Welcome back, gang! We’re closing out the final week of study in Why Israel Matters: Rightly Relating to Our Jewish Roots. Believe it or not, we’ve spent over 10 weeks studying together and I hope you are enjoying it as much as I am! We’ve got only two lessons left, but we’ll be done by Christmas! So let’s pick up where we left off.
Yesterday, we looked at God’s Plan of the End to discover a bit more about the timing of Jesus’ return. This is in the context of what we studied previously regarding Israel inviting the King back as they proclaim, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” (Matthew 23:39)
As believers in Jesus (whether Jew or Gentile), our “finish line” is the rapture, while natural Israel’s “finish line” is following Jesus’ Second Coming. What we know, though, is that the signs of the times are visible in our world today. The return of Jesus is immanent…it could happen at any time! So, how close are we? Study with me and make up your own mind.
The Bible provides prophetic signs through prophets in both the Old and New Testaments. Let’s look at some:
- Prophetic signs of Jesus in Matthew 24:3-12. When His disciples asked what would be the signs of the end, Jesus mentioned false teachers/messiahs, wars and rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes, Israel being hated by all nations, and lawlessness. We see everyone of those things in our world today. The season is at hand.
- Prophetic signs of Paul. Paul provided signs of the times in multiple places. However, open your Bible and read 1 Timothy 3:1-5 where he lists over 20 characteristics of the last days. Read them and determine for yourself is those things are visible in our world today.
- Prophetic sign of Isaiah in Isaiah 17:1. While Isaiah (a major prophet) provides lots of prophetic insight, this verse is especially interesting, given what is going on in Syria right now. The verse tells us the Damascus will one day be totally destroyed and will cease to exist. Currently, Damascus is known to harbor weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and Russia, Iran, the Assad regime, rebels, ISIS, Hezbollah and other militant groups are vying for control of Syria. Just last week, Aleppo, the largest city in Syria, was totally destroyed. All eyes are on Damascus, as it is likely the next target.
- Prophetic signs of Ezekiel in Ezekiel 36-39. These chapters are chronological in nature, thus we can expect one event to follow the other when we read these chapters. In chapter 36, God prepared the land for the return of the Jews. They returned in chapter 37 (physically, though not yet spiritually). While chapter 37 is still being fulfilled, the next thing on the calendar is the Norther Invasion, led by Russia and Iran, as described in chapters 38-39. Russia and Iran are already in place, and so is Turkey, another key ally in that alliance. Once Damascus is destroyed and Syria is overrun by the Northern Invasion coalition, the stage is totally set. That could happen in a matter of days…or even hours!
My friends, the King is coming…soon. The question is: Are we ready? Are we preparing ourselves as the Bride of Christ?
Tomorrow we’ll look at what Scripture says about our readiness. We’re going to finish strong and I have some amazing things to share with you. Don’t miss tomorrow’s study! See you then!