The other day, I watched a British video about birth rates all over the world and the probability that, because of low birth rates in Western Europe and the United States and the relatively high birthrates among some of the immigrant communities, that up to half the people in certain European countries would be Muslim within fifteen years. Then, it went into spooky music and violent possible scenarios.
You’ve probably seen different Trojan horse comments about the current refugee migrations in Europe. Are Islamist militants infiltrating the legitimate refugees? I don’t know. ISIS claims it’s so.
I heard another disturbing news item about how many leading people in the governments of certain countries are sympathetic to radical Islam, and they know details about national security.
Are we trembling?
Is all of this a media onslaught to render people resigned to being invaded and overtaken?
I don’t think there’s cause for panic. God knows the beginning, the end, and everything in the middle.
Can things get worse? Of course. Just watch the news every day.
When’s the rapture, anyway?
The truth is that it could be today! It could happen tomorrow! Most Bible scholars agree that there’s no prophecy that needs to be fulfilled before the rapture of the saints. But, its timing is the best-held secret on earth and in heaven. The Bible says, But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father (Mark 13:32). So, when’s the rapture? It’s imminent, but we can’t know the date or the time.
What’s going to happen? For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18).
Don’t you love that last line? Comfort one another with these words.
After born again Christians are raptured, the very worst epoch on earth begins. Bible scholars call it the tribulation period. It will last seven years, and halfway through, the Antichrist is revealed. Under his rule, there's persecution of those who were saved in the first three-and-a-half years and horrible, destructive acts of nature. At the end of the tribulation is the Battle of Armageddon. That will be a bloody battle between Jesus and the Antichrist's army. It will be fought in the Valley of Megiddo (also called the Valley of Jezreel), in Israel.
Jesus then returns to earth, And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south (Zechariah 14:4).
This second stage of the Second Coming of Christ—the first being the rapture of the saints—ushers in the millennial kingdom. This is what happens: And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled (Revelation 20:1-3a).
Jesus rules on earth, along with all the saved people, for a thousand years.
At the end of the one thousand years, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog (a leader) and Magog (Russia), to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city (Jerusalem): and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever (Revelation 20:7b-10). So, that’s the end of the devil.
God opens the books and judges the unsaved people. Those whose names are not in the Book of Life are cast into the lake of fire.
Then, there’s a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband (Revelation 21:1-2). Those who are saved will live forever with Jesus in the New Jerusalem, which is a gorgeous, gleaming city.
Do we need to be afraid? The Bible says, What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee (Psalm 56:3).
The Lord has a plan. It’s all in His hands. And he just might come back for us today!
Are you ready?
And now, little children, abide in him;
that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence,
and not be ashamed before him at his coming.
(1 John 2:28)