Just to clear something up, JWs aren't the only whackos who think Armageddon's "just around the corner". I pulled this from a blog, and it reminds me of my good ol' JW days. Dates, numbers, and promise of fulfilled prophecy is all here in this guy's blog. I fired off my response to him already, but I'd like to see what you guys think of this crap. Feel free to write to him as well. If you do, tell him Desdinova sent you.
Jesus is Coming SoonI recently found out my friends have been talking about me behind my back. One told me that a buddy of mine mentioned in conversation, ?You know, I think Fuchs is looking forward to the Apocalypse.? And guess what? He was right. I am looking forward to it. Big time. But not to all the war and destruction that will come to pass. Granted I won?t be here for that (thanks to the Rapture), but I certainly do not wish any harm to come to those I know?and those I don?t?who won?t be taken with me. For the record, when Christians get all excited about the end of the world, we?re not excited for the judgments and chaos that?ll reign upon the earth prior to Christ?s glorious physical return. We get excited because we want to see our King and our best Friend. We get excited because, though we?re not perfect ourselves, we?re also tired of this world and its sin and no longer want to be here. And believe me, that last bit is normal for a believer. Once we gave our lives over to Christ, we no longer ?fit in? here anymore (John 15:19).
Friends, this world is ending. It was meant to be temporal from the start and the clock is quickly ticking down to the end of human history.
I?m not caught up in End Times hype or Last Days fanaticism (though I do have a keen interest in it), but the Bible is quite clear on where we, citizens of the twenty-first century, stand in the grand scheme of history. The evidence that we shall soon see the disappearance of millions of believers worldwide (the Rapture; for those who don?t know, the Rapture is the supernatural removal of all wholehearted followers of Jesus Christ before God brings His judgment upon mankind) and that, seven years later, Christ will return, is enormous and would take an entire book to point out all the facts and offer all the proofs.
Here are the major proofs of where we are on the timeline of history?a glimpse, if you will?and how our point in time differs from years past and how our twenty-first century world lines up with a world predicted by the prophets of God thousands of years ago. Before I list anything, please note that what is key is that all the below events are happening simultaneously and not one here, one there, over the course of hundreds of years. And it is the fact that they are all happening at the same time?like the Bible predicted?which is significant.
In the Book of Matthew, Chapter 24, Jesus?s disciples asked Him what would happen in the last days and what would be the signs of His coming. His reply lasted the entire chapter.
He first warned that no one deceive them and falsely claim to be Him. He said many false christs would come and deceive many. For those who follow the news, you?ll know that numerous men have come along claiming to be the Jesus Christ. Of the list of many, here are a few that might ring a bell: David Koresh, Sergei Torop and Jose Luis De Jesus Miranda.
The next bit Jesus revealed was the escalation in wars and rumors of wars. Friends, the twentieth century had seen more wars than at any other point in human history. And from the year 2000 onward there have been many wars, with rumors of wars looming all the time, even now. But Jesus said these things must happen but the end won?t come just yet. He said nation will rise against nation and there?ll be famines and plagues and earthquakes on land and in the water.
We?re all well aware of the increase in poverty worldwide even here in the west. People are starving all the time especially in third world countries. Many are starving even in our own backyard. People are dying of sickness, and strange illnesses at that. AIDS is running rampant, STDs, the Bird Flu (which is a big one now), and a zillion others. Earthquakes are on the rise, increasing in intensity and frequency. In fact, they are now happening every day and not just minor tremors but on devastating scales. Those in the US are also aware of the seas roaring. Hurricane Katrina rings a bell as well as the many others that nailed Florida last year. These hurricanes are now frequent and worldwide.
Jesus said these disasters are the beginning of the birth pangs. And like a labor, it?ll get more and more intense with each contraction. The major ?pangs? will hit during the final seven-year period of history. What is happening now is a foreshadow of things to come so if you think these days are rough...it?ll only get worse.
Messiah warned that His followers will be persecuted and will be killed. He also said we?ll be hated because of Him. How many people do you know that preach Christianity is a ?religion of intolerance? and is ?exclusive?? How many times do Christians become the hated because we try and reach the lost with our message? How many times do people display their hate for God and Christ by taking the Name of the very One Who gave them life and using it as a substitute for a four-letter curse word? Roughly 163,000 Christians are killed each year because of their faith and Christians are mocked and persecuted daily.
We?re told there?ll be an increase in fighting and hatred toward one?s fellow man. You just have to walk out onto the street to see this. Though it could be just me, it seems with each passing day, people are turning more and more against each other.
Many false prophets will arise, Jesus said. And many are around today, preaching messages and predictions that haven?t come true (which, of course, they have to in order to be authentic predictions of real future events; more so, for these people to be real prophets of God).
Because sin will be running rampant, the love of many people will diminish. In a society where ?anything goes? and ?if it feels good, do it,? where burlesque parlors line the streets, drug deals are made in broad daylight in parking lots, murder is an everyday headline and the perversions of man have reached an all-time high, it?s not a good breeding ground for good old fashioned love and wholesomeness. And especially since we live in a ?me first? society where nearly everyone you meet is looking out for Number One, it doesn?t make it too difficult to understand what Jesus was saying. Though this might seem like life as normal for you, compare our world today to that of your parents? generation, then that of your grandparents?. See the difference?
Jesus then said the Gospel needs to be preached everywhere in the world and then, finally the end will come. There is virtually nowhere in the world you could go where no one would know about Jesus and Who He is. Nearly everyone on the planet knows about Him. Whether they believe it or not is another issue altogether but thanks to the technological advances of the past century (radio, TV, Internet), it?s not hard to imagine every single person in the world learning/knowing about Jesus Christ. We?re almost there as it is and, some say, the preaching of the Gospel to every living person on the planet has already occurred. Either way, the clock is quickly ticking.
The remaining part of the chapter deals with events after the Rapture that will take place during the final seven years of history. But Jesus sums it up with a parable of a fig tree and those who know their Bible know that the fig tree represents the nation of Israel in Scripture. In Christ?s parable, He talks about Israel blooming again, about coming to life again. If you?re aware of history, you?ll know long ago those who once lived in the land of Israel were scattered across the globe. In fact, Israel wasn?t even a country and had no place on the map for almost two thousand years. In 1948, in an event predicted by the Bible, Israel was reborn. In one day! Precisely as predicted by the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 66:8). Jesus followed up His talk about the end of the world by stating that the generation that starts to see all these things?the generation of the fig tree?will see ALL these things, including His return to the earth. Friends, 1948 was 58 years ago. A Biblical generation is 70 years. You figure it out but be warned, God might not wait the full 70 years before drawing history to a close. He might get the final 7 years of human history underway tomorrow, next week or next year. But it will be soon.
The common argument against people saying Jesus is coming soon is that even Jesus said it Himself that the day and hour of His return is unknown. But they neglect that Jesus did say we?d know the season. And the season is now.
If you?re reading this and think it?s crazy, that?s fine. If you think things in the world aren?t that different than how they?ve been since mankind first existed, that?s fine, too. You?re fulfilling prophecy, actually. Just one more proof that God knows the future and since He?s the only One Who can know what lies ahead, it once proves the validity of Divine inspiration for the Scriptures. Did you know that in the last days scoffers will come and ask, ?Well, where is Jesus if you?re so sure He?s coming back? Things have been as they have always been.? (2 Peter 3:2-4).
A few other interesting signs:
- An exponential increase in knowledge and travel (Daniel 12:4). Up until roughly the year 1900, technologically speaking, this planet had pretty much functioned the same since day one. Now look at the gadgets we have and what we know about how the world and the universe works compared to what we did in the year 1900. Even in the last ten years alone we have grown leaps and bounds by what we can do technologically. Look how much our knowledge has increased in the past decade. Even compared to last year, we are miles ahead. And up until roughly 1900, we were stuck getting around on horseback. This century saw the birth of the car, the airplane and the spaceship. There is no place on this planet we can?t go. Everyday millions are traveling thousands of miles, getting around just as easily as they would if they had to walk next door to the neighbor?s for a cup of sugar.
- What?s interesting, too, is that in the last days Russia and Iran will invade Israel (see Ezekiel 38 and 39). Did you know that just recently Russia and Iran had made their first alliance ever? And given the recent hatred of Iran against Israel, I wonder what they could be cooking up?
- The Bible also discusses that at the time of the end, there will be a revived Roman Empire, the empire from which Antichrist will arise. The European Union is growing in power by leaps and bounds each and every day. Interestingly enough, starting January 2007, the EU will occupy geographically the same amount of land the Roman Empire once did when it was at its peak.
- One of the prerequisites for the final seven years of history is the third and final Jewish Temple. (See Daniel?s 70 weeks prophecy for details.) True, at this point no such Temple currently exists but it is interesting to note that the Sanhedrin has been created for the first time in 2000 years, Jewish priests have already been trained in Levitical practices and all the items required for the temple are ready to go. There has even been the first appearance of a red heffer in 2000 years. The animal is required for when the Jews, who are still waiting for Messiah (they missed Jesus the first time), resume sacrifices in the Temple.
- Even the inevitable Mark of the Beast is now possible thanks to RFID chips. All I?ll put forth on this is that when the chip becomes mandatory, DON?T TAKE IT. To do so would ensure yourself hell eternal. (See Revelation 13:11-18.)
Could all the above happening at the same time be a fluke? A mere coincidence as some people claim? I?d hate to imagine the odds but mathematicians have deduced some interesting odds regarding, well, the odds of things happening. Jesus had fulfilled over 300 direct and indirect prophecies about Him. The odds of any one man fulfilling just 8 of those would be the same as if you covered the state of Texas with quarters, put on a blindfold, then went out there and found the one red quarter hidden amongst them. The signs of the end I listed above are more than eight and are many, many less than all that is prophesied about what is to occur in the coming days.
Is our current place in history the lucky red quarter or something more?