Tuesday, October 1, 2013

How Long Can It Be?

Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.  Matthew 25:13 NASB

But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.   Luke 21:28 NASB

For nearly two thousand years, Christians have been proclaiming that Christ will return. For about two hundred years, a notable segment has been expecting the Church to be removed to heaven (the Rapture) just prior to Christ's physical return and for the world to fall into the hands of the Antichrist for a short span of time (the Tribulation) thereafter. Some Christians expect a golden age of Christian dominion to precede Christ's return. As for me, I am expecting Christ to catch away the ready very soon, literally at any moment, so let me share some reasons that make that expectancy relevant today.

1) Adolf Hitler (d. April 30, 1945) is beginning to fade into history. I believe Hitler was the seventh king in the string of eight that represent the Antichrist Scheme (Revelation 17:9-11). The Beast, the last antichrist, the Antichrist, must follow the seventh, and I see the force of Revelation 17 as implying that it will be soon afterward. A long period of time passed from the first to the eighth, and in some cases between the successors of the seven (Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greek Syria, Rome, Germany). I don't believe a long period can pass between the seventh and eighth and still do the prophecy justice; therefore, the eighth must come upon us soon, very soon!

2) Israel is reconstituted in the Promised Land, and thereby is most definitely an eschatological sign in itself. The Apocalypse, relevant portions of Daniel, and the Olivet Discourse assume the existence of the Jewish people in the Promised Land and the existence of the Temple in the time of the Antichrist. The Temple need only be erect in the last three and half years of the Antichrist's reign to fulfill that prophecy, but that is likely to be part of the covenant that the Antichrist signs with Israel just before the end of the age. May 15, 1948 should have set off everyone's prophetic alarm clock, regardless.

3) The nations that make up the Ten Horns, the kingdoms that form an alliance which comes together to give the Antichrist power (Revelation 17:12-13), have recently synchronized in political upheaval. The fall of communist regimes in the Balkans, and instability in Greece, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, Libya, and Sudan make this an opportunistic time for the rise of the Ten Horns. Those nations must have a relatively brief moment of synchronized chaos which results in new "kings", which resolves quickly thereafter in the confederacy of ten in order to fulfill the prophecy. We are there right now.

Nothing about these signs requires a long lead-in time or much in the way of change in circumstances to be fulfilled at this moment in time. In fact, the Rapture of the Church might very well precipitate whatever is not in place at this very instant. Jesus is truly coming back soon! Look up, my friends, the signs say that our redemption is drawing near. I hope you have oil for your lamps. Given the state of things right now, how long can it be?