Are We the Terminal Generation ?
Are there Christians living today that will never see death ?
Is the Anti-Christ Waiting Just Offstage ?
Christians and Non-Christians alike have scoffed at the idea that Jesus could be returning in our lifetime. I've heard many people say that that is what my great grandparents said, and where is the sign of his coming? If you know your Bible well, there are certain things that must be in place and events that must take place before Jesus will return. There are many clues in both the Old and New Testaments. In Luke 21:35 Jesus gave us a stern warning to "Watch" and be ready for his coming; and be careful not to get caught up in the cares of this life, for the day, he said, will come as a snare upon all who dwell on the face of the earth. ( Please note "All", obviously meaning Christians and Non-Christians alike. ) In 1st Thessalonians 4-6, Paul later says that the day of the Lord shall not come as a thief in the night to Christians; if we are living our lives expecting his coming; and watching for it. Please understand that his return is not only to fulfill his promise to us as Christians that where he is, we may be also ( John 14:1-3 ), but to fulfill God the Father's master plan concerning the Jewish people, set the stage for the coming 1000 year Millennial reign of Christ which will reconcile all the Jewish people to Christ, and to harbor us, as Christians, from the wrath of God which is to come; to cleanse the world, by fire. Only God the Father knows the day and the hour of the return of Jesus, but we can certainly know the times. Let me outline the reasons I personally believe Jesus will be returning in the next 15 to 20 years. This is my opinion; and anyone who says they can predict his return in certainty you had better run from, for God the Father could change his mind, and only he knows the day and the hour. ( Mark 13;32) I feel the stage is being set in place.
1. The Jewish people must be back in their homeland of Israel at the time of Jesus's return. They will be persecuted and scattered among the nations, to be later recalled to the land of Israel by the trumpet of God. They will endure the persecution of the Anti-Christ referred to in Jeremiah 30:7 as the time of Jacob's trouble and as stated by Jesus in his Olivet sermon to his disciples as noted in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21. As we know, they were not back in their homeland until 1948. They simply have to be in Israel for the end times prophecy of Jesus Christ, in his Olivet discourse as written in Matthew, Mark, and Luke; to take place. They are now, and Jesus could not have returned before 1948. God has a predetermined plan for the end of this world as we know it, and nothing will change it. It promises to be a very interesting time. More about the Jewish people and Israel later. A sad and fascinating story; and no one could make this kind of stuff up.
2. "The Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God will be preached in all the world, and then the end will come; " as stated by Jesus in Matthew 24:14 and Mark 13:10. Surely only God knows the day that he is satisfied and this prophecy of Jesus is fulfilled, but it does not take a very intelligent person to know that we must be very, very close to this being fulfilled. With the advent of the television, radio and the internet; the gospel is reaching incredible numbers of people, even in parts of the world where it is severely repressed. The message and miracles of Jesus are now available in surely most all the world for people either to pursue, or reject and go on about their daily lives. Remember that the Apostles did not reach every single person with the good news, they spoke to many crowds and the people's hearts who were right were drawn to Jesus through just hearing the words of others. As we know from the New Testament, no one comes to Jesus unless first being drawn to him by God the Father, as noted in John 17:24. This prophecy of Jesus could certainly already be fulfilled.
3. "Let no man deceive you by any means, for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition." ( 2nd Thessalonians 2, verse 3 and 4 ) This was a letter to the early church by Paul the apostle appealing to the Christians at that time and to clarify the fact that Jesus will not be coming back, except there be a falling away from Christ 1st, and the anti-christ is revealed. A message so clear and simple that a 10 year old child could understand it. Paul was simply restating the message of Jesus in the Olivet discourse when Jesus said "Let no man deceive you" as to when he was returning. Very obviously, Jesus gave Paul special insight to the fact that there would be a falling away from him 1st, and that the anti-christ would be revealed and sit as God, in the temple of God, showing himself to be God. ( Verse 4 ) Folks, listen to my words. If a 1st grade child can understand this, how in the world do we have Pastors preaching all over America that we are going to be taken to Heaven and escape the persecution of the anti-christ, the so-called pre-tribulation rapture craze that has engulfed this country. It may be, as a Christian, what you want to hear, but how after reading these words can a sane person believe it is true. The Christians in Paul's time were expecting Jesus to reappear any day; and some of them had even quit working, expecting the world to be over. Paul wrote them specifically and told them not be deceived by anyone; and continued that Jesus would not return until the "anti-christ sits in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God." Paul was most certainly talking about the time Jesus was coming back to take us, as Christians, back to our Heavenly home, as promised by Jesus in John 14: 1-3. Is this prophecy of Paul not being fulfilled before our very eyes? I hope and pray we have not reached the point of no return, for our children's sake.
4. "And that no man might buy or sell save he that had the mark, or name of the beast, or the number of his name;" Revelation 13:17. Until the last 20 years or so, who would have ever dreamed that this kind of prophecy by John in Revelation some 2,000 years ago would ever be fulfilled in our lifetime. Is this prophecy of John not knocking at our very doors? We now have microchip implants of all kinds to track our pets by implanting them just under the skin. They have introduced similar implants for humans with all our information embedded in the chip for identification. With all the horrendous problems building regarding identity theft and internet security, are we not on the threshold of institutional and government attempts to require us to have an implant in our right hand or forehead to conduct business. I would now guess that the only thing necessary to validate this prophecy of John is the appearance of the anti-christ himself, who will rule the whole world for 42 months ( Revelation 13: 5-7 ). Was John implying this modern day type of chip, or a mark with a knife, or pin the tail on the donkey tag? In his vision, he would not have known to give it the word chip and he was obviously implying a mark of identification. I have always liked to ask myself if what I am saying passes the common sense test. I believe it does and seems to certainly fit well in our present day times. Why believe in Jesus ??? Because it takes God himself to tell you what will happen, before it happens. Do you love Jesus enough to die for him? I do.
5. Luke 21:11 "And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs there will be from Heaven. --- But before all of these." Again, Jesus in his teachings to his disciples on the Mount of Olives. He was obviously telling his disciples they were going to be persecuted ( Verse 12 ), and in the future the events would happen. I have said for years that the only one of these signs we haven't seen is "fearful sights and great signs from Heaven". I heard a television Pastor say not long ago that us going to the moon is what Jesus was talking about here. That kind of statement is sure to find a home in the Christian Hogwash Corral, and I have had a very hard time not chuckling when I think about it. No disrespect intended. It just does not make any common sense. I do believe I have seen this prophecy of Jesus fulfilled. We have in recent years seen sun flares that could potentially wipe out our communication systems, and the identification of close proximity asteroids that could send us the way of the dinosaurs. That's not God's plan, but even a small asteroid impact here on earth could turn our world upside down. We now have increased power of our telescopes and are exploring powerful things in other galaxies which could be heading our way, and yes; fearful sights and great signs like exploding stars and black holes. Certainly the earthquakes, famines and pestilences ( diseases ) have already been and are being fulfilled in our times. Just look around us at the AIDS virus, the SIKA virus, the Ebola virus and new ones coming down the tracks they call superbugs, that they don't even have names for. I truly believe this prophecy of Jesus in Luke 21 has been and is being fulfilled before our very eyes. Would Jesus and Paul have cloaked their end times message to us as Christians so that we could not understand it. I don't think so and it is as clear as a bell, unless a Pastor or group tries to twist it all out of shape and make it say something it doesn't. As Christians, we are called to test the doctrine and to see if fits the other scriptures in the Bible. We live in a world that is so fragile that a single volcanic eruption or earthquake could literally turn our world upside down. For those that do not fear God, you should. Revelation 14:7 "Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters."
6. 2nd Timothy 3: 1-4 "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God." Who would have believed 30 years ago that the most dominate Television commercials today seem to be about sexual enhancement drugs, and now we seem to have a pill for just about everything. Our children are bombarded with commercials that tell them that money is the answer to their problems and that they deserve the good life; a message in complete conflict with the teachings of Jesus. We now live in times that if you discipline your children the way my father did, you're known as a child beater and may get thrown in jail. We now live in times that if you teach the message of Jesus and God the Father's ways in the Old Testament, the first thing people bring up is "don't judge me," and try to make you feel like you have done something horribly wrong. I am not worthy to judge anyone in any way shape or form, but teaching the ways of Jesus and his Father is not judging anyone, it's simply doing what he asked us all as Christians to do; to teach others his ways and to admonish them to repent if they are not keeping his ways. Jesus said in John 14:15 " If you love me, keep my commandments " and he told us he did not come to judge the world, but to save the world,
( John 12: 47-48 ) and that anyone who rejects his words will be judged by his words in the last day. I believe the prophecy of Timothy is a pretty good description of the times we now live in; and he called them the last days. There are many, many, millions of Godly Christians in this country who keep God's ways, but I believe most every Christian would agree that the ways of Jesus and his Father are being diluted, and that the scale has been tipped. We are heading down the road the Jewish people did in the Old Testament when God's cup grew full, and he sent Nebuchadnezzar, who he called his servant, to destroy them and their way of life; for disobedience. Most certainly, we have witnessed a great falling away from God's ways, and the voices of the Christians who should be defending them; have grown silent. There is going to be a whole lot of surprised Christians the day they meet Jesus. There won't be anything as a cloak for our sins and Jesus said it will be very simple, did you keep my ways and the words I left with you? Did you really love me? He said he will say to many " depart from me, I never knew you. " It's not about what's in your mind, it's about what's in your heart.
7. James 5: 1-5 "Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth. Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter." Pretty strong words from James to the ungodly rich of his day and certainly to the rich of ours. We without question live in the most materialistic world today that the world has ever seen. We have seen untold greed and corruption in the stock market and almost a feeding frenzy environment. Is not this prophecy of James not fitting for the times we are now living in. Have not the cries of the people who have been swindled and lost their life savings not reached the ears of God. Does not God have the stock market and our whole economic system in the palm of his hand, like never before. I believe the words of James are a promise to the rich that if money is your God, you will be stripped naked and bare in the last days. Has not the balance tipped to where it has gotten very very hard to trust people. It is getting harder and harder to find good honest companies to deal with, and most certainly we now live in days that you really have to watch your back. Be careful where you place your money in these last days. The last days will not be about a person's money; they will be about surviving.
8. The Weather; the weather; the weather. Luke 21:25 - 27 " 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; men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory." The words of Jesus again to his disciples on the Mt. of Olives concerning the times and state of affairs in the world at the time of his return. I ask the question? Are we not seeing the signs in the sun; with sun flairs, the moon; with blood moons, in the stars; with the recent finding of exploding stars, comets, and asteroids; and are we not beginning to see the distress of nations not only with terrorism, but with the recent fall of oil that threatens to destabilize our world economies. Are we not beginning to see perplexity in our weather patterns that even the scientists can not explain. Is there not so much unrest even in America that we simply don't sleep as well as we used to. " Men's hearts failing them for fear " could certainly be from civil unrest in the world, but I believe the unpredictable and increasingly more violent weather might be dead on, and we are only beginning to see the impacts of our warming climate and the disruption in our daily lives. The news recently reported a man dying of a heart attack in Texas as a result of his fear of the massive flooding going on there, and it looks like this is just the beginning of our trouble to come. If you want to see something really interesting, go to PBS and Nova and watch the documentary on climate change and what is called global dimming. Global dimming deals with our pollution on earth masking the effects of global warming much like volcanic ash does after an eruption; in effect, cooling our planet. It goes on to state that if we go green and clean up the pollution we have already created, the earth will get increasingly warmer. It states that we have large amounts of methane gas, a component of natural gas, in our oceans that will start to be released at some point, thus boiling to the surface and causing the waves to roar. Could this be what Jesus was talking about in Luke 21:25 above. I am not saying my methane gas and global warming theory is a certainty, but it does seem to make sense, and I believe you will find it very interesting. I want to take you back to the Old Testament and the words of God to help explain to you the road we are now on. Isaiah 24:1 - 6 describes the end times weather scenario at it's height, and the reasons it is happening. "Behold, the LORD maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof. 2. And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to him. 3. The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the LORD hath spoken this word. 4. The earth mourneth and fadeth away, the world languisheth and fadeth away, the haughty people of the earth do languish. 5. The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. 6. Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left." Please note the term "curse." It's really hard to say these scriptures have been taken out of context, and Isaiah 24 above certainly has not happened yet. God has planned a progressive consumption as part of the end times scenario. Although the "distress of nations" mentioned by Jesus above could most certainly mean severe droughts, and famines, and civil unrest which we are already seeing, please note verse 2 above in that no one is exempt from what is happening to the world; what I believe implies a total breakdown of the weather environment in which we live. Note verse 5 that it is because of sin that God has punished the inhabitants of the earth. Are we not seeing verse 5 play out in all the world, in that God's laws of the Old Testament, which we have lived by for centuries are being cast away and re-written without respect to the consequences. We have even re-written God's definition of marriage without respect for him. If we respected God's ways, could it not have been called a civil union. To those who don't know, I want to show you in the Old Testament how God deals with sin. Leviticus 18:25 "And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants." The Old Testament shows us clearly how God deals with sin, and Jesus did not come to re-write God's laws and ways. Luke 16:17 "And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail." Jesus and his father are one, and he did not come to abolish his father's perfect ways for us to live by. The sin of the world and the re-writing of God's laws and ways most surely have put us on a course that God will not allow for long. Listen to more of the words of God. Hosea 4:3 "Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwelleth therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven; yea, the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away." Are not our coral reefs now dying, and haven't we started to see God's punishment here in America with severe droughts, floods, and ever increasing violent weather in many areas? Jeremiah 12:4 "How long shall the land mourn, and the herbs of every field wither, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein? the beasts are consumed, and the birds; because they said, He shall not see our last end." Folks, listen to my words, as sure as there is God in Heaven that has a son named Jesus, the weather chaos that is happening and that will continue to get increasingly worse comes at the hand of Almighty God; for the sin in our nation. Those Christians that sit idly by will see the hopes and futures of their children disintegrate before their very eyes, and our world weather system come apart. Our glaciers and polar regions are melting far faster than anyone knows, and the ramifications of that volume of water going into our oceans is something no man can explain. Millions of people depend on the water provided by glaciers for their very existence. Our old stable weather patterns may never be back, and don't be surprised if we wake up one morning to see the Greenland ice sheet split in half. Remember the words of Jesus as to where we are at, and what is coming. Mark 13:8 "For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows." Please note the words "beginnings of sorrows." We all need to pray that our young people will wake up and see what is coming down their tracks; for God shall not be mocked, and his words will not return to him void. Hold on to your pants; for we are going for a ride if America and the world does not return to God and his ways. God is certainly able to shelter those states and people who will stand up for his ways. As every day passes, we seem to be known more as the divided States of America.
9. My old friend Daniel the prophet.
I'm saving this one. You will find it incredibly interesting.
Copyright 2017 Craig D. Holland