Hello, Everyone! Welcome to another broadcast of the Resounding Shophar Blast! In case you haven’t been watching, there is a lot going on right now regarding the fulfillment of Biblical end-time events, so much so that some people are scrambling just to keep up with everything that is going on.
As I observe all that is going on right now, I am reminded of something that took place back in December of 1989. The event was a meeting between then President George W. Bush, Sr. and the Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev on the island of Malta. I don’t remember much about that event, but what I do remember was something said by a well-known news anchor who was on a boat in the middle of the Mediterranean, and during a storm. This news anchor, and I don’t remember which one it was, while he’s on the deck of the boat braving the storm, told the audience that things were happening so fast that they were having trouble keeping up and reporting all the news taking place. When I heard him say that, immediately God quickened to me that when the time comes for Jesus to return for His Bride and for the start of the Tribulation period, things will be happening so fast that people’s heads will be spinning, and what the world was experiencing at the time this reporter made these statements was only a glimpse, a taste, of what will happen when God says it’s time. People are now actually beginning to comment about how so much is happening right now in the area of Biblical end-time prophecy fulfillment, they are having trouble keeping up with it all.
In Matthew 24:32-35, as well as in Mark 13:28-31, Jesus gives us the parable of the fig tree. In the Bible, the fig tree is symbolic of the Nation of Israel. When Jesus gave this parable, Israel was not a nation, but He was looking at a future time when Israel would become one. In this parable, Jesus makes it known that the generation that sees Israel become a nation will not pass away until all the things He previously mentioned takes place. Well, Israel became a nation May 14, 1948, and ever since then the fulfillment of Biblical end-time prophecies has kicked into high gear along with the highly anticipated return of Jesus for His Church. Some people want to say that it will be several years yet before Jesus returns, and some say even at least 100 or more years yet, but there is one very big problem with this rationale. The generation that saw Israel become a nation is about to pass away, which means that there isn’t the 10’s or 100’s of years some would like to believe there is before Christ returns. There has been much debate over the years as to how long a generation is Biblically speaking, ranging anywhere between 40 to 120 years, but the consensus seems to point to 70-80 years as mentioned in Psalms 90:10. The current life expectancy statistics show just under 80 years, which seems to correlate very well with what we are currently seeing in the fulfillment of Biblical end-time prophecies.
In the parable of the fig tree, Jesus tells us that when we see all the signs He had mentioned taking place that we are to know that the end is near, at the doors! Talking about end-time events and when Jesus will return for the Church, many people will comment about how the signs Jesus mentioned, as well as what has been mentioned in other passages, have been seen for years. This only feeds into the fulfillment of one of the prophecies we’ve been given regarding the end-times, and that is found in 2 Peter 3:1-7 when the Apostle Peter tells us in the last days many will mock and question the promise of Christ’s return. While it is true that many of the signs Jesus mentioned have been seen for years, the difference to the times we are now living in is that all the signs seem to be converging together at the same time. This is different from the past in that not all the signs were present at the same time, but at different times and in different places. As we watch the fulfillment of Biblical end-time prophecies all around us, as well as all the signs prophesied converging together at the same time, it is evident that the final fulfillment of the signs Jesus gave is near, even at the doors!
When we talk about the final fulfillment of the signs Jesus gave us being near, it is important for us to remember a couple things. To begin with, some of the signs Jesus gave are directly connected to the Tribulation period we know will be coming, but we also know that if what He gave us relates to the Tribulation period, then that means the Rapture is that much closer. Therefore, Christians who are watching for the return of Jesus for His followers in the Rapture are excited about what they are seeing, knowing that this only means that the Blessed Hope mentioned in Titus 2:13 is about to happen. I’ve heard it said in the past, and I’ve since mentioned it myself at times, that when you begin to see the signs pointing to the fact that Christmas is near, that only means Thanksgiving is that much closer. What we are seeing take place right now point to the reality that the Tribulation period is about to start very, very soon, and that only means that the pre-Tribulation Rapture is that much closer.
Notice that in Matthew 24:32-35, Jesus is talking about Israel. He’s not talking about America, which didn’t come into existence until over 1700 years later, or any other country or people group. He’s talking about Israel and the Jewish people. What should that tell us? That should tell us that Israel is God’s prophetic timepiece, not America, or any other country or people group. In fact, when we look at Bible end-time prophecies, both in the Old and New Testaments, it’s all pretty much centered around Israel and the Jewish people. Those who want to say that God is done with Israel, and that He replaced them with the Church, a teaching that is spreading more and more within Church circles, they haven’t really read their Bible as that is most definitely not the truth. In fact, the Tribulation period the Bible talks about was prophesied for the Jewish people way back in Daniel 9, the purpose of which is to judge and discipline Israel and bring them to a place where they will acknowledge Jesus as the messiah they have been promised from the beginning, the same Jesus they rejected almost 2000 years ago. So, not only does this mean that God is not done with the Nation of Israel and the Jewish people, but it also means that Israel is the prophetic timepiece God is using.
In Matthew 24:3-4, Jesus is asked by the disciples as to when He would be coming and when would the end of the age be, and Jesus’ initial response to them was to not be deceived. As we see more and more of the signs of the end-times being fulfilled, it becomes even more necessary for us to be guarded against being deceived. In 1 Timothy 4:1-3 and 2 Timothy 4:1-5, we are told by the Apostle Paul that deception will be strong in the last days as Christians will fall away from the faith to embrace false doctrines inspired and promoted by demons, false doctrines that tickle peoples ears who reject the truth to embrace that which feels and sounds good.
Deception is not limited to just false doctrines and teachings, but also to that which distracts us away from the truth and what we are called to be as ambassadors of Christ. One form of deception that is often overlooked is that of misdirection, the practice of getting peoples attention away from where it needs to be and onto something else. This is something that is often seen in the area of magic tricks and those who practice the art of illusions, making something appear to be something other than what it really is, but it is employed in a variety of ways that include directing the focus of Christians away from Biblical truth and onto something else that feels and sounds good. We see this happening in various forms within the Church.
Jesus mentioned that when we see all the signs He told us about being fulfilled, then we are to know that they are indicating to us that the Tribulation period and His subsequent return to establish His kingdom here on earth is very near, even at the door. So, what are those signs that Jesus mentioned? One of the signs He gave us, going along with that of deception, was of false prophets in verses 4-5. While we are seeing some who claim to be Jesus, this will only increase especially leading up to the Tribulation period. These will join the crowd of false teachers who teach and promote false doctrine that does not line up with Scripture, something that is becoming more and more prevalent in the days we are currently living in.
Another of the signs He mentioned is found in verses 6-7, and that is of wars and rumors of wars. There is currently no shortage of wars going on, and rumors of wars about to break out around the world is great, and it seems to only be increasing. These include the Biblically prophesied wars found in Psalms 83, Isaiah 17, and Ezekiel 38-39, wars that appear to be right around the corner, some of which could happen any day now.
Another sign that Jesus gave in verse 7 was that of famines, pestilence, and earthquakes. Famines are only increasing as regions are either experiencing severe drought, severe flooding or other natural catastrophes that devastate crop productions and other food sources, and which greatly impact availability and access to food and pure water. Pestilence is also increasing around the world with disease epidemics growing and expanding all over the place, as well as the re-emergence of some diseases long thought to be no longer in existence. As for earthquakes, they are increasing both in number and intensity as never before, and even in places once thought to be free of earthquakes. Might I also add the increase in volcanic activity all around the world, activity that can in themselves sometimes create earthquakes?
In verse 9 we see that the Jewish people will be hated by all nations, also known as anti-Semitism, something that is present even now and speedily growing all over the world. Even in America this is becoming more of a reality as never before in this country. And in verse 12 we read that lawlessness will abound, and that the love of many will grow cold. We are seeing both as never before, and as fast and powerfully that it’s growing there are no signs of it diminishing one bit anytime in the foreseeable future. Lawlessness is becoming a global problem infecting all walks of life and positions of leadership.
Again, while each of these signs have been present at different times and in different places in world history, the main difference from the past and the present is that they are all happening simultaneously as if they are all converging to a point of time in the near future. In other words, the end of life as we know it is at the doors. Are you ready for it?
When Noah built the ark, he had 120 years to preach about the judgment coming to all the world, but only eight entered the ark. The people mocked him until the judgment came, and by then it was too late for them. When Lot was saved, he was warned by angels that God was going to pour out judgment upon Sodom and Gomorrah, but only he and his wife with two of their daughters left. Sadly, however, Lot’s wife didn’t get very far before she looked back at Sodom and was turned into a pillar of salt instead of getting to safety.
In like manner, God has warned us for thousands of years of the judgment coming to the world both in the Bible and in the fulfillment of Bible end-time prophesies. Yet, people are not believing it even though the signs are screaming the truth and reality of this. People are caught up with life in general, enjoying all that they can oblivious to what is going on in the world, and for some of them believing that we still have time because of one thing or another. Some are even embracing prophesies of good things from people who believe false doctrine, discounting the fulfillment of the signs all around them which validate what God tells us in the Bible. We can even see this as a fulfillment of the prophecy mentioned in 2 Timothy 4:3-4, where it talks of those who will not endure sound doctrine and truth but will instead embrace those who tickle their itchy ears with good fables.
Again, the Tribulation period and the subsequent return of Christ back to earth to establish His kingdom here is at the doors, and you don’t have to be here for that. You can miss all of that, but it’s entirely up to you. Those who have surrendered their lives to Jesus, those who have shown themselves faithful in living for Him in every area of their life, they will escape all that is coming in what I call the great evacuation, the Rapture. This is one appointment you don’t want to miss!
Do you realize that Jesus’ return for His followers is very close and could happen at any moment? Do you even care? Jesus isn’t going to rescue you from the judgment that is coming to the world if you really aren’t concerned about it. He’s looking for people who are eagerly waiting for Him to return for them, the Blessed Hope we read about in Titus 2:13.
Perhaps you are a Christian, but you haven’t been living as you know you ought to, allowing sin and idolatry to reign in your life. If that is you, then I strongly encourage you to repent of such, to make things right with Jesus, asking Him for forgiveness and turning away from the sin. Don’t play what I call Russian Roulette with your eternity because you want to hang onto that which is sin and dishonoring to God. Do it today! Don’t delay!
Maybe you have never given your life over to Jesus. Maybe you have been living life as you wanted, and on your terms, but in listening to me today you realize there needs to be a change in your life. You are seeing the signs I mentioned earlier only increasing, and you can tell things are not going to get any better but instead much worse, and you want to avoid as much of it as possible and realize the only real way of doing so is by surrendering your life to Jesus. Well, you can make that change right now wherever you are. It’s simple, as simple as “A, B, C”. Let me tell you how.
For you to be considering making such a change in your life, this only shows that God is speaking to you. He wants to have that saving relationship with you far more than you could ever want it yourself. To enter that relationship with Him, the first thing you need to do is acknowledge that you are a sinner. To acknowledge, or to admit, that you are a sinner is the “A” in the “A, B, C’s”. This may be difficult for some to do, but it’s vitally important. We are told in Romans 3:10 that no one is righteous or good, no, not one. The reason for that is found in Romans 3:23 where we’re told that all, everyone, has sinned and fall short of the glory of God. This means that nobody is good enough, no matter how good we may be, because we all have sin in our lives. Continuing in Romans, we are told in Romans 6:23 that the wages of our sin is death, or in other words the penalty of the sin in our life is eternal death. So, where does that leave us? We are told in Ephesians 2:8-9 that the salvation God offers us is a gift of God, something we receive by grace and through faith. No one deserves salvation, and no one certainly can earn it through works of any kind, but rather it is a gift from God. To receive this gift from God, the first thing a person must do is “A”, acknowledge or admit that they are a sinner.
The second thing a person must do, and this is “B” in the “ABC’s”, is to “BELIEVE” in their heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and that God raised Him from the dead. Romans 10:9-10 tells us that if we confess with our mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in our heart that God raised Him from the dead, we will be saved. It’s not just a mental believing as some would like it to be, but rather a believing that dictates the way one lives their life. It’s a way of life that reflects and supports what they say they believe. In James 2:19 were told that even the demons believe, and they tremble, but salvation is not available to them. Just having a head knowledge is not enough.
The third thing a person must do, and this is “C” in the “ABC’s”, is to “CALL UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD.” You need to call Jesus Lord, and to do so means one must surrender their life to Him. There is coming a time when every knee will bow before Him, and every tongue will confess to God that He is Lord. Now is the time for salvation, and now is the time to voluntarily surrender your life to Him. The eternal rewards for surrendering your life to Jesus is far greater than anything this world could ever hope to give you.
Is a relationship with Jesus like I’ve described important and worth it? It is most definitely worth it, and then some. I won’t say that life will be easier or with less problems, but it will be more fulfilling, and with that there is a Blessed Hope for all Christians to embrace and pursue. More and more people are beginning to feel hopeless with life, especially when they see everything that is happening around them and around the world, but as Christians we have a hope that is solid and independent of anything this world could ever hope to offer us. The signs we are seeing across the news headlines now days only energizes the hope we have of Jesus’ ever imminent return for us. It is that same hope, that Blessed Hope, that encourages Christians to keep the faith and to continue living for Him and Him alone. Are you one of those who place their trust and hope in Jesus?
If you do not have a saving relationship with Jesus, and you would like to, I encourage you to talk to God right now. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or eloquent, just a sharing of your heart to Him. If that is you, and you’re ready to give your life to Jesus, then say this prayer from your heart and to Him. Again, it’s not a formula, just a sharing of your heart to Him.
“O God, I am a sinner. I’m sorry for my sin. I want to turn from my sin. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son; I believe that He died on the cross for my sin, that He was buried, that You raised Him to life, and that He’s coming to take me back to His house in heaven very soon. I have decided to place my faith in Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord, trusting only in His shed blood as more than sufficient to save my soul and to take me to heaven. Thank You, Lord Jesus, for saving me. Amen.”
Now that you have entered into this relationship with Jesus, I strongly encourage you to find a Bible and start reading it, and to find and get plugged into a solid Bible-believing church that teaches and preaches the full Gospel of Jesus, which includes Bible prophecy and the need to be living righteously and holy before the Lord in all your ways.
In closing, know that Jesus is coming soon, very soon, for His followers, and it is vitally important for each of us to be found both watching and ready for Him when He does. Don’t get lulled into the deceptive thinking that His return is not near for one reason or another, especially when the fulfillment of the signs given in the Bible tell us that it’s at the door. It’s our responsibility to be watching the signs for Him, and to be ready, free of any spots, blemishes, or wrinkles brought on through sin in our lives.
Remember these two things:
- The King is Coming!
- Be ready for Him when He does!