End Times

Israel News Today

With Israel back in the news today many are asking, are we living in the end times? We experienced a global pandemic, an attack on Israel, earthquakes, rumors of war, and unrest around the world. We’re seeing all these things and we can’t help but wonder. Is Jesus’ second coming finally going to happen? 

What are the signs of the end times? Even Jesus’ disciples came to him with that question. In Matthew 24, a few of Jesus’ disciples came to him privately and wondered what the signs would be of his second coming Did you know that one out of every thirty verses in the New Testament refers to the return of Jesus? More than 216 chapters in the New Testament mention the second coming and there are over 300 references to the return of Jesus. At the heart of the question is, are we living in the end times?

What people are really wondering is, what time is it? Because if the clock is ticking down, I’m going to live my life a certain way. Are we living in the end times? The most honest answer I can give you is I don’t know. I’ve studied this topic for many years and from my perspective, as I understand the Bible, it seems to me that all the signs of scripture have been fulfilled and that God could return at any moment. However, every generation since the time of Jesus has thought that. So why would our generation be any different? Well, as I study the scripture, there are some unique things about our generation that I think no other generation could say. There are some things that are different today. One of the things that have convinced me that we may be living in the last days is seeing with my own eyes what appears to be the fulfillment of Bible prophecy on more than a dozen trips I have taken to Israel. If you’ve seen Israel in the news, it’s hard to deny the fulfillment of prophecy right before our very eyes. 

When is Jesus coming back?

What are the indicators of Jesus' second coming?

The regathering of the Jewish 
people to the land of Israel.

Jeremiah 16 and Isaiah 11 indicate that when history is over, the Jewish people will look back and no longer refer to God as the one who delivered them miraculously from Egyptian captivity, but as the God who restored and regathered them to the land of their forefathers. The regathering of the Jewish people from the four corners of the earth is the greatest miracle ever performed in history for the Jewish people. This miracle has already happened. In the early 1900s, there were about 40,000 Jews who lived in the land of Palestine. Shortly after World War 2, there were about a half a million, and today there are over 7.1 million Jews living in that land. They migrated from Russia, Europe, Ethiopia, and America.

Reclamation of the land of Israel.

Over the centuries, the land of Israel became desolate, barren, and destroyed. Early in the 1900s, there were only 17,000 trees on that land. You say, how would we know that there were 17,000 trees in that land? Because the Turks who controlled the land taxed the people based on the number of trees, as a result, people would just cut down trees to reduce their tax obligations. Today there are over 450 million trees in the land of Israel. The area that we know as the Valley of Armageddon, right at the hill of Megiddo a century ago was a malaria-infested marshland. Today it is one of the highest pieces of food-producing real estate per square foot in the world. When you see this, you see this fulfillment of the prophecy in Ezekiel 36:35, “They will say this land that was laid waste has become like the Garden of Eden.”

Rebirth of Israel as a nation
which happened in 1948.

Prophesies about God raising dry bones back to life in Ezekiel 37 he says, ”I will bring you back to the land of Israel.”  After 70AD, the nation of Israel was destroyed, and considered dead. When the Romans leveled Jerusalem, the people scattered all over the known world for the next 18 centuries. In fact, when Ci Scofield made his study Bible in the early 1900s, he wrote that the nation of Israel would be restored and people laughed at him because no nation had ever been resurrected like that after so many centuries. But then on May 14th, 1948, three years after World War II and the Holocaust, a handful of Jewish people suddenly declared in the land of Palestine that they were a nation again and the dry bones began to resurrect after 1900 years.

There are some pretty miraculous prophecies being fulfilled right before our very eyes so what does that mean for us? The Bible actually has a lot to say about this generation. In II Peter 3, Peter warns, “ You must understand that in the last days, many will come scoffing and following their evil desires”. They’ll just do whatever they want to do. They’ll say, if it feels good, do it. Don’t pay attention to God. Don’t pay attention to the Bible. It’s been 2000 years, nothing has happened and they will deliberately forget about God. 

However, they don’t realize that for God a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day. You think He’s slow, but the truth is He doesn’t keep track of time the way that you and I do. Then why is it taking so long? What is He waiting for? He is patient not wanting anyone to perish but everyone to come to repentance. The way I picture that verse is that God’s up in heaven and Jesus is at his right hand and all of a sudden God says, okay, Jesus, I think it’s time. And Jesus is ready because He’s coming back for his bride, the church, he’s the groom and he’s coming back for his bride. He’s preparing to mount his horse and he’s all ready to come back and just about as he’s ready to mount his horse, God says, wait. Hold on. Let’s wait a little longer. I think if we’re patient, there’s a few more people that we can save. You need to know that God wants everyone to come to repentance and that’s why He’s delayed. Here is something to consider. Did you know that Islam was founded somewhere around 700 AD and from 700 AD on through the next 1300 years, there was almost zero movement of Muslims toward Christianity?  However, in the last decade, there have been 7 million Muslims a year converting to Christianity.

Here are three warning signs Jesus tells us will happen before He returns:

  1. People are going to be distracted by life.
    The reason why a bunch of people are not going to be clued in when all this plays out is they got distracted by life. They are following their own appetites and desires and assume since so much time has passed it is not going to actually happen. We all need to ask ourselves, how much of our time are we focused on earthly things vs. eternal things? If you don’t hear anything else I say, here’s what I want you to understand. Here’s what I want you to remember, whether or not we are living in the end times you are living in your last days. Your days are numbered and these are your end times. 
  2. People are going to forget God.
    This generation will pull away from God. About 65% of those born between 1927 and 1945 are followers of Jesus.  Only 35% of those born between 1946 and 1964. I just barely got into that. By the way, 35% Bible driven followers of Jesus. Today’s Gen X born between 1965 and 1983 there are about 16% who are followers.  You can see the pattern.  Of the millennials born after 1984 only 4% would consider themselves followers of Jesus.
  3. People are not going to be ready.
    In fact, Jesus warns in Matthew 24, that some will be taken, some will be left. Two guys are going to be working together, one of them will be taken, one will be left, two women will be working together, one will be taken, one will be left. Therefore keep watch. Because you don’t know what day the Lord will return, be alert. Be ready! Make the most of every opportunity you have. 

Are we living in the end times?

Here’s the truth. Matthew 24:36  clearly says about that day or hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven nor the Son, but only the Father. You would think if God were going to tell anyone, he’d tell Jesus. So what you really need to know is, what are you going to do with the time that you have? What kind of people ought we to be? How do we live? I Peter 4:7 says, “Therefore, be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray.” So let me ask you. Are you ready?  All you have to do is turn to the Lord and receive his pardon through Jesus Christ today. If you feel like you are carrying your own sin, guilt, or shame, and want to be free. I want you to know God’s grace is available to you right now. I just want to pray with you right now. Please pray with me. 

God, I need a pardon. I need your grace. I’m carrying my own weight of sin and shame and I just need to be free of that. I want Jesus! What he did on a cross to carry it for me, and I’m grateful for your love. Jesus, take over my life. Be the leader, the Lord of my life. Forgive me of my sin. I want to live for you today. I want to make it right with you, and I receive what you did for me. I give you my life. 

Our team has compiled some of the most challenging, difficult, controversial, frequently asked questions we get about faith and Christianity as it relates to life, morality, current events, the end of the world, and more. We will explore these questions in ways that I think you’ll find surprising! Why take on these controversial topics? Because these questions are often roadblocks for people when it comes to faith and Christianity. For more discussions on these topics, you can read Eastside’s Got Questions Blog and check out the series You Asked For It.

Author: Gene Appel
Eastside Christian Church
Anaheim, CA

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