If you have become a follower of this blog, I’m sure you are aware that I believe we are living in the Last Days, and if you are a first time reader I hope this post will encourage you to continue to follow, and to explore our previous posts. While we continue our teaching on His Remnant Church in other posts, today we will begin a new teaching series on as yet unfulfilled Biblical Prophecy. While we cannot be certain of an exact chronological order of things to come, we can definitely identify prophetic events in the Scriptures, which will affect mankind as well as all creation, as these Last Days culminated in the End Times of the Great Tribulation before the return of Jesus Christ to begin his Millennial Kingdom reign.
In beginning this new study, the first thing we need to understand is that there is nothing that has to happen before the rapture of the church. The rapture of the church closes out a parenthesis in time called the church age, or the age of grace, in which God has called out a people for Himself from all nations. The rapture begins again the prophetic time clock for national Israel. God’s divine purpose for this age has been twofold; first Israel has experienced a partial hardening or blindness because of their rejection of Jesus as the Christ or Messiah, therefore enduring God’s judgment, and second the Gospel was then preached to the Gentiles giving them the opportunity to become members of God’s “Ecclesia” the church. Of course, as evidenced in the book of Acts, the church is comprised of both Jews who have recognized that Jesus Christ is Messiah, and Gentile followers of Jesus Christ.
In the Apostle Paul’s great teaching on Israel and the church in the book of Romans, we see that Israel has been set aside until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in, that is, until the full number of Gentiles who will recognize Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior have in fact done so (Romans 11:25). The Jews sought a relationship with God not by faith but by works. But James 2:10 tells us that for people to obtain salvation by observing the law, they must keep the law perfectly, which of course no one is capable of doing. Because Jesus did not fit their preconceived notions about who the Messiah was to be or act, the Jews rejected Him. As a result of this rejection, the gospel was preached to the Gentiles to create jealousy among the Jews, so that they too might accept Christ (Romans 11:11). So the true church is made up of Gentiles and Jews who believe that Jesus is the Christ.
Today we live in the church age, and the true church, His Remnant Church in these Last Days, made up of believers who are truly following hard after Christ as Bereans (those who diligently study the Word of God), comprise the bride of Christ whom He will redeem at the rapture. The true church represents all those whom God has called out from the world, both Jews and Gentiles, and the mission of the church is spelled out in the great commission (Matthew 28:16-20), and the great commandment (Mark 12:29-31). No one knows when the church age will end, when the rapture will take place, but we do know that God is giving every opportunity for men to turn to Him. 2 Peter 3:9 tells us, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” Unfortunately despite God’s patience many will refuse to turn to Him and therefore spend eternity apart from Him (Matthew 25:46). And, this is one of the very reasons for the horrific judgments to come during the tribulation (Revelation chapters 4 through 19).
As we begin our look at the as yet unfulfilled Last Days and End Time prophetic events, I would first like to make some things clear about the United States of America. I can find no evidence of the United States in End Time Biblical prophecy. I have been often asked why I think that is. I can give several reasons to account for this truth, any and all of which could be the reason:
- The first is the spiritual and moral collapse in the United States of America. Proverbs 19:21, Isaiah 14:24, and Isaiah 46:10 tell us that God is absolutely sovereign. In Job 12:23 we read, “He makes nations great, and destroys them; He enlarges nations, and guides them.” And Daniel 2:21 says that God “removes kings and raises up kings”. It is quite possible that God is going to judge the United States because, even though it was founded on Christian principles, it has turned away from Him. Observe what Paul writes in Romans 1:18-25. This passage tells us that God will exact judgment on any nation that deliberately continues to disregard His word by allowing the people of that nation to bear the full weight of the consequences of their sin. History is replete with nations who have collapsed because of immorality and wickedness. Unfortunately that is where we find the United States today. In fact, in Romans 1:26 to Romans 2:11 you find a very apt description of the spiritual condition of mankind in the United States today and God’s declaration of judgment because of it. Premarital sex, extramarital sex, pornography, homosexuality, abortion, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, the destruction of the family unit, and a narcissistic humanistic form of religion in the mainstream church, is all evidence that this nation has turned its back on God.
- A second possible reason the United States is not mentioned in End Time prophecy is that this nation will have collapsed due to a nuclear attack. One only has to take a brief look at the news to see that this possibility exists and could come from Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, or perhaps a Terrorist Dirty Bomb. There are many possible candidates that might precipitate such an attack.
- A third possible reason is an electromagnetic pulse attack EMP. A nuclear explosion in the atmosphere over the US could blanket the entire US and wipe out our entire electrical power grid for a period of months if not years. Again, Russia, China, and North Korea are all possible candidates for such an attack, while China reportedly has the most advanced military satellite technology.
- A fourth possible reason could be the collapse of the United States economy. Because of our unsustainable national debt the possibility that the US dollar could be replaced as the world’s reserve currency. In addition, there is the volatility of the stock market in the United States, and the unsustainable bubble created by the Fed’s printing and inserting money into the economy without any hard assets to back it up. Even the most conservative of economists are warning of a correction (read crash) sometime in the period between now and 2016.
- A fifth possibility is a crippling natural disaster of some sort,
- And a sixth possibility is the rapture of the church…
In our next post in this series we will examine the Rapture of the church in 1 & 2 Thessalonians as well as other passages. Remember, there is nothing which remains on the prophetic calendar of things yet to be fulfilled which has to take place before the rapture the church.
So once again I encourage you to be certain of your relationship with Jesus Christ. Have you accepted Him as your personal Lord and Savior by receiving His free gift of salvation? At Calvary He paid your sin debt and mine. If you haven’t yet turned your life to Christ, there’s never been a better day than today to do so. If you need help in accomplishing this or simply would like more information, you can contact me at my personal email address at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact me on Facebook because Jesus is Coming Soon!