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People make this very complicated, but it is very simple! The bottom line is that we should be "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13, KJV). Jesus was asked, "what shall be the sign of thy coming?" (Matthew 24:3 KJV). His answer is recorded in Matthew 24, and in Mark 13 as well. In addition, God speaks through the apostle Paul about what believers should be looking for, and this can be found in 2 Thessalonians 2. Summary: 1. There will be wars, famines, plagues, etc.--don't worry, the end isn't yet 2. Many will turn away from the faith, betray other believers, and Christians will be persecuted and killed--don't worry, the end isn't yet 3. When you see the abomination of desolation in the holy place--flee 4. Many will say, "I am Christ" or "Christ has returned"--don't believe it, because when he comes back, it will be bright like lightning, all over the world 5. Then will come a time of trouble (also know as tribulation), so bad that if God did not shorten the days, no one would live through it. 6. Immediately after the tribulation of those days, the Son of God will come back in the clouds, with a great trumpet blast and the voice of the chief angel, and all the believers will be gathered, to be with Him for ever. 1 Thessalonians 4 adds the detail that the dead believers be raised from the dead to meet Jesus in the clouds first, then the believers who are still living will go up to meet Jesus in the clouds afterward. 2 Thessalonians 2 reminds us again that we must expect to see the "man of sin" sitting in the holy place before the "day of Christ" happens. 1 Corinthians 15 adds the detail that when the believers are raised from the dead, their bodies will be changed instantly to not be able to die or degrade. 7. At the end of every passage dealing with the coming of Jesus is the same message: Be ready, walk in the light.
Concerning Mt. 24. Note vs 1 where the focus is on the Temple. Vs. 2 Jesus responds by telling his disciples the Temple they are looking at will be utterly destroyed. Vs 3 - the Disciples ask 'when will THESE things be?" They want to know when the Temple there are looking at will be destroyed. Vs 4-14 He tells them some of the things that will be happening in the near future (note the use of 'these' - a term called a near demonstrative, as opposed to 'those' a term called a far demonstrative. Vs. 15 He explicitly says 'when YOU' - that would be the lifetime of at least some of those listening to him. Vs 16-28 were taken to heart by Christians in Jerusalem when 'these things' happened AD 70 with the Roman destruction. The Christians got out of town. 'The Eagles' of vs 28 probably was a reference to the flags of the Roman army that destroyed Jerusalem. Vs 34 explicitly says 'THIS GENERATION' would see it happen - and it happened about 40 years from the time Jesus said these things. So Mt.24 is history. God judged and destroyed Jerusalem. There have been other judgements by God in time since then. France had a strong Christian presence that declined - and was judged late 18th and early 19th Century. Germany had a strong Christian basis for years - and was judged (think Hitler). Other countries have experienced similar judgments. The US is about to experience God's judgment. Unless their is a revival of full-orbed Christianity. By that term I include the church, the family, civil government, finances, health, education....etc. All these need to be brought under the direction and wisdom of God (not the church). We must ask ourselves some of these questions: Is what I choose for entertainment something I wouldn't mind Jesus being witness to? Is where and how I have my children educated pleasing to God? Is the way i work pleasing to God? Is the way I spend the money I earn pleasing to God? Are the people I vote into office the people God would want in that office? Is the way we use our natural resources pleasing to God? Many Christians think the Old Testament Law, especially the Ten Commandments, are no longer necessary. Christians in the early years of the US thought otherwise. The wisdom of God applied to civil life in the Old Testament has not been surpassed by our wisdom. May God help us all...
A HUGE part of the end times was the creation of the country of Israel. This happened after WW2 when all the surviving Jewish concentration camp survivors were sent to a newly formed nation of Israel in 1942.
Having come from a background that has predicted dates for “The End,” on a regular basis since 1874, I find this topic most interesting. Foremost among the proofs that were offered at that time were the words of Mathew 24, Luke 21 and Mark 13 among many others. I spent many many hours warning people of all sorts that the time was short, very short. You might wonder, has a lifetime of disappointments diminished my interest in this subject? I should say not. In fact, I believe that I am in a better position now to discuss this subject than ever before. Despite all my zeal and study, I have since learned so much more about the subject. For instance, Matthew 24 and Luke 21 are really discussing two separate events for the most part. This realization is based upon one verse in Luke that I, along with many others, have just glossed over. The verse to which I refer is Luke 21:12 where is says “But before all these.” The verses between 12 and 23 apply to the events leading up to the destruction of Jerusalem and are not a sign for the end times we await. Nevertheless, in verse 24, we find the clue that we should be looking for. There it says: “And they [Jews] shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” In my opinion, that is the gateway to understanding the beginning of the “time of the end.” If you want to know where we are in God’s end-time clock, just look at the Jews. Luke 21:24 says the Jews will be “led away into all the nations.” In Ezekiel 37:21 God says: “Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land:... “ The fulfillment of these words are believed to have happened when the Nation of Israel was reborn as a Nation in “one day” on May 14, 1948. (Isaiah 66:8) Then apparently, on June 10, 1967, the “times of the Gentiles” control of Jerusalem ended with the 6-day war when Israel recaptured Jerusalem. What are we to expect next? Many today will quote Romans 11:25 as being the next event which is imminent or just on the horizon. Paul says Israel was hardened to not recognize Jesus as their Messiah. However, that “hardening” will end when the “full number of Gentiles” come into the Church. What will happen after that? Many associate that mysterious “number of Gentiles” with Paul’s words at 2 Thessalonians 2:1-7. There we are told that the “coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” will not occur until “the man of lawlessness is revealed” who will claim to be God. Paul continues by saying that something is “holding [this self-proclaimed God] back.” What or who is it that is doing the “holding.” Many will say that it is the Holy Spirit through the Church that is restraining the man of lawlessness. Paul continues by saying the time will come when the holding power of the Church will be “taken out of the way” which will allow the “man of lawlessness” to begin setting up his earth-wide empire. (2 Thessalonians 2:7) Many have coupled these facts with Romans 11:25 by saying that when the “full number” of Church members will have come in, all Christians along with the Holy Spirit will be removed from the earth miraculously. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; John 14:1-3) So, when will that happen? We do not know of course. (Matthew 24:36) But we do know that these events can happen any time now. In my opinion, it will all depend on Israel. The closer Israel comes to being destroyed by all their surrounding enemies, the closer we are to the end. (Psalms 83) Remember, in this nuclear age, Israel could be completely destroyed in one day. Can you think of anyone who might want to or be able to do that? Keep your eyes on Israel.
After the gospel has been preached through out the world, then the end will come. Matt. 24:14
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