Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Latest News from the Bible

You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!
Jerusalem will be trampled down by the Gentiles until the period of the Gentiles comes to an end. And there will be strange signs in the sun, moon, and stars. And here on earth the nations will be in turmoil, perplexed by the roaring seas and strange tides. People will be terrified at what they see coming upon the earth, for the powers in the heavens will be shaken. And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come. (2 Tim. 3:1-5; Lk.21:24b, 25; Matthew 24:6-8; Luke 21:27, 28; NLT)

"Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers. And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. 11 And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come." (Matthew 24:9-14 NLT)
"Then everyone will see the Son of Man coming on a cloud with power and great glory. So when all these things begin to happen, stand and look up, for your salvation is near!- (Luke 21:27, 28 NLT)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Middle Eastern Unrest

As I write, the Arab world is in a great state of upheaval, the likes of what we have seen when the Iranians deposed the Shah, (Mohammed Reza Pahlavi). The power vacuum caused by the Shah's departure was quickly filled by the radical Islamic extremist, Ayatollah Khomeini.

When Daniel (Daniel 7) dreamed about the coming world ruling empires that were going to rise, he saw the political and social upheavals that accompanied their rise likened to a troubled, wind tossed sea caught in a 'perfect storm.' This is how the Amplified version of Daniel 7:2 puts it:
Daniel said, I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of the heavens [political and social agitations] were stirring up the great sea [the nations of the world].

Further reading in Daniel 7 describes the kingdoms to rise and the last one is going to be headed up by the antichrist, (the little horn). We are living in the end of the fourth kingdom that Daniel saw, and the little horn may well be on his way to power now. While people in the Middle East are in a state of turmoil, a number of governments are leaving a power vacuum that somebody is going to fill.

I believe what we are observing in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, and Libya is but one segment of what Daniel saw as the 'four winds.' There is more to come, as this upheaval is only a fraction of what is coming.

Be looking for the little horn to rise up, displacing three other horns, or rulers. He will be readily accepted, as he will appear to have the answers to the distressed and perplexed nations. I hope that those who know Christ as Savior and Lord will be raptured out by then.

Surely, the sea of humanity is troubled - we are living in the last days and Jesus Christ Himself gives us this warning:
Jerusalem will be trodden down by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled (completed).
And there will be signs in the sun and moon and stars; and upon the earth [there will be] distress (trouble and anguish) of nations in bewilderment and perplexity without resources, left wanting, embarrassed, in doubt, [not knowing which way to turn] at the roaring (the echo) of the tossing of the sea,
Men swooning away or expiring with fear and dread and apprehension and expectation of the things that are coming on the world; for the [very] powers of the heavens will be shaken and caused to totter.
- Luke 21:24b-26, Amplified Bible.

He instructed us as believers (in describing the events in Luke 21)
Now when these things begin to occur, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption (deliverance) is drawing near. Truly I tell you, this generation (those living at that definite period of time) will not perish and pass away until all has taken place. But take heed to yourselves and be on your guard, lest your hearts be overburdened and depressed (weighed down) with the giddiness and headache and nausea of self-indulgence, drunkenness, and worldly worries and cares pertaining to [the business of] this life, and [lest] that day come upon you suddenly like a trap or a noose; For it will come upon all who live upon the face of the entire earth. Keep awake then and watch at all times [be discreet, attentive, and ready], praying that you may have the full strength and ability and be accounted worthy to escape all these things [taken together] that will take place, and to stand in the presence of the Son of Man.
Jerusalem was taken by Israel in the 6 day war in 1967. Jesus said that the generation living at that time would not pass away until all has taken place. We are that generation Daniel and Jesus spoke of.
What is a Biblical generation? Bible scholar, Dr. Jack VanImpe has calculated that a bible generation averages 52 years. Assuming that is correct, 1967 + 52 = 2019 when ALL the prophecies regarding Daniels visions will be fulfilled. In other words, 2019 is post the 7 year tribulation, or 2019 - 7 = 2012 as the year the tribulation will begin.
So pray you will be accounted worthy to escape - and stand before the Son.

Advice from the Lord Himself - can we afford to ignore it?