Earthquakes, wars and political upheaval beneath a (promoted) climate change has aroused prophesy gurus. Of late, my T.V. preachers are all warning that Jesus return to earth is imminent. Some of them conclude with a spiel to get their free book for more details.
Now, I’m deeply committed to the reality of Christ’s return to earth to set up His promised Kingdom. However, if the Bible is reliable (I believe it is), then as preachers, teachers and disciples we need to inform people according to what it says. This requires not avoiding the straight out Biblical timeline with its insights into characters, events and nations.
To say Jesus might return tonight or this year or soon will get some agitated or switched on to ‘religion.’ When it doesn’t eventuate the band of scoffers grow. So, let’s be honest in our presentations. There are certain prophetic events and personnel which haven’t yet stepped onto the world stage. Who knows, they might be out there somewhere, but they haven’t stepped up and out.
What do I mean?
If the book of Revelation is taken seriously (and it should be) then the following (just a short list) have to be operational. In Revelation 11 there is mention of the Jewish temple being in existence. It is being desecrated by antichrist forces. Jesus in Matthew 24 defined this as the setting up of the ‘desolating sacrilege’ as foretold by Daniel. When and how is unknown. However, it will be built as Jesus foretold and 2 Thessalonians 2 supports. At the moment Islam is attempting to deny Israel any right to the former temple mount. This must and will fail. Rebuilding of the temple will take place sometime, date unknown.
Daniel 12 talks about a time of trouble never before experienced on earth. Its duration is in two sections of 3 1/2 years. Although worldwide, its epicentre will be the land of Israel. During this time there will be 144,000 specially prepared Israeli evangelists of impeccable character and faith. They will be speaking about Jesus the Messiah. No attempt to deny them their tribal heritage or have a false religious group claim them will succeed. Revelation is clear, uncomplicated and definite in explaining who they are.
Add to all the above, wars, rumours of wars, apostasy, earth and heavens in upheaval plus a rampant antichrist this is horrid time. Revelation, and other prophetic Scriptures point to events not yet appearing on the horizon. They might be just out of sight but when they appear those alive at that time will be in no doubt the countdown has begun.
Am I presenting a case for ignoring the Biblical teaching about Christ’s return? Certainly not! What I am trying to do is put His return into its rightful setting. That setting deals with Israel and not the Church. Therefore, as Christians we should be living with a more pressing and expectant hope. That hope is plainly set out in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 1 Corinthians 15. It is that wonderful time of meeting Jesus in the air. When that happens 2 Corinthians 5:10 and Romans 14:10 takes place. It is accounting time, not for salvation but for being awarded the garland for faithfulness. And remember this, the Lord Jesus could very well call anyone of us out of this life and into His presence at any moment. Therefore, we must be ready to meet Him, face to face!
The Bible is insistent concerning Christ’s return. Those of us committed to the author and His message are under a burden to rightly explain it. As James 3 plainly says, we who are teacher are under greater judgement for what we teach.
To any who read this let me say, “Check out what I’ve written!” Sit down and read the Scriptures for yourself and let their plain, straightforward words speak to your heart.
©Ray Hawkins Nov. 20th 2016.