By Nathan Jones
What are the horrors or wonders that lie ahead for you?
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.
Nate Herbst: What are some of the horrific events the Bible predicts for the near future?
Nathan Jones: Let's name a wonder first, for it happens before the horrors. Here's a prophetic event those of us who study Bible prophecy are anxiously waiting for. You can read about it in 1 Thessalonians 4 and 1 Corinthians 15. Jesus is coming back for His Church.
At some point in time, Jesus will return in what is called the Rapture, the rapio in Latin. The Bible says "catch up," which in the Latin is rapio, but you get Rapture in the English version. Jesus will catch up and take all those who believe in Jesus as their Savior to Heaven to be with Him.
Sometime shortly after the Rapture, during the following seven years, this earth will endure what is called the Tribulation. God will pour out 21 judgments upon those left behind for their continued rebellion against Him in order to force people to choose God or not. God makes life so miserable because there are some times in our lives when life gets so rotten that it shakes us to our core. Trial is what it takes sometimes to change our mind. This is then exactly what God is going to do during this coming horrific time period.
Revelation provides the details concerning the 21 judgments coming upon the world during the Tribulation. These judgments will pretty much devastate the earth, both population-wise and ecologically.
A one-world ruler will come and claim he has the answers to all life's woes. The Bible calls him the Antichrist. His False Prophet will then force the inhabitants of the world to worship the Antichrist. From this, the world will see a one-world economic system implemented where they have to worship the Antichrist, otherwise they won't get any money and so starve.
Revelation also describes nuclear wars. It explains in details what nuclear war is like, such as the sky receding like a scroll and the people getting burned. A third of the world will be burned up. The surviving people who take the Antichrist's mark will be covered in sores. Sores are exactly what nuclear radiation creates. The Bible talks about a quarter of the world population being killed from the first war, and then the second war that happens results in the death of another third of the world population. Nearly 1.5 billion people will be slaughtered just in the first year of the seven year Tribulation. So, there are terrible, terrible times coming upon this earth.
Nate Herbst: Are there any prophetic events that are wondrously positive?
Nathan Jones: The great bulk of Bible prophecy is about the positive. People get rather hung up on the negative. But, we are given in numerous places in the Bible the explicit timing that at the end of the seven-year Tribulation Jesus Christ returns. Jesus returns and He defeats the Antichrist. Jesus defeats Satan. Jesus establishes His kingdom on the earth.
Those who have put their trust in Him as Savior, who were alive during the Tribulation time (we call them the Tribulation Saints), will live on into Jesus' kingdom that He will set up right here on this earth. Jesus will rule and reign from Jerusalem. The curse will be partially lifted and the land cured.
During Jesus' Millennial Kingdom, there won't be war anymore. Instead there will be bounty.
People during the Millennial Kingdom will go up to Jerusalem to see Jesus and talk directly with Him. That's the exciting part that I'm looking forward to. I'm so excited about living forever with Jesus.
Bible prophecy can get all into the gloom and doom of the Tribulation. That's such a short time span in the scheme of things. Instead, it's Jesus' victory on earth and the setting up of His Kingdom — that's the exciting part. That's the part we can look forward to.
Nate Herbst: Absolutely, I can't wait for that day!
Choosing Between the Two
Nate Herbst: Considering that exciting promise of Jesus Christ ruling on this earth and a world more perfect than any of us have ever seen, what would be the message that you would share that would enable people to become a part of all that God has for them, both in life and in any of these future prophecies? What would you share with them so they could have a relationship with Jesus Christ?
Nathan Jones: I hope people have gotten the message that Bible prophecy proves that Jesus is the Messiah. We then can then trust the Bible as God's game plan for our lives and for all of human history. By trusting God's word, we can securely believe in the verses that tell us that Jesus is our Savior who He died for us. God loves us. He wants us to live with Him forever. He made the way by sacrificing His perfect life on the cross so that when we believe in Jesus as Savior and when we ask for forgiveness of our sins, Jesus will have taken our place before God's judgment.
People forget that it was we who rebelled against God. Since God is a just judge, He needs to judge sin. But, when Jesus took the death sentence for our sin from us, He paid our punishment in full. That's getting our sin debt paid.
Think of it this way. You are in court and about to be sentenced to prison, but a guy walks in and to the judge says, "Judge, I'm going to take that man's punishment in his place." The judge agrees and sends that other guy who did no wrong to jail, and you go free. That's what being saved is like. It frees us of the punishment for our rebellion against God. It forgives us of our sins. It takes away the guilt and it gives us a whole new life.
All people have to do is accept in faith that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, ask for the forgiveness of their sins, and then show people that you have accepted Jesus as your Savior by being baptized. You will get a new life, a new hope, and a new future. You will then know that you are now partakers in the promises of God.
What are these promises? God has made many promises which He always keeps.
God promises that He will love us and take care of us. He will bring us to Heaven when we die and in the Rapture. He will rescue us from His wrath. And, we will live eternally with God forever.
But, God also has made promises to those who've rejected God. These are those who continue to live in rebellion against Him. They will have to endure the Tribulation to come, the 21 judgments, the final Great White Throne Judgment, and eventually being cast into Hell.
I don't want anybody to go to Hell. I want everybody to take that lifeline of salvation, that dearly paid for lifeline that Jesus has given us, to accept that and become saved from the penalty of our rebellion. Wouldn't it be wonderful to know your sins are forgiven and that you can take God's promises that you'll be with God forever through life?
The Lord has an exciting future for you. You just have to grab it!