Summary: WHAT IS THE ROLE ISRAEL PLAYS IN LAST DAYS PROPHECY AND HOW HAS THIS ROLE BEEN BEEN EVOLVING IN RECENT YEARS?
ISRAEL IN LAST DAYS PROPHECY
TODAY WE ARE BEGINNING A SERIES ON WHAT I FEEL IS A FASCINATING ASPECT OF CHRISTIAN THOUGHT, THAT BEING LAST DAYS THEOLOGY OR WHAT WE CALL ESCHATOLOGY. DO YOU REALIZE THAT 1/5 OF THE BIBLE IS PROPHETIC IN IT’S WRITING. OF THAT 1/5, 1/3 IS DEVOTED TO THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST. THIS MEANS THAT ONE OUT OF EVERY TWENTY-FIVE VERSES IN THE BIBLE SPEAK ABOUT THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST.
PROPHECY IS NOT AN EXACT STUDY IN THAT NO ONE CAN PREDICT EXACTLY WHEN THINGS ARE GOING TO HAPPEN. WE ARE NOT FORTUNE-TELLERS NOR DO WE USE A CRYSTAL BALL LIKE THEY DO IN EXHIBITIONS OR COUNTY FAIRS, ALTHOUGH I FIND IT INTERESTING THAT PEOPLE WOULD RATHER LISTEN AND GIVE VALUE TO THAT TYPE OF NONSENSE, THAN TO THE WORD OF GOD WHICH HAS SHOWN ITSELF TO BE ABSOLUTELY TRUE IN ALL INSTANCES OF PROPHECY. IN FACT THE ONLY INSTANCES OF PROPHECY THAT HAVEN’T BEEN FULFILLED AS YET DEAL WITH THE DAYS BEFORE WHAT WE CALL THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH, THE TRIBULATION, AND THE MILLENNIUM. WE REFER TO THIS TIME PERIOD AS THE “LAST DAYS”.
WE ARE GOING TO LOOK AT SEVERAL ISSUES THAT WILL REVEAL THEMSELVES DURING THESE “LAST DAYS”, BUT NOT AS A MEANS JUST TO INFORM YOU OF WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN. WE ARE GOING TO LOOK AT THIS FOR TWO REASONS. FIRST AS A WARNING TO PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT PART OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD, TO LET YOU KNOW WHAT YOU WILL FACE IF YOU HAVEN’T MADE A DECISION FOR CHRIST AS LORD AND SAVIOR. SECOND TO REINFORCE THE SERIOUSNESS TO THOSE WHO ARE IN THE KINGDOM OF THE NECESSITY FOR EVANGELISM. THE ISSUES THAT WE ARE GOING TO TALK ABOUT ARE GOING TO HAPPEN, GOD HAS ORDAINED IT, AND FOR US AS CHRISTIANS WE NEED TO DO OUR BEST TO BRING PEOPLE INTO THE KINGDOM SO THAT THEY WILL NOT HAVE TO FACE THE TERROR OF WHAT THE BIBLE CALLS “THE TRIBULATION”. WE WILL TALK MORE ABOUT “THE TRIBULATION” LATER IN THE SERIES.
AS I SAID NOONE CAN SPECIFY EXACTLY WHEN THE EVENTS OF THE “LAST DAYS” WILL OCCUR. WHAT WE DO HAVE ARE INDICATIONS FROM SCRIPTURE THAT TELL US THE TIME IS NEAR.
No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left. 42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
AND THEN JESUS GIVES THIS INSTRUCTION ALSO IN MATTHEW 24:4-8
Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains.
WE’VE BEEN LIVING IN THE LAST DAYS SINCE THE TIME OF THE DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF CHRIST, BUT THE FACT THAT WE ARE SEEING MANY OF THE THINGS WHICH I HAVE JUST READ TO YOU HAPPENING NOW, HELPS US TO REALIZE THAT WE ARE CLOSER TO THE COMING OF THE LORD, THAN WE HAVE BEEN IN TIMES PAST.
IN ADDITION TO THIS IS PAUL’S TEACHING IN 2 TIMOTHY CHAPTER 4.
For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.