Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Recognizing The Signs Of The Times - A Warning To Our Generation - By Britt Gillette/End Times Bible Prophecy -
About two thousand years ago, Jesus rebuked the religious elites of His day. He criticized them for their failure to recognize His Coming. He told them, "You know how to look at the sky and predict the weather, but you don't know how to recognize the signs of the times" (Matthew 16:1-3).
Just like you and me, the religious leaders could see dark clouds on the horizon and know a rain storm was on its way. In the same manner, Jesus said they should have seen the signs and prepared for His arrival. The Pharisees and Sadducees knew the Old Testament Messianic prophecies, yet they failed to recognize the Messiah.
But their failure is relevant to our day and time as well. Why? Because Jesus wasn't simply addressing the Pharisees and Sadducees when He said this. He had a second audience in mind - you and me. That's right. Jesus was also talking to our generation.
The Bible is filled with prophecies about the Second Coming, and Jesus commanded us to watch for Him (Mark 13:35-37). Our generation is also expected to recognize the "signs of the times." But are we? Do you recognize the signs of the times?
The World is Complacent
Unfortunately, much of the world (including a large number of Christians) are not watching for Jesus. They're asleep when it comes to the Second Coming, even though Jesus warned against it. Why do I say the world is asleep? Because right now, a flood of signs surround us. Never before have so many signs of the Second Coming been present. Here are just a few from 2020:
COVID-19 - Since emerging in Wuhan, China is late 2019, COVID-19 (a.k.a. "the coronavirus") has wreaked havoc on the world stage. It first led to the shutdown of several major cities in China. Eventually, the shutdowns spread to the rest of China, then Italy, Spain, the United States, and countless countries throughout the world. While many nations have made inroads to "flatten the curve" and even force a decline in new cases, the coronavirus is far from gone.
Many fear a "second wave" while others argue the first wave never went away. While some local areas may have temporarily seen a decline in case counts, the number of new confirmed global cases has grown from 2 million in mid-April to over 8 million today. That's a four-fold increase in two months.
Far from being in the rearview mirror, the coronavirus pandemic is still an ongoing global emergency. A form of pestilence, it's one of the signs Jesus told His followers to look for (Luke 21:11).
Global Riots - In late May, the murder of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer sparked nationwide protests in the United States. Unfortunately, alongside countless peaceful protests, riots erupted in several cities. Minneapolis saw several days of riots, looting, and burning buildings following Floyd's death. In Seattle, the police and National Guard have abandoned six city blocks in the downtown area, ceding control to various radical groups.
In Atlanta, rioters attacked the global headquarters of CNN. In London, authorities boarded up a statue of Winston Churchill to protect it from those threatening to tear it down. Throughout the world, we see images of arson, looting, and mayhem as a spirit of lawlessness prevails. The Bible says this is what people will be like in the last days (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
A Global Depression - Despite all the talk of a "V-shaped" recovery for the economy, no such thing is happening. The global travel industry is a fraction of what it was in early January, and it will likely be years before we see travel return to the old "normal." Restaurants, hotels, and retail outlets have a fraction of the foot traffic they once had.
Last week, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development estimated global GDP could plummet as much as 7.6% this year - twice what it previously announced in March. The World Bank estimates global GDP will fall 6.2%. If these figures are correct, the current economic downturn will be twice as bad as the Great Recession and the worst economic contraction since the Great Depression.
Last week also brought bad news on the employment front. More than 1.5 million people in the United States filed new unemployment claims. This is after most states have "re-opened" their economies. To put this number in perspective, prior to March, the largest weekly unemployment claim number in U.S. history was 695,000 in October 1982.
Even with many people returning to their jobs following state restrictions, continuing unemployment claims remain over 20 million. This is the worst global economy since the Great Depression, and it doesn't look like it will get better any time soon. This creates fertile ground for the rise of a dictator. The Great Depression paved the way for Adolph Hitler. The Bible says a similar economic catastrophe will pave the way for the Antichrist (Revelation 6:5-6).
Swarms of Locusts - This year also saw the emergence of one of the worst locust plagues in decades. Swarms of billions of locusts, ranging anywhere from a third of a mile to a 100 square miles or more, have attacked crops on two continents. The hardest hit areas so far have included East Africa (Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Uganda, and Ethiopia), the Middle East (Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and Iran), and Southwest Asia (Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India).
The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization projects these swarms will continue to thrive and spread well into late-July. As these locust swarms destroy crops, millions face the prospect of famine in parts of the world where food insecurity is already common. Famine is one of the signs Jesus said to look for (Matthew 24:7).
Rumors of War - On July 1, the Israeli government will formally consider annexation of large parts of the West Bank. If it does, Jordan has said it will end its 27 year-old peace treaty with the Jewish State. The Palestinian Authority has said it will end its relationship with Israel, and Hamas has warned any such annexation will ignite a new Intifada.
If Israel moves forward with plans to annex all or part of the West Bank, it will almost certainly face widespread condemnation in the international community and violent resistance from its longtime enemies. Only time will tell what July brings, but rumors of war are widespread. Jesus said rumors of war will be another sign of His coming (Matthew 24:6).
The Converging Signs
But these are just the latest signs. Many of the signs Jesus and the prophets said to look for appeared long before 2020. Generations of Christians lived and died without witnessing a single sign of the Second Coming. Yet our generation is witness to all of them. Those signs include:
Israel Back in the Land - God promised to bring the Jewish people back into the land of Israel before He returned (Jeremiah 23:7-8). He said He would call them from "among the nations" (Ezekiel 39:28), from "the farthest corners of the earth" (Isaiah 11:12), and from "north, south, east, and west" (Psalm 107:3). He promised to welcome them home from the lands where they were scattered (Ezekiel 20:34). When they did, He promised to return and establish His everlasting kingdom (Isaiah 11:11-12).
Israeli Control of Jerusalem - Jesus said armies would surround Jerusalem, destroy the city, and enslaves its citizens. This happened in A.D. 70 when the Roman legions did exactly that. Jesus then said people other than the Jewish people would control Jerusalem for a time, then the Jewish people would once again control Jerusalem. When they did, Jesus promised to return (Luke 21:24-28). Since 1967, the Jewish people have been in possession of Jerusalem.
The Gospel Preached Throughout the World - When asked about the end of the age and the signs of His coming, Jesus said the Gospel will be preached throughout the entire world. Every nation will hear it. Then, the end will come (Matthew 24:14). For centuries after the crucifixion, the Gospel was confined to a small area surrounding the Mediterranean Sea.
In the past two centuries, Christians have brought the Gospel to every nation in the world. Today, missionaries live in every nation. The Bible is translated in hundreds of languages, and the message of Jesus is sent around the world by radio, TV, satellite, and the Internet. Our generation is literally on the verge of spreading the Gospel to every last person on earth.
Increased Travel and Knowledge - Six hundred years before Jesus, an angel gave Daniel a special message. He said "travel and knowledge" will increase in the end times (Daniel 12:4). For centuries of human history, dramatic gains in travel and knowledge did NOT take place. Yet the last two hundred years have seen explosions in the speed and frequency of travel as well as the amount and availability of knowledge.
Arrival of the Exponential Curve - Jesus said a variety of global signs will come before His return and the end of the age. These signs will be spiritual, natural, societal, and political in nature. And He said they will appear in a distinct way - "like birth pains" (Matthew 24:3-8).
This means the frequency and intensity of these signs will increase as we near His return. Our generation has seen the exponential increase in war and famine Jesus said to look for. In the 20th Century alone, more people died from war and famine than lived on the earth when Jesus spoke these words.
Israel Surrounded by Enemies - The Bible says enemies will surround Israel in the end times. Those enemies will say "Come, let us wipe away the nation of Israel. Let's destroy the memory of its existence" (Psalm 83:4) and "Let us take for ourselves these pasturelands of God" (Psalm 83:12). Ezekiel said Israel's neighbors will say "God has given their land to us" (Ezekiel 11:14-17), and "Israel and Judah are ours. We will take possession of them. What do we care if their God is there?" (Ezekiel 35:10).
Ever since the rebirth of Israel in 1948, the daily headlines have included these Bible verses. Israel's Muslim neighbors claim the land of Israel for themselves, and they have no regard for the God of Israel.
Israel's Exceedingly Great Army - Ezekiel said, in the end times, Israel will field "an exceedingly great army" (Ezekiel 37:10). Zechariah said Israel will be like a fire among sheaves of grain, burning up the neighboring nations (Zechariah 12:6) and even the weakest Israeli soldier will be like David (Zechariah 12:8). Since 1948, Israel has fought no less than four conventional wars against its neighbors. Despite being outnumbered more than 50 to 1, Israel has achieved overwhelming victory every time.
Rise of the Gog of Magog Alliance - The Bible says a military alliance that includes Russia, Iran, Turkey, and a number of Muslim nations will attack Israel "from the north" (Ezekiel 38:15; Ezekiel 39:2) "in the latter days" (Ezekiel 38:8) when God brings His people home from among the enemy nations (Ezekiel 39:27). Today, we see those very nations forming an alliance that has never existed in world history, and all three have troops in Syria - a nation on Israel's northern border.
Rise of a United Europe - The Bible says a revived Roman Empire will come to power in the end times (Daniel 2, Daniel 7, Revelation 17). According to Daniel, it will be a ten nation alliance of weak and strong nations. Some parts will be as strong as iron, while other parts will be as weak as clay (Daniel 2:42). We see the beginning of this alliance in the European Union - a coalition of weak and strong nations struggling to stay together.
The Rise of Global Government - The Bible says a single government will rule the world politically (Revelation 13:7), religiously (Revelation 13:8), and economically (Revelation 13:16-17) in the last days. It will rule over "all people, tribes, and languages" on the face of the earth (Revelation 13:7). Its authority will be so complete no one will be able to buy or sell anything without its permission (Revelation 13:16-17). For centuries, a true global government was impossible. Today, world leaders openly discuss it. And cryptocurrencies and electronic banking foreshadow an economic system where people can be shut off from commerce.
Denial of the Signs - Almost two thousand years ago, Peter issued a warning. He said in the last days people will mock the idea of Jesus returning. They will make fun of those who believe in the Second Coming and say things like, "I thought Jesus was coming back? What happened to His promise? Generation after generation has said He's coming. Yet, since the beginning of the world, everything has remained the same!" (2 Peter 3:3-4). This is exactly what we hear people say today.
Given all these signs, you can be certain of one thing: Jesus is coming, and ours is the generation that will witness His return. How can I be so sure? Simple. All these signs are converging. Jesus said when you see these signs come together, you can know His return is near.
In fact, He said the generation witnessing these signs will not pass away before He returns (Matthew 24:34). Keep in mind - for 1,878 years of Christianity (A.D. 70 - A.D. 1948), none of these signs were present. Today, all of them are. That means Jesus is right at the door (Matthew 24:33).
As in the Days of Noah
When the disciples asked Jesus to describe the signs of His coming and the end of the age, He pointed to many signs. But one of the most overlooked is the idea that when He returns, the world will be "like it was in the days of Noah."
Jesus said, "In those days before the flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat. People didn't realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes" Matthew 24:38-39 (NLT).
Look around. Despite all the chaos and turmoil, people are living their lives as if everything is normal. As in the days of Noah, they don't realize what's coming. Noah's generation didn't think the flood would come, but it came. Our generation doesn't think Jesus will come, but He will. And all the signs say He'll come in our generation.
Raging - By Daymond Duck - https://www.raptureready.com/2020/06/21/raging-by-daymond-duck/
Know that this article is not really about the Coronavirus, the economy, religion, better government, etc.
This article is about end-of-the-age signs of a raging spiritual war: pestilence, violence, the coming global economic collapse, freedom of religion versus one-world religion (the Global Ethic), nationalism versus one-world government, etc.
The crises that the world have experienced since the beginning of 2020 have been orchestrated by or used by globalists that want the U.S. to submit to their coveted New World Order (NWO).
They are setting the stage for the fulfillment of Tribulation-Period Bible prophecy.
They are the kinds of things that Jesus said would happen before the generation that sees the return of Israel passes away (perhaps 70-80 years): clear evidence that human history is in the last hours of the last days called the Church Age (Matt. 24:32-34).
It is time to seriously ask if the birth pangs have started, because we are having worldwide deception (fake news; fake numbers on Coronavirus; social media censorship), worldwide pestilence (coronavirus), worldwide riots and demonstrations, worldwide economic problems, a famine of Biblical proportions looming in Africa, and more.
Caving to the NWO scheme will not make the world better, but it will bring in a time of tribulation worse than anything that has ever happened before (Matt.24:21).
Here are some of those signs (examples of things God told us to look for):
One, on June 3, 2020, it was reported that the World Economic Forum (WEF) is calling upon the nations to use the Coronavirus Crisis to reset (change) every aspect of society (government, education, working conditions, income, etc.).
The WEF also asked world leaders to do three things: 1) Make the stock market more fair, 2) Use investments (global taxes; politicians call taxes investments) to advance global goals (use taxes to control our education and lives), and 3) Support the public good (a phrase that Pope Francis uses instead of world government).
Two, the globalists are trying to bring down Pres. Trump for many reasons, but the two biggest reasons may be his opposition to the NWO (world government) and his support for Israel (because they want to force Israel into their NWO).
After warning the NWO's International Criminal Court (ICC; an established NWO world court that the U.S. and Israel refuse to recognize) that there would be consequences if the court didn't call off its illegal investigation of the U.S. and its allies, including Israel, for war crimes, Trump has acted against their ignoring him.
On June 11, 2020, Trump blocked the world court officials and their families from entering the U.S. and having access to their property in the U.S.
His sanctions protect all U.S. military personnel, all Israeli military personnel, and others from the rulings of the corrupt officials at the court.
Three, concerning apostasy, false teaching and world religion, God gave all (all not part) of the Promised Land to Israel and his descendants in their generation forever (Gen 17:7-8, 21; 28:13).
On June 11, 2020, it was reported that the World Council of Churches sent a letter to the EU asking it to punish Israel, if Israel annexes part of Judea and Samaria.
Four, on June 8, 2020, it was reported that the George Floyd family, with the help of a family legal team, sent a letter to the UN (notice a letter to the UN wannabe world government) on June 3 asking for help to disarm the police in the U.S.
Their legal team wants UN (wannabe world government) support to help them:
They presented these same issues to Congress on June 10, 2020.
According to Tucker Carlson, in the U.S., police killed 10 black men and 20 white men in the last year.
For whatever it is worth, if anything, the Minneapolis Police Chief (the man over Derek Chauvin who is charged with killing George Floyd) is a black man.
Five, on June 8, 2020, it was reported that Nancy Pelosi and more than 200 co-sponsors in the Democrat Party unveiled the "Justice in Policing Act 2020."
Many knelt in silence for 8 min. and 46 seconds in honor of Floyd (the length of time Derek Chauvin had his knee on Floyd's neck) when they presented the bill.
They want to make it easier to sue the police for misconduct.
They want to prohibit no-knock warrants (warrants issued by judges that authorize the police to enter a property without prior notice).
Pres. Trump said they want to defund the police, but Nancy Pelosi said defunding the police is the prerogative of local governments.
Nevertheless, several Democrats have called for the police to be defunded, and Pres. Trump said it will not happen (Jesus said iniquity, lawlessness, will abound; Matt. 24:12).
But before I continue, and someone misunderstands me, I am not anti-black.
I know black people in my hometown and surrounding communities that set a Christian example that I wish every person of every race lived up to.
I never ask anyone to support my ministry financially, and the only church that does it regularly is a congregation of black people that has never been asked to do it, and they have voluntarily sent a love offering every month for years.
During the Great Depression, a black family who had children of their own to feed, shared food they had grown and canned with my grandparents (and their children; my dad and uncles) to get them through the winter.
There are good citizens in every race, bad citizens in every race, mistreated citizens in every race, everyone sins, and everyone is loved by God.
I trust some black people I know more than I trust some white people I know; and as far as I am concerned, one of our national treasures is a black lady named Dr. Alveda King (niece of Dr. Martin Luther King).
I am trying to warn you that this crisis is about the black vote in the next election and the NWO (world government), not racism.
People are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to weaken the U.S. and bring in the NWO.
If they succeed, according to the Book of Revelation, about 2/3 of those on earth will die (many black) in the 7-year Tribulation Period that follows the Rapture.
If black lives matter to the Democrats, why did so many Democrat Governors and Mayors order the police to stand down while Antifa and others looted and burned black businesses, injured, and killed black citizens, black police, etc.?
If black lives matter to the Democrats, why didn't these officials order the police to protect the black people? Why do they want to defund the police who protect the black people? Shouldn't the lives and businesses of black people be protected too?
I saw a video that says 94% of the black people that are killed are killed by black people (and a lot, not all, of this is occurring in cities that are run by Democrats who seemingly aren't doing anything to protect black lives).
I encourage you to listen to this incredible young black man (8 ½ min):
In Seattle, Washington, Antifa and Black Lives Matter have occupied a 6-block area, a small number have been seen in the streets with high-powered assault rifles; they have threatened to burn down buildings; I have seen reports that they are extorting money from people and businesses; citizens have called the police for help; some people have complained that they have not been allowed to enter their own homes; the police were ordered to evacuate the area; and at the time of this writing, the Democrat governor and Democrat mayor are praising Antifa and Black Lives Matter (who are not worthy to clean the shoes of some of the black people they have robbed and injured).
Pres. Trump tweeted that the Seattle politicians should take back the area or he will, but he was told to go back into his bunker under the White House and stay out of local business (a do-nothing, political comeback to the Republican charge that Democrats are keeping Biden in his basement).
The prophet Isaiah said, "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil (Isa. 5:20).
There may not be a better example of calling evil good, and good evil than those that condemn our nation's police (including black police, Asian police, Hispanic police, etc.) and heap praise on Antifa and Black Lives Matter who injured scores, killed several, destroyed hundreds of millions of dollars of property, etc.
Derek Chauvin was wrong to put his knee on the neck of George Floyd, and the Democrats are wrong to put their knee on the neck of black people.
The three policemen with Derek Chauvin were wrong for standing around and not helping George Floyd (and they will be prosecuted), and the politicians are wrong for standing around and not helping those that were being robbed and injured (and they won't be prosecuted; this doesn't sound like justice to me).
The politicians are prosecuting the working men, but the politicians are going free.
The politicians are disarming the police that protect their citizens, yet they use some of the taxes they collect from their citizens to pay for security for themselves.
The American and Christian way is to love all people, help the oppressed, and protect them - not rob them, destroy their property and jobs, and keep them down.
The American way is to arm the police and disarm the criminals, not to disarm the police and arm the criminals (what does it say about a political party that wants to take the guns away from honest citizens at the same time they are praising arsonists, looters, oppressors and killers with assault rifles).
Pastor Tom Hughes said in Old Testament times God gave people that ignored Him over to reprobate minds (Rom. 1:28).
He believes that God may be giving people over to reprobate minds today, and the evidence seems to prove that he is right.
Six, on June 11, 2020, Life News reported that at least two (and perhaps more) of the fast-tracked Coronavirus vaccines contain cells from aborted fetal tissue.
Some scientists claim that vaccines that use cells from aborted fetal tissue are more effective than vaccines that use non-human cells, but others disagree; and there are at least 10 companies working on vaccines that don't use cells from aborted fetal tissue.
According to the report, in 2018, the Trump administration established a $20 million fund to assist companies that are working on vaccines that do not use cells from aborted fetal tissue.
Christians need to urge their politicians to support the companies that are trying to produce non-human cell vaccines.
On May 28, 2020, the New York State Bar Association called for mandatory vaccinations of all Americans when one is available with no exceptions for religious, philosophical, or personal reasons (they want to force people to take it).
Seven, concerning the Battle of Gog and Magog in the latter years and latter days: on June 7, 2020, it was reported that Iran has drastically increased its stockpile of enriched uranium and has moved closer to its goal of developing nuclear weapons.
Also, on June 7, 2020, it was reported that Iran has amassed about 53,000 Iranian-backed forces (Hezbollah and others disguised in Syrian uniforms) near Syria's border with Israel, and they are preparing to attack Sunni Syrians on the Golan Heights that are friendly with Israel.
To close, a great spiritual war is raging in the world, and major events related to Bible prophecy are happening every day.
According to the Book of Revelation, billions of people will die during the Tribulation Period (pestilence, beheading, natural disasters, war, etc.).
The most important thing anyone can do is to believe what the Bible says about Jesus (His virgin birth, sinless life, death, burial, and resurrection), sincerely ask Jesus to forgive their sins, and come into their heart (and as I see it, our raging society is an indication that people are running out of time to get it done).
Prophecy Plus Ministries, Inc.
Daymond & Rachel Duck
Sisi's 'Declaration Of War' Puts Egypt & Turkey On War Footing Over Libya - by Tyler Durden -
Egypt and Turkey have long been on opposite sides of the raging battle for the fate of Libya, with Turkey providing major military support and backing for the UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli, and with Egypt backing Gen. Khalifa Haftar.
The situation escalated over the weekend, amid a pullback of pro-Haftar forces from Tripoli after being defeated in the bid for the capital, when Egypt's President Sisi announced from an airbase near the Libyan border that the Egyptian Army stands ready to intervene in Libya on behalf of Haftar.
Sisi declared that if GNA forces attempt to enter Haftar-controlled Sirte, pushing deeper into central Libya, this would be a 'red line' for Egypt, forcing it's intervention. Crucially both Tripoli and its main ally Turkey on Sunday condemned what they called Sisi's "declaration of war".
Turkish state media recorded the GNA statement as follows: "This is a hostile act, direct interference, and amounts to a declaration of war" - in condemnation of Sisi's statements. It added that for the Libyan state, "interference in its internal affairs, attacks on its sovereignty, whether by declarations... like those of the Egyptian president or by support for putschists, militias, and mercenaries, is unacceptable."
The heated rhetoric, and with Egypt potentially beefing up forces and military hardware along its border with Libya, has some regional sources saying that Turkey and Egypt are headed for direct war in a rapidly intensifying situation.
"Now Egypt's president is signaling possible red lines in Libya," The Jerusalem Post writes. "This line could keep the Turkish-backed GNA from Sirte and a strategic airfield at Jufra. The country would be split down the middle. Egypt has a massive army, but it is also an army mostly untested on foreign battlefields."
Tripoli is now calling on the international community, especially the UN, to step in should Egypt's army get involved.
Surveying the prospects for major war between Turkey and Egypt over Libya, The Jerusalem Post explains further:
On paper Turkey's armed forces and Egypt's are well matched. Both have F-16s and hundreds of fighter aircraft. Egypt's army is the 9th strongest in the world on paper with thousands of tanks. Turkey's armed forces are thought to be the 11th strongest in the world. Both countries use western weapons systems linked to the US or NATO. Turkey's work with NATO likely makes it more effective than Egypt.
Both countries are bogged down in counter-insurgency campaigns. Egypt is close to Libya and can easily move an armored brigade or troops to the frontline. Turkey would have to fly them in and it likely prefers using Syrian rebel mercenaries to do its dirty work.
In short, the Libya situation - a country on fire since Gaddafi's toppling and death due to the 2011 US-NATO military intervention, or what many have called "Obama's Iraq" - is set to get a lot messier.
There are already unverified reports that Egypt may be sending jets to Haftar airbases in eastern Libya in support of his LNA.
If so, Turkey will certainly increase its own aerial patrols, which has already involved ample use of drone warfare in and around Tripoli. But no doubt this would give Erdogan greater excuse to get Turkish fighter jets involved.
5 ways to be prepared for the End Times - By Mark Hitchcock - https://www.christianpost.com/voices/5-ways-to-be-prepared-for-the-end-times.html
When I was growing up, I had a friend down the street whose mother loved puzzles. Really big, complicated puzzles with very small pieces. Watching the process, I learned that a puzzle master must consult the picture on the top of the box as the template for the final product.
The same is true of the end-time prophetic puzzle. The end-time picture set forth in Scripture is the picture on top of the box. When all the pieces are finally in place, that's what it will look like. As we look at our world today, events are beginning to closely match the picture on the puzzle box. All the puzzle pieces aren't in place, but the corners and edges have taken form. The framework is set. The center of the puzzle is ready to be filled in.
Israel is back in her ancient homeland after almost two thousand years of dispersion. Russia is rising. Iran is increasing. Russia and Iran are allied for the first time in history. Turkey is turning to Russia and Iran. Russia and Iran are positioned in Syria on Israel's northern doorstep. Anti-Semitism is surging. The Middle East, the biblical staging ground for the End Times, is the focus of the world's attention.
This raises a critical question: How should we live in light of what's unfolding in our world? In light of what lies ahead? What should we do?
While there are many practical implications of knowing what's coming, let me suggest five simple, practical points of application for you to make part of your thinking and living that will make a difference in your life today.
1. Recognize the Bible is True
We can rest assured that the biblical predictions that are still unfulfilled will come to pass. We can also rest assured that what the Bible tells us about God, Jesus, salvation, sin, and our own lives is trustworthy and reliable.
So, recognize the Bible is true and to read it regularly. Soak in its truth and apply its instruction to your daily life. It will transform you.
2. Realize Your Need for Jesus
The Bible not only accurately predicts the future, it also accurately portrays the human condition apart from God. The inspired, inerrant Word of God truthfully, transparently diagnoses the condition of every person. It tells that we have all sinned and are falling short of God's righteous standard (Romans 3:23).
You and I can't get rid of one of our sins on our own, let alone the thousands of transgressions that pile up throughout our lives. The Bible is clear that our sins can only be washed away by the blood of Jesus Christ, that is, His death for us. His death in our place.
Jesus is the only Mediator, the only go-between who can bridge the chasm between a holy God and sinful people. He is your only hope for heaven. No one will be in heaven without personally trusting in Him for salvation.
If you've never received Jesus as your Savior from sin, that's the first thing you need to do before you do anything else. He is life. He is truth. He is the way to God.
3. Remember God is in Control
More and more today our world seems out of control. We live in a world of cascading crises. Violence is mushrooming. Volcanoes are spewing ash all over the planet. Natural disasters are becoming more commonplace and destructive. The earth itself is groaning. Seemingly unsolvable problems plague our nation and global community.
Our world today is experiencing some major instability. The same can be true in our personal lives. We often find ourselves flying into turbulence. Sometimes the engines stall. Things might be so bad we find ourselves bracing for a crash. Circumstances seem hopeless. But whatever the situation we can discover the incredible truth that Jesus is Lord. Our God is in control and in charge.
4. Remain Hopeful
There are many competing philosophies in the world, but when it all boils down, there are really just two: hope and despair. Without Jesus Christ and His Word, all other philosophies ultimately end in existential gloom.
The exciting thing about the promise of Jesus' coming is that He can return at any moment. He may not come for ten years, but He could come today. As followers of Jesus, we can get up every morning and say "perhaps today." Perhaps today may be the day Jesus comes.
This is our hope. In the end, it's our only hope. I once heard someone say, "Life with Christ is an endless hope, without him a hopeless end." Make sure you have Jesus and are looking forward to an endless hope when He comes.
5. Reach Out to Others
When we're surrounded by trouble and filled with fear about the future, we can easily succumb to self-focus and living a self-absorbed life. All our time and energy can be exhausted on ourselves.
In all the things we do as we await the coming of Christ, nothing is more important and urgent than spreading the message of the gospel. Jesus can come at any moment, and the multiplying signs indicate His coming could be very soon.
According to many sources, the gospel is expanding rapidly in the Middle East, especially Iran. Many believe the church in Iran is currently the fastest-growing segment of the church in the world. As the Iranian people see firsthand the emptiness of Islam and the darkness of the mullah regime, they're turning in droves to the light of the gospel.
May the Lord help us continue to pray for the Iranian people, and all those in the Middle East, and for the Christian workers who are laboring there in difficult and dangerous circumstances to bring them the gospel of Jesus Christ. Time may be short.
Daily Jot: What defines you? - Bill Wilson -
In this post-truth world where facts, truth, justice, injustice are all manipulated through sinister people with dark agendas and amplified without vetting across social media and mass media, there is something to think about: What defines you? Are you defined by an issue, such as abortion, traditional marriage, social justice, or economics? Are you defined by political parties? Are you defined by your favorite sports team or league? Are you defined by your job or profession? When you look in the mirror, who do you see? Do you see what you do each day to make a living? Do you see an elephant or a donkey? Do you see stars and bars or stars and stripes? What exactly do you see? What defines you?
Whatever defines you is where your influence will be. If you are defined by politics, your passion will be embedded in the political issues and candidates. If you are defined by your job, your passion will center around the pluses and minuses of what goes on in your workplace. If you are defined by stars and bars, your attitude and actions will reflect how you interpret the Confederacy. If you are defined by your favorite sports team, your enthusiasm for certain players and certain athletic contests may well be evident in your behavior, what you wear, even with whom you associate. Some people say "we are what we eat." We also could make the case that "we are by which we are defined." You will exercise influence over what defines you, because that is where your passion is found.
2 Corinthians 5:17 says, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." Verse 20 says, "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead be you reconciled to God." Ephesians 4:22-24 says, "That you put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that you put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness." When you are baptized in Christ, you are a new person, reconciled to God himself. Then are you not to be defined in Christ.
If then you are defined in Christ, where do your passions lie? Because where your passions lie, also there will be your influence. If you look in the mirror and see a person defined in Christ, your influence will reflect that definition. Herein is where much of the "Church" has gotten off track. It is not about the issues or self-improvement or the politics or the team, it is about our mission as Christians. As Romans 12:21 says, "Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good." Christ gave us the Great Commission to make disciples. Part of the reason society is fighting over worldly issues, deceiving, accusing, and labeling, may be because we as Christians do no understand what defines us, and our influence is thereby misplaced. Otherwise the world in which we live, our society, would reflect our influence. Think about it.
Daily Devotion: Like Father, Like Son - by Greg Laurie -
Jesus said to him, 'Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, "Show us the Father"?' -John 14:9
If you want to know what God the Father is like, just look at Jesus because Jesus said, "He who has seen Me has seen the Father" (John 14:9 NKJV).
So, what was Jesus like? Well, Jesus was approachable. Little children were drawn to Him, and He blessed them.
At the grave of His friend Lazarus, He wept. Tears streamed down his face. And in the Upper Room He got down on His hands and knees and washed the disciples' feet, including the feet of Judas, who would betray Him.
Look at the picture Jesus gave us of the Father in the story of the prodigal son. God the Father is presented as a Dad who misses his wayward son and longs for his return. And when the boy makes his way back home, his father can't wait to see him. He runs to his son and throws his arms around him, showing him deep affection.
This is our Father in Heaven, our Father who will always be there, our Father who listens, and our Father who loves us.
Maybe you're thinking, "Yes, but the problem is that He's in Heaven. And Heaven is so far away! I need someone here on earth."
Well, to begin with, God is omnipresent, which means He's present everywhere. And is Heaven really that far away? You might think, "Okay, there's the sky, and then there is the solar system. And Heaven is just so, so far away."
Maybe in a sense that's true. But in another sense, Heaven is closer than you realize. Heaven is another dimension. It's a supernatural realm.
It's nothing for the Father in Heaven to be able to step into your world. He's here. And He's deeply involved and deeply concerned about what you're facing right now. If it concerns you, it concerns Him.
FROM THE HEART
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