Pull up a chair and get your Bible ready, study friends! We’re diving into it today.
We have spent almost 11 weeks studying Israel, the covenants, end times and Jesus’ return. But I want to make one thing clear before we make practical application today. Roughly 25-35% of the Bible is prophetic (depending upon what Bible expert you ask!) But we must not focus there while ignoring the rest. All of God’s Word teaches us how to live, and that is critical. If Israel and/or prophecy become the only focus, we will be lop-sided Christians! Know and understand the place of Israel and prophecy in the context of all of Scripture.
Now, let’s make our way toward practical application of that idea! We’ll consider the signs of the end, then look to “non-prophetic” passages to help us understand how to live.
Here are some signs of the times:
- Re-birth of Israel. (Ezekiel 36-37) Israel cannot invite their King home if there is no home to invite Him to! This is the key prophecy of Jesus’ return, and it occurred May 14, 1948.
- Godlessness around the world. (2 Timothy 3:1-5) In his letter to Timothy, the apostle Paul provided a very long list of moral failures that would occur in the last days. Take a look at that list and decide for yourself whether or not those verses describe today’s culture.
- Tremendous increase in natural disasters. (Matthew 24:7) Worldwide natural disasters have more than doubled since 1980. Moreover, the intensity of storms and the resulting damage has increased far more.
- Wars and rumors of war. (Matthew 24:6) War has been constant in our world for decades, but nuclear capabilities have risen to a level making those threats of war much more apocalyptic.
- Russia, Iran, Turkey in coalition. (Ezekiel 38) The stage is set for the war of Gog and Magog as described by Ezekiel. Russia, Iran and Turkey are undeniably identified as the primary players (along with other minor players) in the northern invasion. Each of those nations now hold military positions on Israel’s border with Syria.
- Signs of the rise of the false prophet and Antichrist are all over. Though we (Christians) will be raptured prior to the Antichrist being revealed, we see false prophet and Antichrist-like figures in the world today.
The signs are everywhere! So, what instructions are we given? Now is the time to open God’s Word, so crack open the Book and let’s take a look!
- 1 John 2:15-18. We are not to love this world or the things of it. Those who please God will live forever. The last hour is here and the Antichrist is coming.
- 1 Corinthians 9:24-27. We are all running a race, and we must run to win. To compete, we must persevere and not give up. We discipline ourselves so we will not be disqualified.
- Hebrews 12:1-2. We must lay aside every encumbrance (sin) that entangles us and keeps us from running the race to win. When we fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, we are guided rightly.
Finally, let’s consider Luke 19:11-13:
While they were listening to these things, Jesus went on to tell a parable, because He was near Jerusalem, and they supposed that the kingdom of God was going to appear immediately. So He said, “A nobleman went to a distant country to receive a kingdom for himself, and then return. And he called ten of his slaves, and gave them ten minas and said to them, ‘Do business with this until I come back.’”
Friends, the kingdom of God is about to appear. Jesus told a parable that mirrored Himself when He described a nobleman going to a distant country. He has gone to the heavenly kingdom to prepare a place for us! But, just as the nobleman in the parable, Jesus left us here, with His resources, to do His business until He returns!
Again, I say: We must be about our Father’s business in these days until He returns. The time is now…we have no time to delay. Are you doing business with the resources He left you?
That is my prayer for all of us (myself included!) As we do His business, let’s be faithful watchmen who shout the warnings to those around us!
We’re nearing the end of the study, but we’re not there yet! So, I’ll see you tomorrow!