Seven Future Events That Will Shake the World
By Ed Hindson
In many ways, the current catastrophe is but a microcosm of the real End Time disasters that are predicted in Scripture. Jesus did, in fact, warn that the days before His Second Coming would be as the days of Noah when the flood came, and took them all away (Matthew 24:37-39). Every act of Gods judgment is an act of mercy, warning us of even greater judgment to come.
The Bible predicts at least seven future events that are destined to shake the world in the last days.
1. Millions Missing
One of the most incredible prophecies of the Bible is the prediction of the Rapture of the Church ( I Thess. 4:13-17). In this passage, the Apostle Paul predicts that one day the dead in Christ will be resurrected and we which are alive will be raptured (Greek, harpazo) into the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. This reunion of believers is called the blessed hope of the Church (Titus 2:13).
The Rapture is a totally different event from the return of Christ to judge the world and set up His kingdom on earth. At the Rapture, millions of born-again believers will be caught up into the air to meet the Lord who is coming to claim His Bride and take her home to the Fathers house in heaven (John 14:1-4). In the Return, the Bride comes back from heaven with Christ at Armageddon to defeat the Antichrist and initiate the kingdom of Christ on earth for 1,000 years (Rev. 19-20).
2. USA Out/New Power In
One thing we must always bear in mind is that the Rapture changes everything! If millions of believers were suddenly snatched away to glory, the United States, especially, would be thrown into economic, social, political and spiritual chaos. Assuming that a significant percentage of Americans are true believers, their sudden absence would leave the USA a second-rate power, literally overnight. What happened with Katrina would pale into a distant memory in light of a much greater national crisis.
Biblical prophecies indicate that the major player in the end times scenario will be Europe (cf. Daniel 9). The emergence of the European Union has galvanized more than 350 million people into a political and economic powerhouse that is destined to fill the global power vacuum after the Rapture. This will inevitably lead to a shift in international policies toward Israel in the last days.
3. World Peace Promised
The Bible predicts the rise of a global dictator who will promise to bring peace to the world during the troubling days after the Rapture. II Thess. 2:1-12 indicates that the wicked one cannot come on the scene until after the removal of the Restrainer. A careful reading of this passage indicates that the Antichrist will rise to power after the Rapture of the Church.
The Book of Revelation calls this world ruler the Beast (Rev.13:1-10). It describes him controlling a global economy, a world government and a world religion in which he claims to be divine and insists that he be worshipped as God. It also portrays a false prophet who assists the Beast in his global deception and world rule (Rev. 13:11-18). However, in the end, the Antichrists promise of peace will culminate in plunging the world into the most terrible wars the planet has ever known.
4. Two Dead Men Walking
Revelation 11:3-12 predicts the appearance of two witnesses who will proclaim the message of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem in the days following the Rapture. Their clear message will be accompanied by miraculous signs that indicate their functions will be like that of Moses (plagues) and Elijah (fire from heaven). These are also the two witnesses that appeared with Jesus on the mount of transfiguration (Matt. 17:1-3).
The Antichrist will suddenly turn against these two men, kill them and leave their dead bodies in the streets of Jerusalem for public display. But after three and a half days, they will be miraculously resurrected and raptured into heaven (Rev. 11:11-12). This dramatic event will be witnessed by the whole world, presumably on satellite television. It will serve as a final warning to those who have rejected the Gospel and been left behind during the Great Tribulation.
5. Jewish Temple Rebuilt
The first Temple in Jerusalem was built by King Solomon. It was destroyed in 586 B.C. by the Babylonians. The second Temple was built by Zerubbabel in 515 B.C. It was later remodeled by King Herod and destroyed by the Romans in A.D. 70. Today, there is no Jewish temple on the sacred Temple Mount. Instead, the Moslem shrine, the Dome of the Rock, has sat on the Temple Mount for more than 1,300 years, since A.D. 691.
Nevertheless, the Bible predicts that the Antichrist (man of sin) will enter the Jewish temple in the last days and insist that he be worshipped as God (II Thess. 2:3-4). This prophecy presupposes the existence of another Jewish temple in the future. Since the Dome of the Rock now sits on the previous site of the Temple, this would seem to predict the eventual destruction of the Dome of the Rock and the rebuilding of the Jewish temple in its place, perhaps under the auspices and protection of the Antichrist himself.
6. Holocaust Eclipsed
One of the most serious biblical prophecies points to the invasion of Jerusalem in the biblical last days. While Israel is dwelling securely, she will suddenly be invaded by hordes of old Gentile nations. Both the Old Testament (Ezekiel 38-39; Joel 2:1-11; Zechariah 14:1-3) and the New Testament (Matt. 24:15-28; Rev. 16:1-21) predict an assault on Jerusalem in the end times.
The prophet Daniel predicts the coming world ruler will break his treaty agreement with Israel, desecrate the Temple and attack the city of Jerusalem (Daniel 9:26-27). John the Revelator pictures Jerusalem falling (Rev.11:13) and the remnant fleeing into the wilderness (Rev.12:13-17). Jesus warned that unless those days were shortened, no one would survive (Matt. 24:21-22). But unlike the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, this time God will intervene to deliver His people.
7. God Comes to Earth
The great climax of biblical prophecy is the Triumphal Return of Jesus Christ described in Rev. 19:11-16. He returns from heaven to earth to win the Battle of Armageddon (Rev. 16:16), defeat the Beast and the False Prophet and cast Satan into the abyss for 1,000 years (Rev. 19:19-20:3). Only His return will bring peace to the planet and an end to human hostilities. In the Person of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, God comes to earth to reign and rule in peace and righteousness. This will be an unprecedented time of blessing and prosperity only to be exceeded by eternity itself when all the saints of God dwell together in the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21-22).
The final prophecies of the Revelation end with an invitation. Jesus speaks one last time, urging us to testify these things in the churches (Rev. 22:16). Then the Revelation adds: And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that hears say, Come. And let him that is athirst, come. And whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely (Rev.22:17). Prophecy is not written to frighten us, but to invite us to come to Christ while there is still time. You and I have an invitation to dine with the King. But we must decide to accept His invitation before its too late (Rev. 3:20).
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