Friday, August 20, 2010

Quick Q&A: Are We Near the Return of Jesus?

Nathan JonesPDFBy Nathan Jones

Q) Are we getting really close to Jesus' return?

To answer this tough Bible question, Dr. David Reagan and I on a Christ in Prophecy television episode interviewed Dr. Ron Rhodes. Dr. Rhodes is the founder and director of Reasoning From the Scriptures Ministries. With nearly 50 books penned and decades of public teaching, he is an expert on the Bible. As a former "Bible Answer Man," he specializes in easy to understand answers to the really tough questions about the Bible and the defense of the Scriptures.


Dr. Ron Rhodes

I think that we are.

Let's recognize the key foundational prophecy for this conclusion — Israel has become a nation again and the Jews are streaming back into the Holy Land. It's interesting that back in the 1800's a couple of prophecy experts were writing about the eventual rebirth of the nation of Israel. Everybody was saying, "No, it will never happen. That's just an impossibility." But, then in 1948 it really did happen. It's an amazing unfolding of events!

I think Israel's return sets the stage for everything else to happen. If that one thing had not happened, I have a problem in all other end time prophecies because that fulfillment really is the foundation on which to build from.

Beyond Israel's return, we've got all kinds of other evidences that we are living in the season of the Lord's return. For example, we've got a movement today towards the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple. Money is being raised, blueprints have been drawn, and people are gathering the paraphernalia. People are working on interacting with the Jewish people over there to give them the dream and the vision and so forth to rebuild.

Beyond that, the alignment of nations that will one day form a coalition against Israel exists. That coalition would include Russia and Iran and the Sudan and Libya and Turkey. All those nations are even now forming alliances with each other. The European Union I believe sort of sets the stage for the return of the Roman Empire.

The way I like to look at it is this: If you can imagine a bunch of lines intersecting each other at some point in the near future, one of these lines is the Jewish Temple, another of these lines is the rebirth of Israel, all these different prophecies are coming true, apparently intersecting at some point in the near future. And so, it's the accumulative weight of all of those evidences that leads me to believe that indeed we are living in the very end times.


Nathan's IMHO

If Jesus is returning soon, as Dr. Rhodes shows the evidences clearly indicate, then what will His return look like for you?

If you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, then the Bible says Jesus will take from the world you and those others who have accepted Him as Savior up to Him in an event called the Rapture (John 14:1-14; 1 Corinthians 15:51-59; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

But, if you have yet to receive Jesus' lifeline of salvation, then there will be seven more years for you until Jesus returns, assuming you don't die first. These are the events that will lead up to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

These next events could happen before the Rapture, but most likely will occur after. They center around the nation of Israel as it grows in size to defeat it's hostile neighbors. Russia, Iran, Turkey and a host of Islamic nations will form an alliance to destroy Israel, but they will be soundly defeated supernaturally by weather and in-fighting. Damascus will be destroyed in one day (Isaiah 17; Jeremiah 49). The result will be that the world will recognize God was certainly involved in Israel's victory (see Ezekiel 38-39).

The following events are sure to happen after the Rapture. A one world leader whom the Bible calls "Antichrist" will rise to world power (Daniel 9:26-27; Revelation 6:1-2). He will desecrate the newly rebuilt Jewish Temple after 3 1/2 years and his promoter called the False Prophet will force the world to worship the Antichrist (Revelation 13).

Seven years of Tribulation will ravage the world through war, famine, economic collapse and environmental devastation (Revelation 6; 8; 9; 12; 16).

God's purpose for this terrible Tribulation is to pour out His wrath on humanity for thousands of years of rebellion (Romans 5:9; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; Revelation 15:1). But, it is also to bring people to make a choice — to choose God or not. The choice will be made plain.

God's efforts to rescue people from their sins will not cease during the Tribulation. In Jerusalem, two men will appear and preach there for 3 1/2 years that Jesus is the Messiah the Jews have been looking for (Revelation 11:3). 144,000 Jews will call Jesus their Messiah and also preach about Him throughout the whole world. Millions will accept Jesus as their Savior, and die for their faith.

At the end of the 7-year Tribulation, the Antichrist will lead a great army into the Valley of Jezreel (Armageddon) for a final battle against Israel. This is the event that marks Jesus' Second Coming (Zechariah 14:1-21; Matthew 24:29-31; Mark 13:24-27; Luke 21:25-27; Revelation 19:11-21). The believers in Christ who were raptured years earlier and God's angelic forces will follow Jesus the King of Kings into His Second Coming to the earth to meet in battle, but only Jesus Himself will engage the Antichrist's armies. With mere words, Jesus defeats the nations in siege against Jerusalem (Revelation 19).

The survivors of the Tribulation are gathered by the angels and judged before Christ. Those who have accepted Jesus live on into Jesus' 1,000 year Millennial Kingdom. Those who had rejected Christ are sent to punishment in Hades awaiting the Great White Throne Judgment held at the end of the Millennium which results in them being thrown into the Lake of Fire, also called Hell (Matthew 13:36-43; 49-50; 25). Jesus' 1,000 year Millennial Kingdom will be a time of peace, righteousness and justice, and after the final judgment eternity will be even better (Ezekiel 40-48; Revelation 20:1-6).

Where do you stand on God today? Have you accepted His Son Jesus Christ's death on your behalf (John 3:16, 36; Romans 3:23; 6:23; 5:8; 10:9-10)? Have you asked Jesus to be your Savior and rescue you from eternal death and the terrible events that are coming? Do you want to meet Christ in joy in the Rapture, or in dread at the end of the seven years of Tribulation, should you survive somehow? The choice is yours.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Q) Are we getting really close to Jesus' return?

Is the pope a Catholic?

rg

Rodney said...

Indeed, we are very close. The economic condition across the globe is both volatile and unstable which could lead to a domino effect ending in a global collapse. Recent drought and flooding in Russia and Asia effecting the already threatened global food supply. Finally the recent rumblings in the Middle East with Iran being supplied with Russian fuel for their Nuclear Power Plant.

The recent call for direct peace talks to begin September 2, 2010 in Washington, ultimately leading to final status proceedings including the fate of Jerusalem indicate we are engaged in a head on collision with prophetic events. Speculation regarding these events are at an all time high and prophetic publications are flooding the market by several authors.

Many today expect an Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear facilities to bring a torrent of prophetic scenarios to a head. I personally believe Israel nor the U.S. will strike Iranian territory. Ezekiel the Prophet indicates that Russia, Iran, and their strategic partners will come against Israel as a direct result of the actions of the Lord God. The Lord God will draw them south I believe as a direct result of famine. Israel will have become as Egypt under the wise direction of Joseph having accumulated gold, silver, cattle, and many goods by reason of a great regional famine, I believe this precise scenario is depicted in Ezekiel 38:12,13.

Expected Imminently said...

My 11yr old granddaughter brought her friend (RC) to see granddads baby ferrets! She is a bit of a Drama Queen and we had fun doing sign language through the window to one another. She beckoned me to go out and give her a hug – lovely! For no reason, without any prompting, she told me her dad loves me really, and if I died he would love me even more and be sad. :D

She moaned about her dad; so I told her to do as she is told and respect her mum and dad, just as Jesus did even as a grown man. A little later, they were verbally abused by passing children. The one aggressor knew her and called “You believe in God!” Telling me this, she put her hands on her hips, tossed her head and told them “Yes I do; why, you got a problem with that”. The tormentors then called God rude names. So I told them what Jesus tells us to do, not doing anything back to them, to turn away and pray for those who are nasty to us.

Totally natural and unplanned, Praise The Lord.

This reminds me, I also told both children that Jesus loves them and that He is coming back.

Nathan Jones said...

Gripping story, E.I.! That people would walk by, butt in, and then openly mock your conversation with your own granddaughter shows an open and growing hostility towards all things God. Good response to them on both your parts!

hartdawg said...

one of the signs, ei, is many will be "offended". thats the word jesus used. HOW FITTING FOR TODAY!

Expected Imminently said...

Nathan
Just to add that she is the daughter of my 'Purpose Driven'son who has banned me from the family until I agree not to speak to them about God! Aren't I a rebel! :)

Hartdawg
You are totally spot on about folk being easily offended. It doesn't work tother way though, it's just as well I choose not to take offence else there would be fireworks! :D

David said...

Actually the Christ has already returned this year.

You just need to recognize him for yourself. This may not be that easy, since he will appear as an ordinary man until most people acknowledge him. The way to recognize him is thru his words or the message that he brings - the message of peace, brotherhood and justice.

See www.christmaitreya.org for more info.