After a rather tumultuous 2020, warnings went out: Brace yourself…2021 is likely to be even more challenging than 2020. In many ways it was.
Now, as 2021 comes to a close, we look back and see how the challenges actually foreshadow or confirm Bible prophecy in many ways. Here are a few examples:
- Covid continued to rage across the globe in 2021. In Matthew 24, Jesus’ disciples asked Him what would be the signs of the end and, among a list of things, Jesus mentioned pestilences. Merriam-Webster defines “pestilence” as contagious or infectious epidemic disease that is virulent and devastating. Sound familiar?
- Deception is becoming commonplace. The world’s supposed Covid expert lied repeatedly to Congress, health organizations concocted a deceitful narrative that many of our nation’s leaders are happy to spread, and mainstream media has become nothing but the communications arm for those who intend to keep the American public uninformed and living in fear. Beyond that, and perhaps even more sinister, is the deception spewed forth from warmongers who intend to destroy Israel, while declaring something totally different. (See Will the New Year Bring Deception of the Last Hour?)
- Iran’s nuclear sprint. Throughout 2021, Iran baited a weak, indecisive US administration to re-enter negotiations regarding the nuclear deal. It is a win-win for the Ayatollah! The Biden administration has already released sanctions, so the Iranians are free to export oil to financially support their efforts to enrich uranium to weapons grade. Likewise, they have the means to purchase missiles from North Korea or China, capable of delivering nuclear warheads. Iran is in no rush to re-negotiate a deal. It simply serves as the doorstop to keep the US from re-implementing sanctions. Ezekiel 38 specifically names Persia (modern-day Iran) as a key member of the coalition that will ultimately invade Israel (see verse 5), and they are marching toward fulfillment of that prophecy.
- Buildup of forces on Israel’s borders. Speaking of Ezekiel 38, we also see other partners named in that chapter gathering in Syria and Lebanon, two countries on Israel’s northern border, whose sovereignty has almost disappeared in 2021. Do you find it interesting that neither Syria nor Lebanon are mentioned in Ezekiel 38, yet the invasion comes from Israel’s north? It is not surprising, then, to find Russia (Rosh, Meshech and Tubal), Turkey (Togarmah and possibly Gomer) and Iranian proxies (Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, others) controlling all of Syria and Lebanon, setting the Ezekiel 38 stage as never before.
- Lawlessness grew throughout 2020-2021. America and the world have seen an incredible rise in crime and lawlessness. 2 Thessalonians 2 warns that lawlessness will reign before the Antichrist is revealed in the midst of “unrighteous deception.”
- Finally, 2 Timothy 3:1-5 seems to characterize our world today more than any other time in history. Let’s allow Scripture to speak for itself on this one:
3 You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. 2 For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. 3 They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. 4 They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. 5 They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!~2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NLT)
I’m sure you could add to our list, but these examples are enough to tell us we are not long for this world. Most certainly, I yearn for the return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to return in the clouds to snatch us out of this world…and 2022 would be a grand time for that to occur!
But while we say “Maranatha” (Lord, come quickly), we must remember that as long as we remain on this earth, we have work to do. In a parable (Luke 19:11-27), Jesus taught us to occupy till He comes. We are to “do business” while we live in this foreign land.
When our work here is done, Jesus promised to return, and to take us to the place He has been preparing for us since His resurrection and ascension into heaven! (John 14:1-3) This is not a time to be discouraged or weary, but a time to be strong and courageously about our Father’s business.
In 2022, may we be found faithfully doing just that! Happy New Year!