A little less than 2,000 years ago, a Galilean man in the small province of Judea made one of the most bold and astounding prophecies in all of human history. He claimed His personal message of hope and redemption would be preached to the ends of the earth. When He made this claim, He was a Jewish carpenter on the outskirts of the ancient Roman Empire. Even in nearby Jerusalem, only a small number of people had heard His message. His followers were ordinary – a handful of fishermen and tax collectors. He didn’t hold high office. He wasn’t a member of high society. He wasn’t a celebrated military conqueror, and he didn’t live in a palace. In fact, at first glance, there was little about Him to indicate such a thing was possible.
by Pete Garcia
But first He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation. And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed. Luke 17:25-30
Many Christians who are interested in eschatology (the study of last things), often inquire of teachers and each other, as to when they should reasonably expect our Lord Jesus Christ to return for His bride, the Church. In regards to this question and by way of a disclaimer, I don’t have or pretend to know a specific time or date. Jesus stated that ‘no man would know the day or hour’.
When it comes to the end times, the Bible is clear. A global government will rule the entire earth (Daniel 7:23). It will be more than another superpower. It will rule the whole world. This not only makes it different from past nations, kingdoms, and empires of the world – it makes it completely unique.
Think about it. Of all the nations in human history, how many managed to set up a global empire? None. Ancient Rome held vast power and influence. But it didn’t rule China. It didn’t rule South America. It ruled large portions of the known world. But it wasn’t a global empire. And the same is true for every other empire in history.
“For the essence of prophecy is to give a clear witness for Jesus.” Revelation 19:10 (NLT)
Almost two thousand years ago, Peter prophesied about the end times. He said just before Jesus returns, people will openly mock the Second Coming. They’ll say, “What happened to Jesus? I thought He was coming back? Yet everything remains the same as it has since the world first began” (2 Peter 3:3-4). I’ll bet you’ve heard this argument many times. But is it true? Is the world of today “the same as it’s always been”? Absolutely not. In fact, it’s absurd to say it is.
Every year at Christmastime I am reminded of the remarkable prophecies concerning the birth of Jesus and how they substantiate His deity and the faithfulness of God. Let’s take a look at some of those prophecies.
The Timing of the Birth
The timing of the Messiah’s birth had been indicated in Genesis 49:10 in words spoken by Jacob on his deathbed to his son Judah: “The scepter shall not depart from Judah… until Shiloh comes, and to Him shall be the obedience of the peoples.”
The Bible teaches that in the end times, right before the return of Jesus, the greatest political leader in the history of Mankind will emerge from Europe. After taking over that area by diplomatic cunning and deceit, he will launch a military campaign that will result in his acquiring “authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation” (Revelation 13:7). His empire will be the most extensive in all of history, encompassing the entire world, and his rule will be the most demonic the world has ever experienced.
Did you know Damascus is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world? For at least 5,000 years, someone has called Damascus home, and some historians believe the city dates back as far as the seventh millennium BC.
Yet, despite its long history, the Bible says Damascus will come to a sudden end. It won’t slowly fade away, but will disappear in an instant. Damascus will be utterly destroyed – never to be inhabited again. Don’t believe me? Then open your Bible.
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 often overlooked is the idea that when He returns, the world will be “like it was in the days of Noah” (Matthew 24:37-41).
So what were those days like? And does life today look anything like it did in the days of Noah? If so, we have yet another reason to expect the soon return of Jesus.
Fortunately, there’s no need to guess. We know exactly what those days were like. Both the Book of Genesis and Jesus Himself tell us.
The World In The Days Of Noah Here are four key points the Bible reveals about the world Noah lived in:
Israel, Iran, and the End Times
Israel and Iran have been in the news a lot lately. Currently, several nations are trying to strike a deal with Iran to curtail its nuclear ambitions. The question on the minds of many bible prophecy students is what does the Bible say about this? Are Iran’s nuclear ambitions a sign of the end times? Maybe. Maybe not.
Rest assured that Iran itself does have a role in the future fulfillment of bible prophecy (see Ezekiel 38 & 39). But no one can say for sure whether or not the current nuclear talks will play a significant role in the fulfillment of bible prophecy. What I can tell you is that this generation is already a witness to the fulfillment of numerous bible prophecies, and Benjamin Netanyahu’s much publicized speech from earlier this week should make that crystal clear.
The Bible says a day will come when the whole world will be ruled by an evil dictator – the Antichrist. This one man will dominate the world politically, economically, and religiously (Revelation 13:1-18). People will actually worship him (Revelation 13:12), and he will force them to accept a mark on the right hand or forehead (Revelation 13:16). If they refuse, they will lose all ability to buy or sell anything.
For years, people have wondered what this mark will look like, and while we can speculate, we’re no closer to knowing what the mark will look like than we’ve ever been. That said, we do know that the implementation of this mark is not some far off event centuries in the future. How can I be so sure? Because Jesus Himself said so.