By Nathan Jones
In December 2009 I was interviewed by Bill Salus, author of the popular Psalm 83-themed book Isralestine, host of the radio program "Prophecy Update," and evangelist on the end times website Prophecy Depot. Bill and I spent much of the interview discussing the Rapture, Middle East politics and my "left behind" video "Jesus Came. What's Next?"
Bill has been kind enough to allow The Christ in Prophecy Journal to reproduce the "Caught Up in the Pre-Trib Rapture" interview in transcript form, edited into an article series. To listen to the original radio program in mp3 format, I invite you to visit Prophecy Depot or KWBB.
In this segment, Bill and I will be discussing what an awesome witnessing tool Bible prophecy is and how it gives us so much hope for a better tomorrow.
An Awesome Witnessing Tool
Bill Salus: Let's assume that a prophetic fulfillment of a Psalm 83 war where Israel subjugates their hostile surrounding neighbors and becomes a Greater Israel occurs and the Church is still here. How could that be a witnessing tool for Christians who understand that prophecy, seeing it play out before our very eyes on FOX and CNN and other news networks. Wouldn't that be a great witnessing tool?
Nathan Jones: I know, Bill, that Isralestine would certainly become a number one best seller!
Bill Salus: I tell my wife that I am not praying for a Middle East war. I just think one is coming.
Nathan Jones: Yes, you are only the reporter, exactly.
We have so many signs of the times occurring right now showing that Jesus is coming back really soon. We have an arsenal of signs of the times that prove that. And yet, many Christian are like, "What will be, will be." They are not paying attention. But, when we see things heat up in the Middle East and then can point to Psalm 83 or your book which explains well a Psalm 83 war, we can say, "Look, this is prophetically going to happen and we are in it right now." A fulfillment of Psalm 83 in our lifetime would be a major prophetic resource in which to open people's eyes to the Bible and to God's promises.
Bible prophecy is so wonderful because it gives us an urgency to want to share the Gospel. I think if people see Bible prophecy being fulfilled right before their eyes they will get excited. As a matter-of-fact, we certainly have Bible prophecy being fulfilled this very day with Israel coming back into the land and being regathered from all the nations, which is the beginning process for the last days (Isa. 11:11-12; 66:7-8; Ezek. 37:21-22; Zech. 8:4-8). Bible prophecy makes us excited that we are living in a time where God's will and God's promises are coming together and culminating.
The Rapture is yet another exciting part of God's plan because as nice as this Earth is, I am anxious to get to Heaven in my glorified body and begin whatever work God will have for me there. Maybe God will let me garden in peace, I don't know. I want to just be with our Lord, be with my Savior.
Bible prophecy being fulfilled means Jesus' return is close. It gives us an opportunity to live holier lives. We live in a time when we need to get serious about our Christianity. As a parent, there are times when I see that look occasionally when I come home or I go into one of my kids' rooms and find they aren't doing something they should. They look up real quickly and their faces show, "Oops, you caught me doing something I shouldn't be doing." I don't want God coming back and seeing me making that same face.
Bible prophecy not only makes a great witnessing tool, but it also revitalizes the Church and makes us more focused on the Lord.
Bill Salus: Urgency, very good, well said!
The Vehicle of Hope
Bill Salus: Let's conclude with some comfort. You mentioned earlier John 14 as one of the Rapture passages. It says, "Let not your heart be troubled." Is that correct? Is that something you believe connects with, "Don't let your heart be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in me." Jesus is saying this, "In my Father's house are many mansions, if were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you I will come again and receive you to myself that where I am there you will may be also. And where I go you know and the way you know."
Nathan how does that connect? Is this what Jesus is doing now? Is He pounding some nails on mansions for Christians and then He is about to come get us and put us in our new homes?
Nathan Jones: God made the Creation in only six days and then He rested on the seventh. Since Jesus was resurrected, He has taken 2,000 years to build the New Jerusalem, so it must be beyond belief. I envy the Apostle John for being able to go see it early. When we talk about the magnitude and size of it - wow! I just read an article recently where the preacher goes into calculating the dimensions of how big this city actually is. And so, we know that we have a wondrous new place to live where Heaven and Earth will meet one day.
The best part about our future is that we get to be with our Savior — forever! This is the guy who died for us, the guy who loves us, the God who made us, and we get to spend an eternity with Him. We don't have to worry about crime and sin and death and sorrow anymore. We will have perfect relationships. I get to stop screwing up in my sin nature and be made whole and complete again. There is a lot to look forward to, and that gives us a lot of hope.
And, yes, there are some tough times coming on the world, like you said — wars in the Middle East, wars and rumors of wars. But, Jesus said in Matthew 24 that wars would proceed all of the wonderful things that will finally happen. But, at the end of it all, the glory that we will get to share in, and that we will be with God forever, well, that is well worth the suffering that we go through today.
Bill Salus: Speaking about the New Jerusalem, in Revelation 21 there is some description given. It says in Revelation 21:15, "It was measured with a reed and it was 12,000 furlongs in length, width and height and they are all equal." I had done some math on this once upon a time and those dimensions laid out would reach across American from San Diego in Southern California, all the way up to Seattle up the West Coast, stretched all the way from the South over toward the Houston area in Texas and equally and if you went square with it all the way up right up into Montana somewhere parallel to Seattle. We are talking about a pretty huge place!
We can also talk about how beautiful and spectacular the New Jerusalem will be. Of course, Jesus was a carpenter while on Earth. He was involved in the Creation.
Many folks in these tough economic times are losing your homes. You Christians, you need to keep you faith because Jesus is building you a new home and we will be there pretty soon. I know it is hard to not be victimized by the things you are going through in these tough times, but what Nathan and I are trying to tell you is to keep your faith in God. He is sticking to the blueprint, and the blueprint says He is coming to get us really soon.
And so, we need to be prepared. The hour of trial that is coming upon the Earth is coming soon. You can be fully equipped with your hope in Christ because at the end of 1 Thessalonians 4:18 concerning the Rapture the verse says, "Therefore comfort one another with these words."
Nathan Jones: Folks, Bible prophecy proves that the Bible is the truth. No prophecies by men are ever fulfilled, but in the Bible over 300 were fulfilled when Jesus came the first time and we have over 500 yet to be fulfilled by the Second Coming of Christ. We are in the middle of those two comings.
Not only did God create us and save us, but He wants us to live with Him forever, and He has done everything He could to accomplish that. So keep your eyes on the big picture. Keep your eyes on the end game when Jesus comes back and we live in a new world of peace, righteousness, and justice with the very God who made us, loves us and He gave up everything so that we can be with him. That means so much.
These times are indeed tough, and will continue to get tougher, so continue to pray, fellowship with other believers, and look for comfort among one another in the reading of the Bible. Just as Bill read, comfort and encourage each other with the knowledge that Jesus is coming back for us and He will deliver us to be with Him.