An ‘End Times’ Snapshot
So, where do we start and where do we go from here?
Let’s identify a few of future history’s most important coming events and what they mean. The most important event in human history will be the “Second Coming” of Jesus Christ. Certainly, the birth of Jesus as God incarnate (God’s spirit in human form) was beyond noteworthy to say the least. However, Jesus’ Second Coming as the resurrected Christ and Son of God, who now sits at the right hand of God the Father, as foretold and prophesied thousands of years ago is perhaps the most important event in human history. It will prove the veracity of biblical truth and will indeed affect (one way or the other) billions of earth’s inhabitants. ‘End Times’ events set the stage for the culmination of the Earth’s ‘Last Days’ and the existence of a one-thousand-year reign of Christ and his glorious kingdom on earth. All that said, the most significant event for those of us living today leading up to Jesus’ return is the ‘Rapture’ of his followers and believers in Him as the Son of God.
The ‘Rapture’ will be an ascension into heaven of those who believe in Jesus as Christ (Messiah), savior, and redeemer who died as a substitute in our place for our ‘sins’ (our disobedience to God’s moral and ethics commands). At His Second Coming, first to rise (“ascend into the clouds to meet Him in the air”) will be those who are dead but were believers in Christ. Then, those still alive who are believers in Jesus will be ‘caught up’ to Him in the clouds without experiencing death (1Thes 4:17). When the Rapture occurs, there will be chaos, wonder and disbelief by those ‘left behind’. In addition to the widespread death and destruction that will take place immediately as a result of the Rapture, there will be extreme trauma, yet it will pale in severity and intensity to what will follow for those still alive. Those who die due to the Rapture’s immediate fallout aftermath and have no time to become ‘new’ believers in Jesus as the Christ will be lost and separated from God. Please don’t be one of those. Become a believer or don’t, but don’t be ‘lukewarm’ when the Rapture occurs.
Why is the Rapture important? First, believers who were able to share or teach the meanings and consequences of End Times events will be gone. Next, there will be backlash and full on deception by those in power and leadership positions. Additionally, in the chronology of End Times events several things will happen on the same day as the Rapture. A political leader (from the reconstituted [Holy Roman] European Empire), who will soon become the antichrist, will receive “signatory confirmation” that his [peace plan] ‘Covenant’ for “Peace and Security” between the nations and Israel will be accepted. The “First Trumpet” in heaven will sound, the ‘first Woe’ will be experienced, and the seven-year “Tribulation” will begin.
The “Tribulation” will consist of two; three- and one-half-year periods (forty two months each, in length). This ‘first half’ is sometimes called ‘the Wrath of Jesus’. Those still alive will experience an outpouring of death and destruction described in the ‘Trumpets’ and ‘Bowls’ (or ‘Vials’) two, three and four.
During this time period the Third Jewish Temple will be rebuilt, and God’s “Two Witnesses” will be present in Jerusalem.
The world’s political leader will suffer a head wound and be presumed dead; yet will he live again.
At mid-Tribulation, the fifth Trumpet will sound in heaven. The Two Witnesses will be killed; the antichrist will be indwelt by Satan and declare himself God. His (‘false) prophet’ [the Pope of Roman Catholicism] will lead the world in recognition and worship of this man as God and pray to his image, which will be established in the Temple’s “Holy of Holies” desecrating the temple in what is called the ‘Abomination of Desolation’.
On this same day “the Great Tribulation” period will begin and continue for three and one-half years (forty-two months). This time is also called the “Wrath of God” and will be the beginning of the end for all those still alive, as God pours out His anger described in the Trumpets, and Bowls (Vials) five, six and seven, and the second and third ‘Woes”.
During this time period the antichrist will wage war on, and defeat Israel. However, a remnant of one hundred forty-four thousand Jews will escape to the ancient city of Petra in the mountains between Israel and Jordan and there, be protected by God. The antichrist will then prepare to muster all the armies of the world on the plains of Megiddo for the battle of Armageddon.
This is a ‘thumb-nail’ sketch of End Times events of major significance.
Next time we’ll look at signposts to be aware of, prior to the Rapture’s occurrence.
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