I am going to read from the passage where Jesus speaks about his Second Coming in Lucas 21 and, as you probably gather, I believe we are living in the end times. I believe that the church at large needs to look at the prophecies of the Bible and to begin to interpret them not as some sort of vague prophecies but as literal events which will take place before the coming of Jesus Christ.
If you do so, then, you’re going to have an anchor for your soul and a hope in the midst of the storm that’s coming on the earth. Those who don’t do so are going to be blown this way and that by every wind of doctrine, every teaching which will be contrary to the Word of God and ultimately through the propaganda coming from the world system which is going to drive them towards the world’s final ‘bad man’, the Antichrist, who will come before the Second Coming of Jesus.
That’s why it’s important that we listen to what God says in his Word. So, listen to what Jesus said about his Second Coming. I’m reading from the Olivet Discourse, from Lucas 21. You’ll find this passage also in parallel passages in Matthew 24 and Mark 13. But let’s read it from Luke‘s account in Luke 21 verse 7.
Lucas 21 is one of many passages which tell us what’s going to happen before Jesus returns begins by speaking about what we might call ‘the beginning of the times of sorrows time’.
Jesus speaks about nation coming against nation, kingdom against kingdom, earthquakes, famines, pestilences all those things which I believe are part of the beginning process leading up to the time the final time of the Great Tribulation.
In many ways, we could say that we are in that time now. We’re seeing these things beginning to come to pass, also accompanied by persecution of Christians in many parts of the world, something which is happening right now.
We see Christians facing persecution in China and Muslim countries all over the world, as well as increasing persecution and opposition to Christianity even in the Western world which could lead up to persecution here as well. We see this as another sign of the Second Coming of Jesus, something which causes us to be alarmed.
But Jesus says: ‘don’t be alarmed because I’m with you, I’m going to give you a Word, I’m going to keep you, and I’m going to keep you until the time that I will take you to be with Myself’.
Matthew’s Gospel speaks about false prophets and cross teachers being a feature of this time. So, you see people being led astray by false teachings, some of them coming in the name of Christianity, in fact, with many of them in the nominal church also. Therefore, we have to be discerning to know what the truth is and keep our faith based on the Word of God and the Words which Jesus has given to us.
Jesus also implies here a crisis in the Middle East. Now, that passage on Israel and the dispersion of the Jewish people in Jerusalem applies to the whole of the era, from the year 70 right through to the modern times. So, it deals with the fall of the Jerusalem 40 years after Jesus came but it also has a bearing upon our time when Jerusalem is going to be in the frame as the centre of world attention and the scene of the last battle before Jesus returns.
The Bible is very clear that one of the major signs of the Second Coming of Jesus will be the return of the Jews to the land of Israel with a crisis in the Middle East following that. A crisis which will engage all nations and lead to the final battle over the status of Jerusalem.
Now, this is a theme not just here but also in much of the Old Testament prophets particularly Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, and Zechariah speaking about a return of the Jewish people from the north, south, east, and west, from the ends of the earth, making the desolate land fertile, rebuilding ancient cities, and also, more particularly, taking control of Jerusalem which would then be the burdensome stone burdening all nations: the subject of world attention.
Psalm 102 says:
A sign of the coming of Jesus, the coming of the Lord is going to be the restoration of Israel and the restoration of Jerusalem.
And the climax of this process will be the physical return of Jesus Christ Yeshua haMashiach to Jerusalem to set up His throne and rule in His government for a thousand years as King of the Jews, King of Israel, and King of the world, as the nations of the world become the Kingdom of our God and of His Christ at the end of this process.
That’s the end game.