By Nathan Jones
What is the greatest of all the end times signs?
On Friday, September 27, 2013, I was interviewed on The God Solution Show with Nate Herbst which airs on KDUR 91.9 and 93.9 in Durango, Colorado. Nate's show is special because he's the only Christian program on a totally secular station. With such a fantastic opportunity to share the Gospel with an unbelieving audience, he focuses on apologetics which defend the Christian faith. I came on to share one of the best defenses for why we can trust the Bible as God's word and place our faith in it — fulfilled Bible prophecy.
The Greatest End Times Sign
Nate Herbst: Let's talk a little bit about some of the prophecies concerning the greatest end times sign. We are living in a chaotic time on the planet, where so many things are happening. People are looking around and asking, "What's going on?" I can't tell you the number of non-Christians whom I've shared the Gospel with, and they too ask me, "Doesn't the Bible talk about what's going on right now?" and "Somebody told me that the book of Revelation talks about this."
Because so many people have an interest in end times prophecy, and I know that you are an expert on this subject, please answer then what you see is the greatest end times sign that has happened in our day.
Nathan Jones: I believe the greatest end time sign is the fulfillment of prophecy concerning how Israel would become a nation once more.
After 582 BC, there wasn't much of anything left of Israel. The Babylonians and the Assyrians had taken all of the Northern Kingdom which is Northern Israel, and then Judah. For 70 years the Jewish people were forced into exile. And yet, there were prophecies that foretold that the Jews would return to their land a first time, and they did.
Hundreds of years later, the Romans in 70 AD destroyed Jerusalem and they destroyed the Temple. About 130 AD at the Bar Kokba Rebellion, the Romans finally and totally dispersed the Jews throughout their lands. The remaining Jewish people have existed with no country whatsoever of their own for 1,897 years.
And yet, during that homeless time, the Jews have kept their identity, they've kept their culture, and they've kept their traditions. What culture is separated from their land and forced to live in other countries around the world for so long and have kept their identity? And yet, the Jews have remained who they are for almost 2,000 years. That truly is unheard of!
We can read in the Bible about the ancient Hittites. There is no one who identifies themselves as a Hittite today. I have ancient Scottish heritage way back there, but there are no true clans existing today that could say, "My clan ended 1,000 years ago, but now we're back." And yet, the Jews for almost 2,000 years have existed as a separate society within a society. Now they've returned to Israel again, just as Bible prophecy prophesied.
Isaiah 11:11-12 prophesied that there would be a worldwide regathering of the Jews. Isaiah reads, "It will happen on the day the Lord will again recover for a second time with His hand the remnant of His people." Notice the "second time" so as not to be confused with their first return to Israel around 500 BC.
The passage then goes on to list all these different nations and then it says, "from the island of the seas." In other words, these are countries that at the time of writing hadn't even been found yet. This is in part talking about the New World. The Jews would be regathered from these distant nations back to their promised land, and we are seeing that happen today. As a matter of fact, the Bible says that the Jews being regathered back into the land would be something that they would remember even more than being delivered out of slavery in Egypt. It'll become the biggest event in their history.
We today are blessed to bear witness to the Jews being regathered into a nation once more. Isaiah 66:7-8 tells us that Israel would become a nation again and that she would be brought forth in one day and after that face labor pains. Ever since Israel became a nation in 1948, it has gone from war after war after war trying to remain in existence as hostile Arab neighbors attempt to incessantly attack and destroy it. So, we see that Israel has these labor pains after they'd become a nation once again.
Zechariah 8:4-8 talks about Jerusalem being the capital of Israel again. The Jews would live again in Jerusalem and possess it as their own capital. On June 7, 1967 during the Six Day War, the Jews recaptured Jerusalem and made it their capital once more.
Because of that victory, Zechariah 12:2-3 says that the entire world will focus on Israel. When I check out the news, it seems every day there is something about the Jews and the Palestinians. Always every day the Media reports on tensions between the Jews and the Palestinians. The whole world is focused on trying to make peace in the Middle East through Israel, usually by telling Israel it needs to give up its God-given land.
Because the whole world is focused on Israel and Jerusalem, that's become a sign of the end times. Jesus in Luke 21 said that when the fig tree — Israel — becomes a nation once more, we would know that the end times are upon us.
Nate Herbst: That's incredible! I think some of this end time prophecy concerning Israel is just astonishing, and like you said, it has happened within the lifetimes of the people today. And, that's not the only prophecy that has been fulfilled in our lifetime. There are so many more.
So many different aspects of prophecies have been fulfilled concerning Israel. Everything from their culture, to their heritage, to their language — all these things are different aspects of prophecy concerning the end times, but it all hinges on when Israel would become a nation again. Incredible!
In the ninth part of the God Solution interview, Nate and I will discuss the ten categories of end times signs that Jesus provided in Luke 21.