Uncertainties abound in our world today. Many live in fear of what the future may bring. But for those of us who know the Author and Finisher of our faith, we rest in the knowledge that He holds every tomorrow in the palm of His hand.
An urgency is building in our world climate that has never existed before. Soon, the trumpet will sound and those who are alive and remain will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air. What a day that will be!
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17.
But what will happen before that time? Though no man knows the day or time of Jesus’ return (Matthew 24:36), the signs of end times from God’s Word indicate that the Rapture is nearing. If we open the Word of God, it gives us a prophetic view of tomorrow with precise accuracy. The Bible gives three clear indications for measuring the end of the age.
We will know the Rapture of the Church is near when:
1. A knowledge explosion has taken place. (Daniel 12:4)
2. Israel is reborn. (Hosea 6:1-2)
3. Jerusalem is reunited with Israel. (Luke 21:24)
We are living in a time when these three Biblical requirements have all been satisfied. We are that terminal generation that has experienced a knowledge explosion. Up until 1900, it was estimated that knowledge doubled every 100 years. There was a linear relationship between knowledge and time.
The early 1900s ushered in new advances in technology like the automobile and radios. As
a result, by the end of the Great Depression in 1945, the rate of knowledge was doubling every 25 years. Today, because of our technological advances and with the help of the internet, scientists estimate that the volume of knowledge is doubling every year and will rapidly shift to doubling every 12 hours. That is quite the explosion of knowledge!
The rebirth of Israel occurred in 1948 and was the greatest miracle since the resurrection of Jesus Christ! And the third sign of the end of the age happened in 1967 when Jerusalem was reunited with Israel following the Six-Day War.
IT’S TIME TO LOOK UP BECAUSE THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH IS DRAWING NIGH.
What will the end of the age look like?
In 1 Thessalonians 5:3, the Apostle Paul used the analogy of giving birth to describe the beginning of the end: “For when they say, ‘Peace and safety!’ then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.”
I’ve never given birth to a child, but my wife has, and from her experience I know that certain signs indicate an impending birth. The mother becomes increasingly uncomfortable as the baby grows larger within her body; there is a feeling of increased pressure as the baby drops, preparing for birth; the mother experiences sharp contractions; and finally, labor officially begins as the contractions intensify until the baby leaves his or her safe place of quiet darkness for a world of light and sound.
The analogy of childbirth is a good one, for our world and everyone in it is undergoing a similar experience. Paul explained that the earth itself waits for the new world to come: “Because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now” Romans 8:21-22.
Two features of birth pains are universally true: First, when they begin, there is no stopping them. Second, the pain becomes more intense and more frequent as time passes until the child—in this case, the new era—is born. As the Dispensation of Grace races toward its conclusion, there is no denying that the birth pains have begun.
The new age is about to be born, but the most severe contractions have yet to take place. The earth will shudder through several calamities before it is reborn. The Word of God describes famines, disease, war, climate changes, earthquakes, drought, and fire from heaven.
The End of the Age is approaching, but it won’t be ushered in by space aliens or catastrophic asteroids. It will come like a woman in labor, and each intensifying contraction will signal the earth’s imminent destiny. These birth pains are only the beginning of a series of events unlike anything the world has ever seen. They will precede the final judgment day—when the ungodly must stand before the terrifying Great White Throne and give an account for their lives. The staggering significance of that moment makes all catastrophes seem like insignificant footnotes.
Even before the creation of man, God devised a plan that allows free choice, accounts for man’s natural disposition for sin and provides a means for a loving Father to draw wayward men and women back to Him. This plan began in the Garden of Eden and will end with the creation of a new heaven and a new earth. The crimson thread of God’s redemptive plan is woven into Holy Scripture from Genesis to Revelation and at times comes together to create prophetic images of astounding clarity and beauty.
IT IS IN THIS KNOWING THAT WE GAIN CONFIDENCE, STRENGTH, PEACE, AND HOPE.
Unfortunately, too many people have turned away from the study of Bible prophecy to place their confidence in false teachers and counterfeit prophets. Our trust should be in God Almighty—the Creator of heaven and earth. I urge you not to be carried away on the winds of false doctrine. God wants His children to understand His Word, and a large portion of that Word is prophecy. The Almighty’s plan existed from the foundations of the earth—and just as God Himself does not change—His plans for the world will not change either.
Can you trust the Bible?
Absolutely! All Scripture, to include prophecy, attests to the divine inspiration of the Architect of the Ages. The Bible is different from all other books that form the foundation for other major religions. Those writings only interpret the present or deal with the past. The Bible is 25 percent prophecy. From Genesis to Revelation, countless prophecies were given, and most have
been fulfilled. This confirms the revelation, validity, and authority of Scripture. The apostle Peter wrote that Bible prophecy would be of benefit to the Church until the End of the Age (2 Peter 1:19).
As we contemplate the future, we will discover that prophecy produces peace and hope in the heart of every believer. Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me” John 14:1. The Savior comforted His disciples with a prophetic promise, “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for 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 may be also” John 14:2–3. So, there is no reason for us to fear the future. He is preparing a place for us.
Soon we will be called up in the blink of an eye. Stay prayed up. Stay in the Word. Share the Gospel with your friends and loved ones. This earth is not our home, and we will soon be called up to meet Him in the sky. What a day that will be!