Oct. 21, 2011 Came And We Are Still Here

Only charlatans and false teachers predict the world will end on a specific day.  I would place Harold Camping in that category.  His forecast that the world ends did nothing to strengthen people’s belief in Christianity. It is a disservice to Christianity to have false teachers predicting a specific date that the world ends.  He has not done a very good job of interpreting Scripture that states that even Christ or anyone but God knew that day.  Only an egotist or a self-righteous individual would believe that God would share with them what He wound not share with Jesus.

Prior to the end there will be a great, seven-year Tribulation that the world must go through.  Though most Christians believe the rapture comes before the Tribulation that is an assumption. Study chapters 21 of Luke and chapter 24 of Matthew where Christ gave the signs that had to occur before all of this happens.  We will never know the exact day but Christ said we could determine the season.

We know that there will be a number of signs to prepare us for the final days.  Since AD 70 the Israelites have been scattered all over the world.  The first sign of the end-times before Christ’s return to rule for a 1000 years, was for Israel to return to their homeland and establish a nation on land coveted to them by God.  That happened in May 1948 and fulfills the Bible’s prophecy leading up to the beginning of the end times.

We are told there will be wars and uprisings as nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom but we are told not to be afraid.  The end will not come right away.  There will be great earthquakes of a magnitude of 7.0 and greater.  There have been more in the last few years than have previously been recorded.  Then there will be famines and pestilences in various places and fearful events and great signs will come from heaven.  There comes a time when Christians will be seized and persecuted and many placed in prison.  We are told not to worry how we are to defend ourselves as Christ will provide us with what to do and what to say.

You shall be betrayed by family and friends and some believers will be put to death.  We are to stand firm and we will win eternal life.  When armies surround Israel you will know the end-times are getting close.  There will be great distress in the land and anger will be against God’s people.

There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars.  On earth nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea.  People will faint from terror and apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for heavenly bodies will be shaken.

During this time a man who is very charming and charismatic will sell his soul to Satan and become the anti-Christ.  He will be a person with superhuman intelligence and will present a plan to save the world.  There will be a world-wide economic collapse. They will beg the anti-Christ to save them and give them hope.  He shall rule for seven years.  The first three and a half will be years of peace.  Those last three and a half years will be so bad that if Christ were not to come all humanity would be destroyed.

II Thessalonians 2:3 – 4 – “Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction.  He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.”  He will require everyone to take a mark in order to buy or sell.  Without the mark they cannot survive.

I Thessalonians 5:1 – 3 – “Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.  While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.”

Scripture is very clear the Day of the Lord will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed.   In the early church some believed Christ’s second coming had already happened.  In chapter two Paul tells the church not to be unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy from false teachers.  I have read where some predicted the second coming in the 1940s, 1988 and 1994.  Who are you going to believe—the Apostle Paul or today’s false teachers?  When anyone tells you the world is going to end on a certain date refer them to II Thessalonians 2:3 – 5.  Ask them if the man of lawlessness has been revealed and has the rebellion occurred?  If so, who is he?  What temple is he in proclaiming himself to be God?  When that happens I believe CNN and Fox News will let us know!

II Timothy 3:1 – 5 – “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.”  In fact, these people may even be protestors throughout the world, unhappy with themselves and everything else, who want governments to take care of their every need.  Scripture says we are to have nothing to do with them.

Before all of the turbulence begins we believe the church will be raptured.  Most theologians believe the rapture, described as when Christ’s believers will be caught up into the air to meet the Messiah.   Their mortal bodies will be changed to immortal bodies. They will live to be with God throughout eternity.  (The explanation for those missing could be they were abducted by aliens. The antichrist may use it as a scare tactic and a need to prepare for an alien attack to get those remaining to be more supportive.)

After the rapture there will be huge numbers left on earth.  There will be those who understood and believed Christ to be the Messiah but refused to accept Him as their Savior.  When they understand that believers were raptured they will accept Christ and become Christians.  They will be persecuted harshly and most killed.

It is best to understand the signs.  As we see signs appear, we must be spiritually ready, as the end-times are drawing closer.

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