Part 3 – Understanding the Present: How Close are We?

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Week 3 of Understanding the Times

Ok, friends, let’s jump right back in! We’re in Matthew 24, so if you have missed the past two days, browse back to those sessions before diving in here.

We are looking specifically at Jesus’ parable of the fig tree, found in Matthew 24:32-35, and we’ve established the fact that the fig tree represents Israel, and that Israel “put forth leaves” when it was re-born as a nation in 1948. But Jesus makes an interesting statement in verse 34. What is it?

Indeed, He said “this generation” will not pass away until all these things (spoken of in Matthew 24 and elsewhere) take place. Hmmmm….so how long is a generation? Though we must be very careful to guard against becoming dogmatic, the Bible gives some hints, but (to my knowledge) not a definite, incontestable answer.

Psalm 90:9-10 appears to define a generation as the days of an individual’s life, and places that at 70-80 years. Yet, I know people over 80. Perhaps a generation refers to the lifespan of a group of people living at the same time.

The point is NOT to debate the length of a generation (God will define that in His own way!), but to point out once again that we are living in the last days! How do we know? Because we see signs of fulfillment of prophecies that occur AFTER the rapture!

In the fall, when you enter a store, only to find Christmas trees and decorations already out, you know Thanksgiving is right around the corner! Likewise, when we see signs of events that occur during the tribulation and beyond, we know the rapture is right around the corner. (Or, in Jesus’ words “…recognize that He is near, right at the door.”)

What signs do we see? The most obvious is Israel is back in her land! Ezekiel 36 describes God’s preparation of the land to receive His people. Verse 8 says, But you, O mountains of Israel, you will put forth your branches and bear your fruit for My people Israel; for they will soon come.

Today, let’s close in a special way. Aaron Shust wrote and performed a special song for Israel’s 70th birthday, and it speaks to Israel’s return. Enjoy…and I’ll see you back here tomorrow!

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