t begin until the covenant of Daniel 9:27 is confirmed. But judgment will begin immediately, we are told by the Lord, Himself.
It will be a catastrophic intervention right from that twinkling-of-an-eye moment!
I believe we, as watchmen, should be observing the times to see if there is in the near future a noticeable upswing in national and international economies–this in conjunction with considering all the traditional signals that the Bible describes.