Living In the Light of Eternity
How Current Events relate to Biblical Prophecy!
LIVING IN THE LIGHT OF ETERNITY!
How Current Events relate to Biblical Prophecy!
Wayne J. Edwards, Pastor – Heritage Baptist Church, Perry, GA
Two important statements:
- The Bible never predicts the end of the world. Isaiah 45:17, Ephesians 3:21
- As a born-again believer in Jesus Christ, we have the promise of everlasting life – at least 1,000 years on this earth, and then an eternity in heaven.
- As Christians, we should not fear the end of the world!
- As Believers, we should be preparing for our destiny!
- In 1st Thessalonians 5:1-3, the Apostle Paul said the Christian could/would not know everything about the rapture and the return of Jesus Christ – but we SHOULD ALREADY know about the “times and the seasons”!
- But in 1st Thessalonians 5:4ff, the Apostle Paul said the Christian should not be caught in the darkness – be surprised when that day comes, because we are not only waiting for His return, we are watching!
According to the Bible, we are living in the “church age”, which could also be called the “age of grace” or the “age of the Holy Spirit.”
- The Church Age is divided into seven seasons of time, illustrated by the characteristics of the Seven Churches mentioned in Revelation 2-3.
- The last church mentioned was the church at Laodicea, which “fell away” from the truth and began worshipping the god of Zeus. The falling away from the truth is called apostasy. This final age began around 1920 and will end with the rapture of the church.
Some Characteristics of the Age of Apostasy:
- Matthew 24-6-7 – Wars and rumors of wars
- Matthew 24:12 – Iniquity will abound – the loss of love!
- Matthew 24:24 – false Christ’s and false prophets will be able to show great signs and wonders – even causing the “elect” to be drawn away from the truth of Scripture.
- 1 Timothy 4:1-2 – many will fall away from the true faith and support the doctrine of devils – that there is another way to be saved.
- 2 Timothy 3:1-5 – absolute selfishness and self-centeredness, causing anarchy and spiritual deception that begins the one-world religion.
- Ezekiel 35 – the beginning of the religion of Islam – with a goal to rid the world of everyone who does not believe as they do – “jihad” – beginning with the Jews.
- The Muslims believe all the promises God made to Abraham/Israel belong to them.
- The rise of the Arab nations in the last 30 years is a major indicator of where we are on the timeline of events.
- While the Non-Arab nations rise up against Israel BEFORE the tribulation begins, it is the Arab nations that come against Israel in the second half of the Tribulation, which sets the stage for the Battle of Armageddon and the Second Coming of Christ.
The Stage for these two battles was set with the two world wars: Matthew 24:3-8, Luke 25:2:
- World War I – 1914 – began the extermination of the Jews – in order to prevent the coming of the Messiah
- World War II – 1939 – ended with the discovery of the Holocaust and, to some degree, world-wide sympathy for the Jews.
- In 1948 – Israel became a nation and millions of Jews began returning to their homeland – Ezekiel 36:24, Luke 21:29-31
- In Ezekiel 20:33-35 and 22:17, the Bible speaks of the great gathering of Gentile Armies against the “city” of Jerusalem.
- In Daniel 9:27, the Bible says this battle will occur when the city of Jerusalem is under Jewish control. This was accomplished in 1967 in what is known as the six-day war!
- This “event” is the key issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict today, and it will be the settlement of that issue that gives rise to the power of the Anti-Christ as the leader of the New World Order.
So, where are we today?
Religion – the age of Apostasy – people falling for the false religious system of the world – ecumenicalism – the blending of all faiths into a one-world religion – the lack of true Christianity – the decline of the true church.
Nature – the earth is going through convulsions (Romans 8:22) as it too waits for the day for the curse to be removed. Just as God used the flood as the reminder of His power over the earth, God is using the earth to show His power over man – He is literally “shaking the nations” – warning us of His wrath to come.
Politically – the world stage is being set for the non-Arab nation invasion of Israel, which could occur in our lifetime. Rosh, Russia
Cush – Ethiopia, Meshech – Moscow. Put – Libya, Tubal – Siberia. Gomer – Germany. Persia – Togarmah – Armenia
- The goal of this re-arrangement of the nations is to establish a one-world government (Daniel 7:23) which will be divided into ten regions or ten super-nations, but all under one authority!
- The regional conflicts in those areas are “planned events” to remove those leaders who are not willing to give up their sovereignty and replace them with leaders who will cooperate with the New World Order.
- When this is accomplished, according to Daniel 7:7-8, the whole world will be divided into ten sections, but under one authority! North America, Western Europe, Japan, Australia and South Africa, Eastern Europe – including Russia, North Africa and the Middle East – no Israel, Tropical Africa, South and Central Asia, and China.
- When all of this is in place, the next event on the world calendar would be the arrival of the Anti-Christ – the ruler of the New World Order – Daniel 7:24b. He will negotiate a peace agreement between the Arab nations and Israel, allowing them to build their third temple on the Temple Mount and return to their sacrificial system of worship.
However, according to my theology, and according to 2 Thessalonians 1:1-12, the Anti-Christ cannot be revealed until the Church is removed!
- The rapture of the church can come at any time – there are no pre-conditions or warnings, except the signs of the Second Coming!
- The Bible says the rapture will come secretly – as a thief in the night – but before the wrath of God is released upon the earth.
- The Second Coming of Jesus Christ will come exactly seven years to the day, after the signing of the covenant between Israel and the Arab nations.
- Therefore, the next event on God’s calendar is the rapture of the church!
So, when someone says we are near the end, we need to be able to explain to them that, while we will never see the “end of the world”, we have arrived at:
- The end of the church age – The Day of the Gentiles will end with the Second Coming of Jesus Christ!
- The end of the current world system – when Jesus comes again, He will rule the world with “truth and grace” – no political systems at all.
- The end of the current natural world – when Jesus comes again, heaven will come to earth as well, as will the tabernacle of God!
- Every valley will be lifted and every mountain leveled
- The city of Jerusalem will be the highest point on earth and Mount Zion will be the tallest mountain on earth – for that is the place where Jesus will sit and rule the earth as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
- The vapor canopy that surrounded the earth before the flood will be replaced so all the earth will become as the Garden of Eden.
- The curse on the earth will be partially lifted so that man can reconcile with nature and nature can reconcile with itself.