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The Christian Counter

Five Essential Bible Truths Part 1 Second Coming of Jesus  
 


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Are You Prepared for This?

 

The prophecies written in the books of Daniel and Revelation describe a sequence of events spanning a period of 3,500 years. Since the prophecies began during the fifth century, B. C., we have been able to observe prophetic fulfillments unfold over the past 2,600 years. More than two-thirds of this prophetic time line has expired. In fact, it is precise fulfillment of apocalyptic prophecy during the past 2,600 years that provides a high level of certainty that future elements will come to pass as specified. Because the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation observe a well-defined architecture, we can determine our location within the chronological order of events they predict. In other words, we can verify what has happened in the past and we can determine the next prophetic event. 

 

The world stands on the doorstep of a great transition. Earth’s civilizations as we currently know them, are about to undergo a radical rebirth. I am not describing another world order based on the political realignment of the kingdoms of men. That type of realignment has been going on ever since nations came to be. Instead, I am describing A New-World order, which God will soon establish. The Bible is the only source of truth on this subject. The Bible is the only book that contains a comprehensive road map of soon coming events and the Bible is the only authority that speaks for God on this matter. For these reasons, people should carefully consider the contents of the Bible. The people of Earth need to fully prepare for what God is about to do.

 

If life continues on its present path, planet Earth faces a cataclysmic destiny. We can already see the birth pains. Tensions between nations continue to mount. However, consider the impact God is going to abruptly startle the six billion inhabitants of the world with a great show of divine authority. In the coming confusion, mayhem and suffering that is just around the bend, a trustworthy road map on the forthcoming actions of God will be of enormous value. Even though the road map of Bible prophecy does not reveal a pretty picture, it does offer a ray of hope shining from the end of a short, but very dark tunnel. For this reason alone, the Bible should receive a much higher level of respect and consideration. After investigating the subject of Bible prophecy for many years, I am convinced that whether we believe or disbelieve, agree or disagree with Bible prophecy, man’s opinions about God do not change Him or His actions. Whether we believe Bible prophecy or not, all that God has promised, He will do. All that He has predicted will come to pass.

 

What do we Face?

 

This section provides a summary of coming events that will affect the entire planet. Details that are more specific will be provided in the second section of this study. The book of Revelation predicts four global earthquakes. These earthquakes will increase in severity as they occur. They will sever bridges, break up hydroelectric dams, tear train tracks apart, collapse metropolitan freeway overpasses and kill many people. Obviously, many tall buildings will collapse. The world’s economy, communication and manufacturing infrastructures will come to a screeching halt. Before 1994, scientists have claimed that a “global” earthquake was physically impossible. However, last year an earthquake in South America, with an epicenter 400 miles below the surface, proved that tectonic plates exist much deeper than ever thought possible. This earthquake not only shook the western hemisphere, it also proved that a global earthquake is a distinct possibility.

 

In addition to four global earthquakes, Revelation also predicts a meteoric shower of burning hail that will ignite unquenchable forest fires all over the world. This cataclysmic event will burn millions of acres of trees and more importantly, food crops.

 

Until the 1980’s, scientists scoffed at the notion that a civilization-threatening asteroid had ever impacted this planet. However, in the past decade, new technology has helped scientists to identify more than 120 impact craters on Earth. A few of the craters are more than 150 miles in diameter. Now that powerful telescopes have vividly recorded Shoemaker-Levy 9’s impact with Jupiter, no one is laughing at the possibility that a massive asteroid could hit Earth again. In fact, the book of Revelation predicts two asteroid impacts. One asteroid will impact the ocean and the resulting tsunami will wash away coastal cities with the same ease that high tide removes footprints from the sand of a beach. Then, a second asteroid impact will obliterate much of the continent. Many, perhaps millions of people who survive the initial impact will eventually perish from drinking contaminated water. (Ground waves from the massive asteroid impact will sheer both man-made and natural geological structures allowing deadly bacteria to enter underground aquifers.) The Bible does not say which ocean or which continent will be impacted, but we can be sure that when it happens, it will not come as a random event, for God maintains a deliberate and specific purpose in all that He does.

 

Adding to this coming global misery, Revelation also predicts that darkness will cover the Earth for a number of months. This darkness could be caused by a series of volcanic eruptions that occur shortly after the asteroid impacts. Consider the scenario: No sun, no crops. No crops, no more food. A worldwide famine is coming. As bad as this description seems, the most frightening part of Revelation’s story is not the global disasters, but the response of desperate men and women trying to survive the judgments of God. The Bible predicts that political and religious leaders will hastily create a worldwide organization to appease the wrath of an angry God. In addition, the Bible predicts this organization will have global authority and power almost instantly!

 

This is no fairy tale. This is not a reality check. These events are imminent and you need to know what is in our path. Why is God going to send these disastrous signs? He is going to get the full attention of everyone living on Earth – all six billion of us. He is about to disrupt the affairs of man suddenly and during a short period of 1,335 days. He will sort through the people of Earth. He will separate the good from the bad, the sheep from the goats. During this time, God will present the terms and conditions of salvation to every member of the human race, and He will see to it that every person hears His offer of salvation. God has predetermined that every human being will seriously consider His coming kingdom. The good news is that everyone will be invited to be part of God’s New-World order, even the most vile person on Earth can be part of the new kingdom (if he repents and turns from sin and rebellion). The other side of the coin is that God intends to destroy the kingdoms of men. This includes everyone opposed to His government and authority, even “self-righteous church going saints” unless they also repent and turn from their sins. Keep in mind God is impartial. He loves everyone equally. However, the human race has gone too far. Corporately speaking, the actions and attitudes of Earth’s inhabitants are too violent, decadent and beyond repair. Sin brings decadence and decadence has filled the world’s cup of iniquity. As a result, time has almost come for God to visit Earth.

 

How Soon is the End?

 

The Bible speaks of Earth’s final events as “The End of the Age” or “The Time of the End.” Several Bible authors write about this period of time because the end of the age is marked by a complete spiritual and physical reconfiguration of planet Earth. In a small way, signs of this coming planetary transformation are visible today. For example, geophysical events include weather systems that are producing more droughts and a higher frequency of violent storms. This past fall, the number of tropical storms and hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean affecting North America set a new record. Seismic activity is also increasing on a logarithmic scale. It is astounding to realize that more earthquakes measuring 6.0 and above on the Richter scale have been recorded this decade (and this is only 2004) than have been recorded during the past 90 years! Volcano activity is also on the increase. Our planet now has more than 400 active volcanoes. Are these physical changes an omen or sign of what is to come? Yes. Consider the financial impact from nature’s violence on the financial institutions of the world. Many insurance companies are in deep trouble as a result of previous natural disasters. The repair bill for Hurricane Andrew alone depleted insurance companies of more than 13 billion dollars. How many storms will occur before the giants of the world’s economy are blown away?

 

What about the spiritual condition of man? Have you noticed the fracturing (breakup) of society? Have you observed the rising concerns about the war in Iraq? Will these Moslem countries ever find a lasting peace? What about the former Soviet Union? Will the leaders of Moscow be able to gain control over the ethnic diversities that spans eight time zones? What about the United States of America? Can peace and good faith be established between Afro-Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, Native-Americans and White-Americans? Looking at the future of our planet in general, everything seems to indicate increased tension over ethnic origins. On a global scale, what will be the state of race relations in ten years? What will the current increases in ethnic allegiance bring to those nations that are composed of many ethnic groups? As the global population continues to increase (a net gain of 9 million per month), another world war seems inevitable. Since many nations now have nuclear capability, what will the planet look like after World War III? It is time to wake up! Planetary resources are too few for so many people and this will bring, in due time, a global revolution. The world’s political leaders can see the problem and they wrestle with their complexity. However, men cannot solve the developing crisis. World leaders are groping for answers and in this setting of uncertainty, fear rises and anger builds. Consequently, people are studying ways to protect themselves from each other. Is this the next wave? Can we really save ourselves?

 

Although the Bible does not precisely state when the end of the age will occur, it does offer enough data to determine a “window of time” during which the end of the age happens. For example, if a person totals all the prophetic time-periods in Daniel and Revelation, the genealogical records of Genesis and Exodus, and the years from the Exodus to the fall of Jerusalem in 586 B.C., the Bible only refers to 7,000 years (plus or minus 70 years). We know that the 1,000 years of Revelation 20 occurs after the Great Tribulation. This suggests that on or about the 6,000-year mark, life, as we know it will end. According to my calculations, The Great Tribulation could begin any time. Maybe the end of the age will occur sometime between 2004 and 2008 – but the passage of time will have to reveal the actual date. This much is certain; the entire world will notice the commencement of the Great Tribulation for it is marked with one of four global earthquakes and other celestial signs. (See Revelation 8:5.)

 

There is a Plan

 

God is sovereign. God has a plan for Earth. He has a purpose for each individual. To understand God’s purpose and plan takes some effort and personal desire. The Bible reveals everything we need to know, and we need to know all that we can know. The end-time story in Revelation is not based on a continual decline into global, moral bankruptcy. No, the end time story, like an ellipse, focuses on two points. The first point is time the second is degeneration. In other words, if degeneration is given enough time, it overcomes man. If history reveals anything, it clearly shows that civilizations come and go. The length of time a civilization enjoys prosperity is directly proportional to God’s favor. Notice this response to the prophet Daniel to King Nebuchadnezzar: “He [the God of Heaven] changes times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.” (Daniel 2:21) Each time we have a political election in the United States, I reflect on this text. How does God set up kings (or leaders) and depose of them when they are elected too office by popular vote (or lack thereof)? I have found a rather simple answer: God is able to bring about circumstances that propel people in various directions. One clear example of this is found in the story about the Tower of Babel. God altered the common language of man by creating many languages and this simple event brought about the dispersion of nations. (See Genesis 11:1-9.)  Back to Daniel for one more point. Notice Daniel’s statement to Nebuchadnezzar about the quality of men God places in leadership: “The decision [to punish you for unbridled vanity, oh king] is announced by messengers, the holy ones [angels] declare the verdict, so that the living may know that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest of men.” (Daniel 4:17)

 

Here is a profound point: When a nation turns its back on principles of righteousness, when individuals turn away from right doing, God deals with that nation and its citizens accordingly. Prophet Daniel understood why he was in Babylon as a captive. Notice his confession: “All Israel has transgressed your law and turned away, refusing to obey you. “Therefore, the curses and sworn judgments written in the Law of Moses, the servant of God, have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against you. “ (See Daniel 9:11 and Ezekiel 12-22)

 

These principles are timeless because God is eternal. However, few people step back and study the larger picture. The big picture reveals a global civilization that has reached its end. The world is too small and its resources too few. The cancer of sin has become pandemic. Selfish ambitions and the love of money have brought out every enterprise. Affections for each other are too cold and ethnicity too important. All of these things serve to alienate us from one another. So, what must God do with this wayward planet? He must act. He will act.

 

Remember any serious attempt to save ourselves from the coming tribulation is a lot like arranging deck chairs on the Titanic. What difference does it ultimately make where the chairs are placed on a ship headed for the bottom of the ocean? This is why the next global drama is in God’s court. He sees the enormous mess we are in because of our sins. Just like Humpty Dumpty (world civilizations), all the king’s horses and all the king’s men (the efforts of man), cannot put it together again. In the language of Monday night football, we have reached fourth and goal; five seconds remain on the clock, and its God’s turn to make the last call. His game plan can be found in the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation.

 

God is at Work

 

The Bible indicates that God will accomplish a number of important matters during the Great Tribulation. First, he will awaken every person on Earth to the fact that Jesus, the Judge of all mankind, is about to appear and require an account of each person’s behavior. Second, God is about to expose the contents of every human heart by placing a comprehensive test of faith before each of us. Finally, God will silence the blasphemous claims of the world’s religious systems. He will demonstrate that we cannot obtain salvation through membership in any religious system. God is about to inform the world that salvation only comes through total commitment and submission to Jesus Christ.

 

Most of the prophetic interpretations we hear on radio and TV are misleading. Do not misunderstand. People can believe anything they choose to believe about the future, but what effect does belief or denial have on coming events? Almost everyone in Noah’s day refused to believe a flood was coming. What effect did their denial have on the promised event? My point is that millions of people have been led to anticipate things that will never happen and when the predicted events of Revelation begin, everything that can be shaken will be shaken. On that day, many people will abandon their faith in God because they placed their faith in religious leaders instead of studying God’s word for themselves. Even worse, many religious leaders have not spiritually prepared their flocks (their parishioners) for the trying circumstances they are about to face. What is bitterer than the experience of misplaced trust? I mention this matter because either most religious leaders, do not know about the coming events or they deny the seriousness of the 14 events that are just before us. Therefore, a very serious problem exists. Few people have been spiritually prepared for the trying experiences ahead. What many people have been led to believe about God is not true. In the coming hour of tribulation, many unprepared people will become bitter. In their anger, frustration and fear, many people will grow to hate God. Of course, such hatred will be misdirected. However, since most Christians have a Bible, whom should God hold responsible for having faulty knowledge?

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Continue to page :: 2 ::

Five Essential Bible Truths Part 1
Second Coming of Jesus
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