Prophetic pieces are rapidly coming together. Very rapidly. Let me explain:
When the disciples asked Jesus what would be the sign of His coming, (Mt 24:3), Jesus sat them down and held the longest unbroken discourse He ever uttered besides the Sermon on the Mount. (Mt 5-7). He described in detail what the believers could expect prior to His return. This period of seven years is known as the Tribulation, and the second half of the period as it worsens is known as the Great Tribulation.
Revelation, and indeed, most of the other books of the New Testament and quite a few of the Old Testament, describe the judgments that will befall the people who are alive at the Time of Jacob’s Trouble, as the Old Testament calls it. (Jeremiah 30:4-7; Daniel 12:1).
But it’s important to note that the judgments Jesus describes in Matthew 24 (The Olivet Discourse, because He discoursed on the Mount of Olives) is judgment, and will occur after the rapture. Believers are not appointed to wrath (1 Thessalonians 5:9). However the Olivet Discourse and the other Tribulation descriptors in Mark and Luke show us what conditions will be like then, and from that, we can back-engineer what conditions may be like immediately prior to the Tribulation. It is my opinion that the rapture is close in time to happening, though there will be no sign preceding it and no particular event has to happen before believers are taken out of the world by His power and promise.
That said, when Jesus explained the signs to watch for it’s not like there will be skywriting to say “THIS is a sign.” (Except the angel that flies at mid-heaven, lol, that will be pretty obvious. Rev 14:6). There will be some signs that will be obvious to people such as Damascus being destroyed (Is 17:1; the angel flying in mid-heaven that I mentioned, the Two Witnesses being resurrected in front of the eyes of the world, but for the most part, then and especially now, we have to scrutinize the times and put pieces together to see where we’re at. However, people who are alert will know what is going on. (1 Thess 5:4).
For example, I’ve been speaking of a condition called wealth skew. In the Tribulation, a large portion of the population will be very, very poor. They will work all day and only able to afford a loaf of bread. Many will die of famine. (Rev 6:6; 6:8). Yet there will be people enjoying incredible luxuries, buying and selling in the world’s most expensive furniture, perfumes, wood, and foods. (Rev 18:12-15). I call it wealth skew or wealth gap because the middle class will have disappeared (which we are seeing now, actually) and the poor will be very poor while the rich will be very rich. Though in recent times it can’t be said that all wealth was distributed evenly, there had been a trend over the last 40 years of a growing and vibrant middle class, even in the Latin American countries and certainly north America and Europe, and many other western nations. And though the very wealthy have always occupied a small percentage of the top levels, that percentage has shrunk while those still occupying the top rungs of financial comfort are even more comfortable than ever. Rep. Nancy Pelosi was 60th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives and her wealth grew by 62% even after the 2008 economic crash.
So we won’t see a something that we can point to overnight and say “There! that is a sign!” but we can read the warnings that the bible gives us and know that we’re given conditions to watch out for. Like this one in an article describing the US problem of flash mob robberies and the use of social media to plan these mob robberies and riots:
“You are essentially having a world where you have 25 million people who are underemployed and 2 percent of the population doing better than they ever have,” Taplin said. “Why wouldn’t that lead to some sort of social unrest?”
People are upset about their economic conditions, either being tired of always being poor and protesting, or the newly poor are shocked into violence to protest their new status.
This article from CNBC says “Riots break out around the world amid economic anxieties“. Global unrest…yet another condition that will permeate the Tribulation. Peace will be taken from the earth. (Rev 6:3-4). There will be no peace. There will be nations against nations (ethnic groups against ethnic groups) wars, and rumors of wars. We are seeing that prophesied condition being set in place for fulfillment now.
Another condition being set up for rapid fulfillment is this one spoken of in Luke. In Luke 21:25 Jesus is recorded as saying, “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;…” Though certainly the interpretation can be made that this is literally the seas roaring, indeed, there are so many natural disasters occurring now and will occur in the Tribulation it is more than possible, but I don’t think it means only that. In Isaiah it is explained what the metaphor means: “Isaiah 17:12 Oh, the raging of many nations–they rage like the raging sea! Oh, the uproar of the peoples–they roar like the roaring of great waters!”
There IS great uproar now.
|London England riots (Tottenham) Source|
Rasmussen recently conducted a poll and the results were astonishing. Pollster Pat Caddella sea of anger is churning” among Americans who “want to take their country back” and that the nation stood on the brink of a “pre-revolutionary moment”.
Unwittingly he used almost exactly the phrase from the soon-to-be fulfilled Luke 21:25 verse of the seas roaring and tossing. We are very close to the rapture, but if it does not come for a month or a year, it still does not matter. He WILL come for us. Meanwhile, believers, do not fear. How many times are believers told not to fear? Many!
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
“What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31).
“This is what I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt. And my Spirit remains among you. Do not fear.’ (Haggai 2:5)
We have only joy in anticipation of His soon return, and only relief to know that we escape the wrath and are considered His children, washed clean and pardoned from the sentence we deserve of our wrongdoing in His eyes. The conditions we’re seeing in the world, far from worrying me, are giving me hope that we may soon see Him. Cling to that hope, for he is the Blessed Hope!